Friday, April 29, 2016

Trip to Ooty and Coonoor sight-seeing

I was planning a summer holiday with my family and I wanted to do something different. Then I thought,  why not head to the south to enjoy the beauty of the Queen of the Nilgiris, Ooty.

The summer, especially  the months of April-May, is the ideal time to visit Ooty. Situated deep within the Nilgiri Hills, surrounded by many scenic spots, lush green meadows and beautiful lakes, the hill station Ooty has many offerings. This place is desired by the movie makers and most of them have achieved success.

Ketti View Point

Ketti is a small town in Nilgiris district and located en route to Coonoor.  Ketti valley is the second largest valley in the world which houses 21 villages. To reach this place, you need to drive along the Ooty-Coonoor road (NH67) for around 4 km.

From Ketti View Point,  you can get a full view of the local valley through a telescope.

If your camera has enough zooming capacity, you can spot an ancient church in the valley.

Coonoor Tea Garden

Set at an altitude lesser than Ooty, Coonoor is a little village that offers some amazing view points.
Just 20 kms away from Ooty, it has some marvelous tea plantations. If you are a fan of Hindi movies, you can see the place where Sajan movie was shot.

The chilly weather is something that will charm any nature passionate. You can visit outlet of tea plantations from where you can purchase tea, eucalyptus oil, spices and fruits or sip a tea  in different flavor. They will show you the  extraction of eucalyptus oil from leaves  and you can smell the fragrance of the oil wafting through the air during extraction.

Dolphin Nose

Dolphin Nose is an enormous rock formation that looks exactly like  a dolphin's nose. There are two ravines on both sides of Dolphin's Nose. From one side,  you can clearly see the Catherine Falls. You can enjoy the beauty on both sides through a telescope. In the other ravine, you can spot where the Coonoor stream meets the Kotagiri stream.
Catherine Falls from Dolphin's Nose

Sims Park

Sim’s Park is constructed and named after J. D. Sim, the Secretary of the Madras Club in 1874.
Entrance of Sim's Park
Spread over an area of about 12-hectare, this garden is built following the Japanese style.
Inside Sim's Park
It has a huge collection of about 1,000 plant species. You could also opt for boating in the lake nearby.

It is mainly noted for its annual fruit and vegetable show held in May.

Doddabetta Peak

Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in the district at a height of about  2623m. Approx 10 kms from Ooty town, this  mountain peak is one of the tourist attractions in Ooty.

It is better to visit this place as early as possible to avoid crowd. This is the right place to see the Sahyadri/Western ghat ranges.

The song ' Dekha hai pehli baar ' from the famous Bollywood movie 'Sajan' was shot at Doddabeta. There again one can view the surroundings through a telescope.

One can see as far as the plains of Coimbatore and the  Chamundi Hills (Mysore) if the climate is clear.  If you want to capture the best possible views of the valleys below, this is the place to be.
View from Doddabetta Peak

Doddabetta Tea factory

We also visited one of the tea factories where the workers eagerly showed us the process by which tea was made. The person in-charge explained to us the whole process of  manufacturing tea.

Coonoor visit will not be complete if you miss a visit to a tea factory. You can also sip a cup of masala tea or chocolate tea.

Botanical Garden

At the end of the day's trip, we visited the widely known Government Botanical Garden. The garden is divided into six separate sections called Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace and Nurseries.
Entrance of Ooty Botanical Garden

Indian film industry have utilized these Botanical gardens wonderfully in song sequences and other prominent situations.
McIvor House: The oldest building in Ooty Botanical Garden

A major part of the Hindi movie 'Maine Pyar Kiya' was shot in Ooty and the song  'Kabootar Ja' was shot in the Botanical Gardens. You can catch a glimpse of these gardens  in ' Geethanjali '  as well as Priyadarshan’s Malayalam movie ' Kilukkam'.

There is a wide range of flora and  indigenous vegetation that includes monkey puzzle trees, paper bark trees, and old fossilized trees.

Towards the top, you can find vast stretches of land covered with pine trees. The garden houses a precious collection of flowers along with other exotic species of plants in different layers.

The garden has a lot to offer to photographers.

The camping scene in the Hindi film "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" was shot here. It's beauty attracts nature lovers and honeymooners every year.

If you are a nature lover, interested in trees, plants, bushes and shrubs, this is the place to be!