Coonoor - Road trip to the Nilgiri tea estates


"Mesmerizing" is the first word that comes to your mind when you see so much of green land around you and the air is filled with tranquilizing fragrance.

Start early in the morning from Bengaluru when the stars are gazing so you can skip the traffic. The best route is via Hosur, Dharmapuri and then through Salem, Erode. Coimbatore and Mettupalam. The drive is scenic. There are multiple options available for breakfast - McDonalds, ABs (You will find AB's every 70-80 Kms on the way).

The drive is smooth and is on a 4 lane highway until Mettupalam. Then through the city (where you might encounter some traffic jams) starts the beauty of the hills. There are in total 17 U pin bends on the way from Mettupalam to Coonoor.

The view is picturesque throughout your 30 kilometers drive to the city of Nilgiri tea estates. Located at an altitude of 1800 kms, the weather remains pleasing throughout the year. However, it gets a bit cold in extreme winters and the temperature ranges from 1 to 10 degree Celsius. Summers are good and it is a good idea to spend your summer vacations in this beautiful heaven.

We stayed at Sunvalley resorts located in the heart of the hills surrounded by tea gardens and away from the city crowd. There aren't many locations or tourist attractions to cover in the tea estates, but Wellington which is the cantonment area, is a must visit. Photography is prohibited in the cantonment but your eyes will capture the beauty and freshness of the place. Do visit the golf course but since it is accessible only to the army personnel you need to have someone you know there to accompany you. Wellington lake is just like another lake in any beautiful city and access to the lake is also limited.

Other tourist attractions are sim's park, dolphins nose if you have kids accompanying you. There are some enthralling properties which will keep you spellbound especially the Maverick (property where Kapoor and sons was shot). Catherine falls is a scenic place but finding that place is a task since even google maps won't help you with this. Look for some local help in their language preferably. People do not prefer talking in Hindi or English.

Visit Coonoor if you love to drink tea and spend some time with your buddies in the beautiful scenery and donot expect much of you are a tourist but it is a travellers heaven.

Ooty, about 2 hours drive from Coonoor is no more a queen of hills and is now a commercial web. Spend some time by the famous Ooty lake. Chocolates are indeed a speciality.

Return via Gudulur Mysore road and pay a visit to Bandipur forest reserve and you might get lucky enough to spot some wildlife. Make sure you travel during the day as this route closes at 7 PM.

Get the freshly made tea leaves available at the factories surrounding Coonoor and cherish your moments back home while you sip in the tea. ????