Mesmerizing Ooty - Nilgiri Hills, India

11th Nov 2017

Vinnca West Downs Heritage Resort

Photo of Mesmerizing Ooty - Nilgiri Hills, India by Priyanka Bharti

Its been long time since I posted anything on this blog. I missed my writing and finally motivated myself to write one of my favorite trips of past years. I'm going to tell you about my Ooty trip in this post. Ooty is a hill station in Southern India. Its scenery are feast to our eyes. It is 250 Kms from Bangalore, which is a perfect gateway for long weekend. One can easily drive here from Bangalore, by car. We just need to book a room in advance for a pleasant stay here.

Day 1

Day - I (Needle Rock View Point, Pykara Falls, Shooting Point, Rose Garden, Boating at Ooty Lake)

Our little gang of four friends started this trip from Bangalore at 3:00 am at night. We hopped into the car for our first destination - Bandipur. We were excited but little drowsy as we could not sleep properly that night. On the way, we stopped by multiple tea shops to have tea to avoid dozing off. We reached Bandipur by 7:00 am and took a jungle safari. We saw wildlife including but not limited to deer, elephants, monkeys, langoors. We also spotted some beautiful birds. We were lucky enough to get a very close look of tiger. We also saw many peacocks. The safari was almost 30-45 minutes long. After finishing the safari, we started for our next destination Needle Rock View Point. On the way, we stopped by a tiffin centre to have breakfast and tea. We had idli and vada. After breakfast we drove to Niddle Rock view point, where we reached at 10 o'clock. The view there was just wow. I cannot define it in words. The air was so fresh and pure it gave a divine feeling. We spent almost an hour at this place and started our journey further. Next destination Pykara Waterfalls was at a drive of 25 kms. The beauty of going to Ooty is its route itself. We enjoyed the view of pine forest, valleys and vegetable plantations. Once we reached the falls entrance point, we parked our car. We had to walk for almost a kilometer to get the view of the falls. We started feeling hungry so we bought some boiled peanuts, carrot and radish which were sold by local ladies at the entrance of waterfalls. The taste of fresh and sweet carrots and radish we get here is just too yumm. I never had such tasty salad anywhere else. We walked to the waterfalls while munching peanuts and carrots. The sound of the waterfalls was very soothing. There's no better place to find yourself that sitting by a waterfall and listening to it's music. We spent around 30-45 minutes and walked back to the starting point. There were few restaurants, and we decided to have lunch. We had fish meals, which was not that great but so so. We spent overall ₹750/- for our lunch. After lunch we started for our resort and en route we saw shooting point, where many famous Bollywood movies were filmed like - Raja Hindustani, Andaz Apna Apna etc. We did horse riding there, which cost ₹200/- per head for a short ride and ₹800/- for a longer ride. It took us maximum 20 minutes to reach our resort Vinnca West Downs Heritage from the shooting point. The resort looked so beautiful. Rooms were big with all the amenities like TV, fridge ,locker ,hair dryer. Beds were comfortable, bathroom was good and the service they provided was great. Luckily we got Derby rooms on 50% discount and we paid ₹3000/- per night per room. Since we booked two rooms for two nights we paid ₹12000, including breakfast buffet for four of us, which was worth. We were already exhausted by this time and we fell asleep as soon as we lied down. We slept for an hour or two. We then got up and got ready to see Rose Garden. We did not had idea that the garden will be in hectares. We could not see the garden completely, as it was so big and we did not want to miss boating at Ooty Lake. If you love gardening - "Please take out at least 3 hours to roam in the rose garden. It is really big and have varieties of roses". For boating, we booked tickets for pedal boats. Since it accommodated exactly four people, we did not had to share it with other people. Four of us enjoyed pedaling together. The beautiful sunset added more joy to our boating. This place was lively and full of people. You will get funky scarfs and caps to buy there. You will get different varieties of fruits too. I will suggest to eat fruits and vegetables in Ooty whenever you can, they have real taste. By 7 o'clock in the evening it became complete dark and weather became chilling. We returned to our resort. We went for a walk in the road in front of resort and enjoyed the cold wind. When we started feeling more cold, we returned back to our rooms. We ordered food and enjoyed our dinner with Jägermeister (a German liquor, made from a secret recipe of 56 herbs, blooms, roots and fruits). We ate, we drank and we slept. We had to get up early next morning to catch toy train to Coonoor at 08:30, which we thought was quite impossible.

Bandipur Jungle Safari

Photo of Pykara WaterFalls, Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu, India by Priyanka Bharti

Pine Forest & Pykara Falls

Photo of Pykara WaterFalls, Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu, India by Priyanka Bharti
Day 2

Day - II ( Toy Train Journey to Coonoor, Sim's park)

Surprisingly we all got up early next morning and got ready on time. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet. There were variety of food items for breakfast which includes - continental (bread, toast, butter, jam), North Indian (Aalu Paratha), South Indian (Idli, Dosa, Upma) along with the hot beverages - tea/coffee. We continued eating the finger licking breakfast items until we were full. After that, we started clicking pictures at the resort. Then we booked an auto to Udagamandalam railway station. By the time we reached, the queue for booking ticket was too long that we had to miss the train at 08:30. We decided to book the next train which was scheduled at 10:30. We booked the tickets and we had almost 2 hours to roam around near railway station. It was Sunday, so we decided to visit a nearby church. We also shopped sweaters in a nearby shop for very cheap. We then came to the station and we had to again stand in queue to get inside the train one by one. We were so much excited for this train journey, as one of the friends travelling with us had never travelled in train before. It was her first train journey, which she really enjoyed. Train started on time and we enjoyed the views of Nilgiri mountains, valleys and vegetable plantations. Once we reached Coonoor station we were already hungry. We searched for a nearby Biryani restaurant with help of google, and we had lunch there. After finishing lunch, we booked an auto to Sim's park. We spent less than an hour here, as we already had reservation for return tickets to Ooty. The tickets that we had booked from IRCTC in advance were for some special kind of coaches, for which we did not had to stand in queue. Also, the number of people in those coaches were less. After reaching Udagamandalam we decided to go to our resort and enjoy the beautiful evening there. We clicked pictures near color changing fountain, beautiful lawns, verandah and with different attractive lights. We then had dinner in room and watched few movies lying inside blanket enjoying nice cold Ooty weather. Since we did not had to hurry next morning we preferred to watch movies and slept late.

Toy Train Journey from Ooty to Coonoor

Photo of Udagamandalam Railway Station, Mysuru - Ooty Road, Kathadimattam, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Priyanka Bharti
Day 3

Day - III ( Doddabetta Peak, Tea Factory Visit and Chocolate Shopping)

We got up around 9 o'clock got fresh and went for the breakfast. Again, we could not resist ourselves from eating till we were full. We enjoyed the tasty breakfast buffet to the fullest. Then we clicked some pictures in the resort. We then checked-out from the resort and headed towards Doddabetta hills. We enjoyed the view of Ooty from the telescope house, the ticket costs just ₹10 per head. While returning we bought some woolen stuffs like jackets, sweaters and caps for very cheap. Then we visited tea factory, where they explain the process of making tea powder from tea leaves. They show us tea manufacturing process step by step happening in the machines. In the same factory we get to buy chocolates as well. No need to mention that Ooty is famous for homemade chocolates. We can also get other herbal products for skin, hair or pain releif oil. All our checklist of visiting places got over with this tea factory. While going to Ooty we took longer route via Niddle Rock View Point and Pykara Waterfalls. But while returning we took a different route which has 36 hairpin bends. This was a shorter route, though adventurous.

During the entire trip we played nice song collections from my playlist along with Danish Sait (RJ) prank calls. His prank calls added real fun to our journey. This proved a famous saying - "It’s all about the journey, not the destination".

Ooty Lake

Photo of Doddabetta View Point Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Priyanka Bharti
Photo of Doddabetta View Point Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Priyanka Bharti
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