Residing amongst dense foliage, a town surrounded by the robust Nilgiri hills, boasting a variety of tea plantations in the town of Coonoor. Located close to the commercial town of Ooty, the small town of Coonoor is a delight for all the nature and tea lovers. I had visited Coonoor along with my family. We had rented a Mahindra Scorpio; it is strongly recommended that you take a monsterous car that is capable of negotiating the hills and the U-bends. The road to Coonoor from Bangalore is a breeze. The beautifully laid down roads make for a fulfilling six-hour drive for anyone who loves to drive. On the way you would be cutting through the Bandipur National Park, just before you enter the land of the Tamils, Tamil Nadu. Butterflies, deer, elephants make it for a lovely but mildly intimidating drive through the home of the tiger. You would also come across the land of Channapatna where one can stop and have a look at the extraordinary craftsmanship of the indigenous toys, hand made by the artists.
We had resided at the 'Sans Souci Bungalow', a home stay. Do not let the term 'home stay' misguide you, this bungalow was built during the time of the British rule and has a lot to offer. You would wake up in the morning to the alarm of the birds perched on the 'Bottle Brush tree' right outside the bedroom. You can opt for breakfast in their magnificent garden, served by the caretaker who is a master cook in my opinion. A hill top breakfast, while watching the clouds break around the Nilgiris is what i imagine paradise would look and feel like! As the day passes on you can choose your own menu and leave for trekking further uphill or going to the town for some authentic tea. We decided to give the car some well deserved rest and try our luck at tackling the hill. Boy did that pay off! We walked straight into a tea plantation cum tea processing factory. It was a delight to watch the worker pluck the tea leaves. The scenery was a treat to our eyes while the aroma of the plant put us in a dreamy state. Further uphill we walked into the 'Echo Point' where as the name suggests you can let the children have fun with the natural phenomenon of echo. Our next excursion was into the commercial town where we were able to feast our eyes upon the narrow gauge train that runs from Ooty to Coonoor. Ah! What a delight it was to see a train running on steam. The white steam was a perfect contrast to the dark clouds that had started to set in. We bought local chocolate and tea, the merchandise this town is famous. After a memorable stay, comprising of star gazing at night, finger licking meals, a small game of badminton amidst the clouds, trekking through dense foliage, walking through the clouds of steam billowing from the steam engine, tasty chocolate and aromatic tea we were all packed up, en route home. I suggest you take the 'Ghat road' while returning, negotiating 36 continuous U-bends while listening to the roaring waterfall in the distance is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Go for it! This small town is worth every penny spent!