Coonoor, or Kannur as it is also known is a small district that is rather famous for its production of Nilgiri tea. The best way to get there would hands down be the Heritage Train, which gives you a chance to soak in the scenic route while indulging in interesting conversations with the locals. Established in 1984, Sim's Park is a lusciously filled botanical garden. A must visit, its sloping manicured lawns hold over a thousand plant species both rare and local, and make for a perfect picnic spot. While at Coonoor, it is easy to fall in love with the place and its people, and there are a variety of places to go to if you're looking for some serenity. The Dolphin's Nose (which is a rock that literally looks like the name) is another such haven for visitors and even offers you a misted view of the Laws Falls. For every person who comes here, a trip to the magnificent tea estates is definitely in order, where you can see everything from its manufacturing to actually getting a taste of it. It'll change your perception of tea – especially if you're a tea lover! Coonoor is definitely a highlighted trip on the bucket list of everyone looking to find themselves away from the hustle of life.
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Nilgiri Mountain Railway
This was a railway line in the state of Tamil Naddu which was built by the British in the year 1908. The passenger railway moves along 16 tunnels, over 250 bridges and 208 curves. The main stations withing this route are the Mettupalayan, Kallar, Adderly, Hillgrove, Runnymede, Kateri, Conoor Lovedale and others.
1. Sim’s ParkThe first place everyone’s going to tell you to visit is this botanical garden called Sim’s Park. To be honest, none of us were kicked about strolling through the gardens but we made a visit anyway. Okay, I’m the reason we end up doing these things. I can’t help it. I need to go see what everyone’s talking about for myself.If you’re interested in botany, a walk through this park might be quite delightful for you. There’s a tiny lake that people can paddle boat in and next to it, is a tiny park for the kids. You have to pay an entry fees of Rs 30 to visit the park.
This is a century old park which was built and opened in the year 1874 by Mr. Sim and Mr. Murray. This is also a botanical garden with a number of rare and exotic species of flowering trees. There is a tree inside this park which is said to be more than 200 years old and a special mention in this field. Also, there is a rose garden and a number of terraces with a variety of flower plantations on them. Apart from the flowers and ornamental plants, what is famous here are the abundance of the evergreen Shola Trees. This park forms a part of the Nilgiri Hills.
Coonoor Railway Station
Early in the morning, we reached Coonoor station to catch an early morning train to Ooty, on the famous Nilgiri mountain Railway, which is part of UNESCO world heritage sites in India. We bought unreserved tickets @ Rs. 5 per head and in about 15 minutes, the whole compartment filled up. The 1 hour long journey from Coonoor to Ooty was filled with unending vistas of tea gardens, narrow gorges and brooks gushing along. This is definitely the best way to get to Ooty from Coonoor.
Known as the Tamil Nadu Tea Corporation Limited, this was a government initiative taken in the year 1968. The main aim was to grow something with the help of the experts. The experts in the sense the Sri Lankans who have a natural knack in tea growing which has helped everyone a lot in this project. TANTEA is now the largest producers of black and clonal tea in India and the products have also reached the overseas market now. TANTEA is now one of the major industries of tamil Nadu and the extensive stretches of plantations are a visual treat.
Bonus: Before you leave, buy Varkey at Indian BakeryHere’s another thing I wanted to do and didn’t do (in life… haha). Coonoor is apparently known for these crusty, flaky (I imagine they are) biscuits called Varkey. They say your visit to the hill station would be incomplete if you haven’t packed a box of these to take home. A stop at Indian Bakery post 4 PM (which is when he said they would be available) will ensure you do this.Like what you read? There's more here.
Lamb’s Rock: When we reached this rock, it was densely clouded and we could see anything beyond a certain distance. Since the view point has nothing but a dead end and from there you are supposed to look ahead and see another mountain that has a weird cut, we did not find this interesting. Moreover, we had to walk 1 km just for nothing (owing to the fog).