Monsoon in Ooty-Exploring Pykara and Coonoor

Tripoto
12th Sep 2019
Photo of Monsoon in Ooty-Exploring Pykara and Coonoor by Aparajita

Udagamandalam or Ooty is one of the most famous hill stations in the southern part of India. It is on the wishlist of every tourist or traveller. And owing to its proximity to Bangalore, it makes for a great weekend trip.

September is a month when the influx of tourists is at a low. The fresh rains make the surroundings verdant and fresh. So my husband and I decided to spend 3 days in Ooty in the first week of September, and enjoy its monsoon beauty.

I've been to Ooty before, so this time we decided to explore the places around Ooty-Pykara and Coonoor. Avalanche lake was closed in monsoon and if that's on the agenda, then monsoon may play spoilsport for plans.

Day 1

We started from Bangalore(Majestic) by bus. It was an overnight non AC sleeper, and was quite comfortable. We reached Ooty at 6 in the morning, and it was freezing at that time.

We had booked Paradise Perfect hotel in Ooty. It is around 1.5 km from the Railway Station. We reached at 6, while the check in time was 12 pm. We had hoped that they would allow early check in but the hotel was fully booked. So we had to wait till 11, when some guests checked out. The hotel is a budget hotel, but very beautiful, and the rooms are also clean and well furnished. The staff is hospitable and I'd recommend this hotel if you can get a reservation. However, early check in and late check out might be dicey.

For local sightseeing, we hired a cab for 3 days which cost us around Rs. 4000 being off season.

After check in and a bit of rest, we started at 12 pm to explore Pykara and the nearby spots. The first point we went to was Pine Forest Shooting Point and 6th Mile Lake. There's a bit of walk involved to get to the lake, and there are horse rides available there. On the way, we got a glimpse of the Golf course.

Golf Course

Photo of Pine Forest Shooting Spot, Ooty Main Road, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

6th mile lake

Photo of Pine Forest Shooting Spot, Ooty Main Road, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Pine Forest

Photo of Pine Forest Shooting Spot, Ooty Main Road, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

From here, we went to the 9th Mile Shooting spot, which sports a view of the verdant hills.

Our next destination was Pykara Falls. On the way we stopped at Pykara Dam for a quick view. Battery operated vehicles take you to the ticket counter of the falls@Rs. 60 per person. From there its a half km walk on rock hewn steps. First you are greeted by a lake and then the falls. The falls are not high, but the cascade is beautiful, and the surroundings serene. They are at their best during and just after monsoon, so I think we saw it at the best time.

Pykara Falls-lake just before the falls

Photo of Pykara WaterFalls, Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Pykara Falls

Photo of Pykara WaterFalls, Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Pykara Dam

Photo of Pykara WaterFalls, Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Our final destination for the day was Pykara Lake. It is a huge lake and the 2nd largest in Tamil Nadu, as we were informed by our driver. There's speed boating available here @ around Rs. 800 for a 8 seater boat. We were not interested in speed boat, having done it before and as soon as we reached there, it started raining. So we had some snacks at the food court and that was the end to a beautiful day. Pykara is a very beautiful area in the Sholur forests, and deserves to be explored.

Photo of Pykara Lake, Tamil Nadu by Aparajita
Day 2

We had planned our 2nd day in Coonoor, which is around 20km from Ooty. Coonoor is famous for its tea gardens, and the landscape is a real sight for sore eyes. Our first stop was at Valley View en route Coonoor. They have cottages there, and a grilled verandah over the valley drop, on which you can walk. It affords a beautiful view of the area.

Photo of Valley View Tree Farm, Coon Road, Monroe, OR, USA by Aparajita

Next, we stopped at a Tea Estate, and my God! We went crazy there, it was so pretty.

Photo of Coonoor Tea Estate, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita


After clicking pics to our hearts
hearts' content, we visited a Tea Factory. It was quite informative and ended with a tea tasting session, with Masala tea, green tea, white tea and chocolate tea. We also went to see how oil is extracted from eucalyptus leaves.

Photo of Benchmark Tea Factory, Benchmark ,melkodupumund, Kotagiri Road, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Lamb's Rock is a beautiful view point.

Photo of Lamb's Rock, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Dolphins nose is another view point close to Lamb's Rock. One can see Catherine Falls distant  view from here.

Photo of Dolphin Nose View Point, Dolphins nose Road, Alwarpet, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita
Photo of Dolphin Nose View Point, Dolphins nose Road, Alwarpet, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

We gave Sim's Park a miss, as it was time for our toy train back to Ooty. In the evening, the train starts at 4pm from Coonoor. We had made the reservations through irctc in advance, and the first class tickets cost Rs. 290 per head. However, the first class seat is like 2 facing sofas on which 5 people are supposed to sit. So unless you get a window seat, it's not that enjoyable. Unreserved tickets are available on the spot but the line is long so it is recommended to get there a bit early, and sit as soon as possible otherwise you may not get any seat.

Toy Train-A Unesco world heritage site

Photo of Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Mysore Rd, Kathadimattam, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

A view of the entire train. The famous song Chaiya Chaiya was shot on this train

Photo of Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Mysore Rd, Kathadimattam, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita
Day 3

On our third day here we checked out of the hotel at 11 am. This was the day reserved for our Ooty sightseeing. We visited Ooty Lake, Thread Garden, Botanical Garden and Doddabetta peak, which had opened that day itself after being closed for 4-5 months for road work. However, this day paled in comparison to our previous 2 days. For more information on Ooty Day Trip, please visit my previous blog: A tryst with the Nilgiris(Part 2): One Day in Ooty(https://www.tripoto.com/trip/a-tryst-with-the-nilgiris-part-2-one-day-in-ooty-58fc2bd48e8a5?utm_source=Android_App%26utm_medium=com.example.android.notepad)

Ooty Lake

Photo of Ooty Lake, West Mere, Ooty, Tamil Nadu by Aparajita

It's beautiful but huge. Be ready for a lot of walking if you'd like to explore all of it.

Botanical Garden

Photo of Government Botanical Garden, Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Botanical Garden

Photo of Government Botanical Garden, Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Botanical Garden

Photo of Government Botanical Garden, Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

Botanical Garden

Photo of Government Botanical Garden, Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Aparajita

The highest peak in Nilgiris. The view is beautiful

View from Doddabetta

Photo of Doddabetta Peak, Tamil Nadu by Aparajita

View from Doddabetta

Photo of Doddabetta Peak, Tamil Nadu by Aparajita

Finally we had about 2 hours before our bus departed for Bangalore. So we just went walking on Ooty's commercial street in search of King star's handmade chocolates, which I'd had in 2013,and craved since then. There are many franchise outlets. But the oldest one goes by the name of Jai's King Star. And I took 2 flavours again-Fig&honey and nutty caramel. The chocolates are more expensive than those sold in local shops but the taste is worth it!
We then took a short break at Nahar's sidewalk cafe. We had French Onion Soup and Coleslaw sandwich. It was nice though a bit expensive. The cafe is all vegetarian but seemed like a good place to spend time.

Finally we boarded our bus and reached Bangalore early morning. But the beauty of Ooty's surroundings in the monsoon left us craving for more...

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