Queen of Hills

18th Feb 2017

Working for 12 hours a day during weekdays and 3 hours a day on weekend makes you seriously wonder your existence, The only thing that break you off that monotonous loop is a 3 day break to the mountain side. Being in Hyderabad seriously limits my options so I made a few calls, convinced some other corporate slaves in Bangalore and decided to explore the lot heard about Nilgiris. The Nilgiris, are so called because of the mist induced bluish appearance of the area. The hill range covers three small taluks; Coonoor, Kotagiri and Udhagamandalam (Ooty). I booked a bus to Bangalore on Friday night hoping to start early morning for Coonoor but thanks to Bangalore traffic we could only start after 10 AM.

Day 1

Not very confident on our driving skills we decided to take the longer route and avoid the hair pin bends. We reached Coonoor by 3 PM, checked in at a decent home stay and went in to explore the lesser known town.

Photo of Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by Himanshu Mishra

Coonoor is peaceful place with a very friendly environment. Its a small town with people from different background a simple stroll down the beautiful tea gardens will refresh your mood like anything. We went to visit few good places before the sun gets down. Lonely roads diverging every now and then and disappearing into woods, Chilly air hitting you as the day goes down and a very hospitable environment makes the view stay even more soothing.

Photo of Queen of Hills by Himanshu Mishra

We decided to roam till it was dark and chilly and promised ourselves to wake up early and explore more. Next morning was even more chilly, we explored local places and started for Ooty enjoying the view, stopping every now and then to enjoy the place.

Photo of Queen of Hills by Himanshu Mishra
Day 2

We went to Dolpin Nose and few more spots to get a better view of the mountains and finally went to the hidden Katherine waterfalls. Navigating to waterfall was difficult as google gave up after 30 mins but somehow we managed to find the place. A small 20 min walk through the tea estates brought us to the small hidden waterfall, named after the wife of the first Tea Estate owner.

Photo of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Himanshu Mishra

We reached Ooty by afternoon, went to the mountain of Doddabetta, height 2,633 m which is the highest point of the Nilgiris and finished off the day enjoying some of the local sight seeing. We decided to take the Bangalore route next day early morning through Kotagiri and Gudalur.

Photo of Queen of Hills by Himanshu Mishra
Day 3

We left early in the morning and went to see few beautiful places on the way such as Wenlock's Down, Pycara Lake, Pine Tree Hill. The weather was really soothing which helped us to enjoy the places even more.

Photo of Gudalur, Tamil Nadu, India by Himanshu Mishra

While leaving the Nilgiris all together we trekked to the needle point hill which was another once a lifetime experience, A small trek joining two hills with cliff at either side was scary but beauty of the place made us forget all our fears.

Photo of Queen of Hills by Himanshu Mishra

At 5PM some locals told us to cross the Bandipur Tiger Reserve before 6:30 Pm, we followed the advice, said good bye to the beautiful place and started for Bangalore. On the way back we hoped to have some adventure but the journey was quiet uneventful.