I then went to bus stand and boarded the bus to Bangalore. It turned out to be slightly more expensive than my usual weekend getaways at approximately Rs 4500, but it was definitely worth the money.
1. It rains heavily in the Nilgiris in July-August. Keep raincoats, windcheaters handy.
2. You will experience leeches if you venture out in the Avalanche forest. Keep some salt to fend them off.
3. Book Nilgiri train tickets at least 2-3 months in advance. Getting one in tatkal is very difficult. Also, first class tickets are available for booking only online.
4. Internet will tell you to get first class however possible. But I thoroughly enjoyed second class as well. First class costs Rs 250, while second class cost me Rs 50 ( in tatkal ). I don’t think I missed too much. Yes, it’s a bit crowded, but manageable since I didn’t have much luggage.
5. The most scenic part of the toy train ride is between Coonoor & Mettupalayam. That stretch has the maximum number of bridges and tunnels. Most people take the ride only till Coonoor , and even stay there during peak season time, when Ooty gets too crowded.
6. Ooty gets really cold, in winters and even monsoons. Temperatures dip till 12-13 degrees in August itself. So keep enough woollens.
7. Ooty’s homemade chocolates are famous, and for good reason. But you’re better off avoiding all the random shopkeepers selling that and heading straight for Moddy’s.
8. Do try Chamraj Nilgiri Tea at the Chamraj Tea Center on Coonoor Road junction. They have billboards advertising it on a lot of pillars across Ooty. You can also buy some tea if you want from there.
1. Accommodation: Rs 750 at Zostel
2. Transportation: Rs 2200 for bus to Ooty & back. Rs 300 for internal transportation ( toy train & local buses )
3. Food : Rs 900 for 6 meals
4. Miscellaneous: Rs 250 for chocolates, entry tickets etc.