The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam

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Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla
Photo of The Mighty Nilgiris! A Solo Trip to Udhagamandalam by Ankur Shukla

From one city light to another..from one realm to another…from one end of the horizon to another..from a filled space of chaos to the jovial whistles of vacuum; from one musical note of life to the utter silence of emotions; I will keep running, walking and crawling to find the ever new me..the much better me!

Just like any other Robotic Human working in the Corporate World, My IT imprisoned soul fetches me the money at the end of every month as well. So I should be the one investing much more of my already fucked up personal space and times in understanding the monetary investment plans and all! Isn’t it? Well NO!

The bigger problem lies in the reality that the Banks’ 8% simple or compound interest rate doesn’t simply interest me at all. For a fact, It never enticed me either, booking travel tickets to the myriad of places however always do and it does more than 100%! Savings, if we talk about it then memoirs of sharing a coffee with an en route’ stranger or a click with the natives or a heartfelt conversation with the fellow travelers onboard a random journey; I count all these as my eternal savings unlike those piles of printed papers lying helpless in the banks.

So this happened in the month of April in 2016. Bitten to the core by the travel bug and the luring last moment travel deals, I landed at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) via Coimbatore to Mettupalayam and then boarding the onward Heritage Toy Train for a 4-hour journey to Ooty covering the infamous towns of Coonoor and Wellington.

How crazy can one be! Why only Ooty or Coonoor topped my choice of places and nowhere else? Well, kapoorThanks to the flicks of this lovely place that I watched in a recent Bollywood "Kapoor & Sons." Fully unaware that it is well known as South India’s “Honeymoon Destination”, Ask me how challenging it was to ask the passing by couples or random people to click my pictures. You say Selfies- Alas! That’s not my cup of Wine!, Rather I did click a person selling the selfie sticks on the Garden Road in the busy market of Ooty!

Following the Corporate rule book, Now the Task ahead was to explore the maximum in the minimum of time with whatever I had at my disposal. Hence, the mighty Internet services came to my rescue. Just a few clicks over the wonderful connecting world of WWW and bang! I got hold of people for renting a motorbike for local sightseeing. Sadly there were no options for “cycles on rent”.

Mornings were blissful with hiking in the alleys and running in and around the chilling and foggy pavements in the Wellington town, where I finally checked in for my stay. The Wellington Military Cantonment looked more beautiful with the calm “Wellington Lake” right in the middle of the camp where I joined the sweating cadets on the way for a run along. Needless to say, I couldn’t match their Running cadence.

Hiking early morning through the Coonoor Suburbs, which is just two km away from Wellington, I had a rendezvous with the wild cows of Nilgiris- “GAURS” who have come for their morning breakfast in the wide spread Tea Gardens. Well yes, they didn’t let me pass by. You can spot them in the backdrop of a picture clicked with the two native lovely ladies posing for it. The ladies asked me for help; they wanted to cross the territory of danger encountering these wild cows. Don’t go that way, I warned them and fled, I am sure even the ladies must have had a run of their life! Oh! My holy cow! This episode established my faith in self that I am not a Superman! Nevertheless, the 125 cc engine bike was a pristine blessing to ride it through the foggy forest way up towards the Lamb’s Rock and Dolphin Nose. What a life-enriching afternoon ride that was! Fog blended with the chilling and settled air kissed me every moment I pushed the accelerator. It reminded me of my natives. Throughout the day, Sun survived hard to pierce through the fog making it a blissful time to be cherished for long.

Late afternoon I headed to the picturesque Avalanche lake 26 km ahead of Ooty, it took much more time than I had thought of. A good 1.5 hrs ride in the midst of perfectly crafted boundless tea gardens and the waving gestures of the beautiful people of this part of the planet. Above all the hours spent gazing through my room window at the fringes of the Wellington town is something that will now capture most of the space of my dreams until I visit this heaven again in times to come. There is much more to write, but Let these pictures speak it for you.

This trip was originally published on lifeverve

1 Comment(s)
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hey , I am planning for a trip to Ooty with my sister. Can you guide me how to go from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam (where to board the heritage train from) ?
Mon 02 20 17, 14:03 · Reply (1) · Report
Hi Abhirupa, from Coimbatore to mettupalayam you can take a local bus or hire a cab that should cost you max 2000 INR. The heritage train starts from mettupalayam station itself, but let me update you that you need to reach mettupalayam as early as 5.30 am to be able to catch the heritage train. there is a ticket counter at the station where people stand in waiting queues for the on-boarding ticket to ooty from mettupalayam. You can try to book ticket on IRCTC website - Train no. 56136 MTP UAM PASSR 07:10 am start from mettupalayam. if you manage to get an online ticket then nothing great like that, but if you somehow fail then you can try your luck by reaching the Ticket counter as early as 5 am- 5.30 am. Failing on all above, You can get a shared taxi for an on-road 1.5 hrs drive to Ooty.That will cost you somewhere around 400 INR per person, or you can book the entire taxi at 1600-1800 INR. Once you reach OOTY, for local site seeing you can hire a 2-wheeler at 500 INR. :)
Tue 02 21 17, 12:01 · Report