Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve
This is one of the first Tiger Reserves of India which was established in the year 1931 by the Maharaja of Mysore. It was later declared a national park in 1974. This is a few kilometeres north of Mysore and shares boundaries with other sanctuaries and national parks of tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, etc. The national Park is one of the most popular in the country and the Kabini River is an added attraction here. There are about 70 tigers out here in this open area where the animals lead a free life with lots of space to roam about. The main animals here include leopards, chitahs, gaur, sloth bears, sambhars, mouse deer, wild dog, wild boar, barking deer, hyena and four horned antelope. The many species of birds include pompadour green pigeon, grey jungle fowl, honey buzzard, red headed vulture, owls and hawks.
Edakkal Caves : Discovered in 1896 by Superintendent of Police, Malabar, Edakkal caves are remnants of the grandeur and magnificence of our history and cultural heritage. Fascinating drawings adorn the walls of these caves and the area around these has large boulders crushing the large inflated human ego within a minute as they make people look miniscule in comparison to them.
This is the highest peak in the Nilgiri region and is about 10 kilometres from the city of Udhagamandalam or Ooty. The main attraction here is the center for tourists on the peak of this hill. There is an observatory on the top floor of this tourist center and there are twin telescopes hre. From the glass paned observatory, with the help of telescopes, you get awesome views of the whole district till far away places.
Home to more than 650 species of plants and herbs, this is a prime attraction in the Queen of Hill Stations which is Ooty. There are a number of rare species of plants and herbs here along with a number of varieties of flowers. The main attraction here is the monkey's puzzle tree which has a strange shape and the name is given because even monkeys fail to climb this tree. There is also a paper bark tree and also a fossilized tree. The other sections of this garden are the Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Fountain Terrace, conservatories and fountains. The Government also organizes a check everyday via the Horticultural Department of Tamil Nadu. The Summer Festival is a sight to behold out here.
About Edekkal Caves: Timings: 8:30 AM- 4 PMEntry fee: Indians INR 20, Foreigners: INR 40Edakkal means a stone in between. The place is not actually a cave, but a boulder wedged between two others. Edakkal is the only place with stone age carving in South India that back to as old as 7000 years. The carvings belonging to Neolithic and Mesolithic Age include ancient stone scripts, ancient weaponry figures, symbols, figures of various animals and human beings etc.We had to trek 4000 Feet up a mountain to reach the Caves. We were not aware that the caves were on the top of the mountain. The trek never seemed to end. It was one hell of a trek to reach the mountain caves and then get back. Although we saw the neolithic carvings and the view from the top of the mountain were beautiful, I personally felt that the trek was not worth it. Instead, we could have visited the waterfalls or an island that was situated nearby.
Mudumalai National Park
Forming a part of the Nilgiri Forest Reserve, this park is at the meeting point of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This was just a simple game reserve before it eas declared a national park in the year 1940. The Mudumalai National Park has the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary to the North and the Wynad National Park to the West of it. The park has rich flora and fauna out of which most of the plants and wildlife species are of the local origin. The most important flowers found here are the bamboo, teak, rosewood, mathi, Vengai and others. The main animal species are of the butterflies, rock python, Indian Gaur, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri Langur.
Located in the main hill station of the Nilgiris which is Ooty, this is a lean and large lake. People come here for site- seeing, photography or boating usually. Other than this, picnics are a common site here because spending fun time with the family amidst such natural beauty is sheer happiness. There is also a boat house here from where you can hire boats. You get an option when it comes to the type of boats. You can anything from speedboats to the normal ferry boats. The latter can usually carry about 8 persons which means the whole family can enjoy a boat trip together.
Nothing but a watchpoint, Dolphin's Nose is very close to Kannur or Coonoor. The adventure filled path is misty and has criss- cross routes after which you reach the final point. Also, this place is best visited early in the morning to experience the true beauty of it. The foggy mornings are the best times when you can enjoy an awesome view of the Catherene Falls from. Apart from this, the view of sunrise is picturesque too.
This is the prime attraction of Ooty and is an artificial lake which was constructed by John Sullivan in the year 1824. This was made by making dams run by the waters from the river which flowed down to the valley region. The main motive was to help fishermen by making fishing ferries out here. T^he lake is beautiful and is surrounded by eucalyptus trees and one one side runs a railway line too. The boathouse from where you can hire boats of all kind. This was opened by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Department and boating is the main activity near this place. During the summer season, anumber of boat races and paegentries are held here.
Originally named as the Government Rose Garden or the Jayalalitha Rose Garden after the name of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, this is a wonderful place to spend time in. This garden is spread over a hilly area and it is an extremely beautiful and romantic place. You should best visit this place during mid- summer to find the roses in full blossom. The different colours and the sweet fragrance of the flowers are just awesome. This place is perfect for spending time during the afternoons on the lush green fields of this rose garden.
Everything about this place is mesmerizing! This lake is about 30 kilometeres from Ooty and the road in between is not very smooth but the trouble taken is always worthed. Eco tours are orgsanized here by the Forest authorities and these are worth enjoying. You can also enjoy walking around the picturesque surroundings or just sit and relax.
Dodabetta Tea Museum and Factory
When we are talking about the best hill station of the nilgiri range we are always talking about Ooty or the Udhagamandalam. There are a number of mountains which are close to it and are a part of the Nilgiri Hill Range. Out of these the Doda Betta is the highest mountain and is about 10 kilometres away from Ooty. After you have finished trekking and have reached the peak of the mountain there is something very nice waiting for you. It is a visitors observatory center. This is a two- storey building and the second floor is in the form of an observatory. The whole gallery is circled with glass panes and there are placed two large telescopes. With the help of these you can take a closer look of the surrounding peaks and the amount of beauty they possess.
Another lovely place just at an hour and a halve's drive from the awesome ooty. This lake area is a part of the Emerald village which in itself is very less popular and thus never crowded whichever part of the year you choose to visit. This gem of a place is hidden in the middle of a number of mountains and you find natural beauty at its best out here. There is simply nothing much to do over here except for admiring the natural beauty or enjoying some time with your friends and family.
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.
Muthanga Wildlife Safari
After Molehole we entered Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Its all the same, all part of Nilgiri Biosphere region one is in Karnataka side other one in Kerala. The entire drive through the jungle was mind blowing! There are uncountable numbers of speed breakers on the road to stop speed junkies to run over the animals. Otherwise the road is fabulous; winding through the dense forest. Kerala is dry state now so carrying alcohol inside the state is prohibited. And there is excise dept check post to search incoming vehicles but my car was not stopped. The roads afterwards were also very good and we crossed Sulthan Bathery by 11.30. We had time in hand so instead of going directly to the home-stay, decided to visit Edekkal Cave. We followed the instructions of Gmaps and reached Edekkal around 12.30.
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.
Pykara is the name of a town and stream 19 kilometers from Ooty in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The Pykara River is considered exceptionally hallowed by the Todas. It ascends at Mukurthi top, streams northwards, and after that swings toward the west after reaching to the edge of the plateau. The waterway courses through Murkurti, Pykara and Glenmorgan dams, and structures some portion of an imperative hydro-electric force project. The Pykara Station, pronounced as a heritage site in September 1997, set off the foundation of more hydro-electric force stations in the state. A boat house on the Pykara Reservoir is a very auspicious fascination for vacationers. The boat shelter with eatery is kept up by Tamil Nadu Tourism and Development Corporation. It comprises of a few vessels and has speedboats which are allowed in water for 20 minutes and speed boats which are considered for 10 minutes or 15 minutes sometimes.
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.
More popularly known as the Shooting Point, this is one of the best places to visit in Ooty. It is known as the Shooting Point because of the number of Indian films shot here. The lush green meadows and the walking trails here are apt for enjoying lazy walks. Try not to come during the peak season as this place will be overcrowded all the time during these months. During the other times you can get the best experience out here amidst the most peaceful surroundings. The exceptional view of the Nilgiri atmosphere is the main thing which attracts most of the tourists here.
Bangalore is such a good place. It is kind of center to execute all kind trips. Off-road, hilly, forest etc, everything is just very near. I just wait for long weekends so that I can mark those places on my calendar “one more done” ! Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Maharashtra each and every place with their own attractions. Valpari forest, ooty’s 36 hair pin bends, NH4; a clean green open highway, wayanad; jungle hi jungle and never ending list...this place is blessed for people who love to explore who love to travel.
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.
An apt place for a peaceful getaway or some quiet moments with nature. The lake is large and is located in ooty which is in itself known as the best hill station over here. It is not a very popular tourist attraction mainly because it is hidden amidst a number of trees which form a forest. The scenic beauty that you find here is better han many other places in Ooty which you have visited many times. The advantage for it still being unknown to many is that you can spend peaceful time and the place is still very clean and unexploited completely.
Bandipur National Park
Elephants, Black Bear, Herds of Deer was some of the fantastic animals we saw, Unfortunately we weren't allowed to stop and take pictures, patrolling cars were ever so vigilant. Its all captured in our brains for the rest of our lives, but i did get to click a picture of a sunflower farm. Just like in SRK movies, this place was unreal, check it out.
Pykara Lake Boating
It’s an hour of travel from the centre town of ooty and the roads aren’t in perfect shape. When you are here don't forget to take speed motor boat ride. This is one of the least visited spots in Ooty, maybe because of the distance from the city but it’s just Awesome and a MUST - VISIT spot.
The Tea Factory and The Tea Museum
Then we headed towards Tea factory which was walking distance from our hotel . Only fragrance inside the factory was of tea , tea and tea. There was a guided tour in the factory and we saw entire process of how tea is being prepared from tea leaves. It was worth watching . We purchased some home made chocolates and few varieties of tea . Then in the evening explored local market.
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.
Correctly known as the "Queen of Hills", Nilgiri literally mans the blue mountains. This is the mountain range in Tamil Nadu which is among one of the best tourist attractions here. The main reason for it being so popular are of course the beautiful hill stations such as Ooty and Kodaikanal among others. The Doda Betta Peak is the highest peak in the range and is a favourite for trekkers. There is also an observatory on top of this peak. The Nilgiri Hills are almost coverd by coffee and rubber plantations which look like a velvet, green cover on the blue- purple colour of the hills. The beautiful colour combination is the best kind of food for the camera lenses! The river Cauvery along with a number of other rivers and their tributaries flow along this region and also form beautiful waterfalls. The main activities you can enjoy here are trekking, cycling, walking, photography and bird watching.
Next morning we went downhill towards the main market of Ooty . Luckily we spot a shop which gave bikes/scooty on rent and charged 400 bucks per day for bike. Its better to opt for this option to explore the city as local cabs/auto drivers would ask for a way too high price . Proper quilted jacket is needed if you wanna go for bike ride at this time as weather was too cold. I was enjoying the chilly ride thoroughly .