Tucked away in the Western Ghats, Coonoor is one of Tamil Nadu’s lesser known hill stations. Right next to Ooty, this little town is not as popular but the crowds I saw on a public holiday definitely convinced me that it’s getting there.
The easiest way to visit Coonoor is by road. You can take a train, bus or private vehicle from cities like Chennai, Coimbatore or Bangalore, all of which are also connected by airports.
Something that everyone, including travel buddy, recommends is taking the toy train called Nilgiri Moutain Railway. Obviously it’s not really a toy but I guess it’s called one because of the novelty factor. It starts from the town of Mettupalayam, which is just before Coonoor, and goes all the way up to Ooty. Travel buddy says that for a while when the train is moving uphill, it travels so slowly you can get out and walk beside it! Since we travelled in a private car, the toy train wasn’t really an option for us. Another time, maybe?
The road to Coonoor is so scenic, you want to make sure you stay awake all through the journey. Especially if you’ve decided to travel first thing in the morning like us. Right after an early breakfast at Annapurna in Coimbatore, we hit the road. We drove past fields of curry leaves and beetle nut trees, and as we entered Mettupalayam, the sight of the Nilgiris on the horizon cloaked in a thin layer of fog all made waking up at the wee hours of the morning worth it.
Anyway, while you’re there, there are a couple of sightseeing options that you can cover all in a day’s time. If being touristy is not your thing at all, you could just use this as a list of places to stay away from.
Here’s my list of top five touristy things to do in Coonoor: