Kotagiri, the hilly countryside is one of the three major hill stations situated in the Nilgiris. Kotagiri is about 29kms east of Ooty and 19kms northeast of Coonoor. While Ooty is getting busier and populous by the over attention , Kotagiri still vastly unknown exhibits the same qualities of Ooty but is much more peaceful and serene. Tucked into the remote corner of Nilgiris, Kotagiri lies in the heartland of a tea country which is covered with shola forests. The slopes of Nilgiris have been the traditional homes of the "Kota" tribe, the name "Kota-Giri" itself means "Mountain of the Kotas". Nested amongst the tea estates and surrounded with hills Kotagiri is a paradise with endless beauty and happiness.
Kotagiri has the distinction of being the first area in Nilgiris which was discovered and settled by the British Government, and was the first choice destination of several Madras Government officials to use it as a summer retreat. Spend just a few minutes inside the main town and you can still see a lot of englishness about the construction of buildings and churches in Kotagiri. Engulfed with widespread tea plantation most of the Churches have calm and serene aura, provide perfect blend of solitude in God's presence.
Kotagiri is easily accessible, yet preserves the aura of seclusion. The climate here makes it attractive retreat throughout the year. The drive from Ooty to Kotagiri is extremely scenic mostly covered with tea plantation on both side , and when mist comes over the whole scenery is beyond imagination. The neighbourhood forests are famous for their herbivores and unlike most of the places you don't have to be extremely lucky to spot a herd of Gaurs , "The India Bison" taking a stroll in the tea plantation next to you. Take a leisurely walk in the plantation and let the feeling slowly sink into you, take a look at the workers plucking tea leaves and soak in the cool climate of the region. One should surely try to taste the tea to have that essence of freshness.
The major attractions near the hill station of Kotagiri are Catherine Falls ,Elk Falls ,Doddabetta Range and the Rangaswami pillars. Most of them are motorable upto a point and then trekking for few kms can get you to your destination which in itself is a memorable experience. I however set sail towards Kodanad View Point which is around 19km east of the main town of Kotagiri.
Kodanad View Point - "The Galaxy Of Natural Beauty" , Kodanad view point offers a panaromic view of the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Hill Mountains and the view of the plains. From here you can see the green paddy fields of the low lying villages , The Moyar river and many tea estates spread along the vast lands. One can enjoy a mesmerizing sunset from the watch tower situated over here. During the monsoon, the view is often obscured because of monsoon clouds towering up in the sky and the mysterious rising mist.
I spent close to 3 days in the Nilgiris, exploring the rich flora and not so rich fauna of the Bandipur & Mudumalai national parks, experiencing the chilling cool breeze of Ooty passing through our spines , drenched completely in rain sipped the world renowned Nilgiri tea with that essence of freshness, spotted a herd of "Gaurs" next to us across the road, took a stroll in tea estate in freezing cold nights , experienced and captured the endless beauty of Nilgiris but for reasons unlimited its just fair to say "One trip is just not enough".
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