The Nilgiris (Blue Mountains), are part of the Western Ghat mountain range and run across the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The British found the gentle undulating slopes ideal for growing tea and the pleasant climate in the hills made Ooty the natural choice of residence in the scorching summer months. In 1827, Ooty was declared the summer capital of Madras presidency. In 1899 the Nilgiris Mountain Railway was completed to ease the journey to the hills and back. It still remains a tourist attraction and a journey through the tea gardens at its gentle pace is a must for every traveller with an eye for beauty. Today, the Nilgiris remain a major centre for tea production and tourism. The gentle rolling hills, so reminiscent of the Downs of England, are a sea of green tea bushes, dotted with the red of poinsettias in the winter and the lilac of jacaranda in the summer
Things to do in Nilgiris
Catherine Falls is one of the famous and off beat tourist destination in Coonor. This waterfall is a visual treat for all. It is named after Catherine Cockburn, wife of M.D Cockburn who introduced coffee plantations in Nilgiris. Catherine Falls is a hidden gem and a perfect destination to rejuvenate away from the routine life.
Kodanad View Point
Kodanadu is a small village located around 18 Kms from Kotagiri. It is an off beat destination as it is relatively unknown to outsiders. Kodanad is one among the scenic spots in Nilgiris with its 220 degree view and is backed with tall and dense pine forests and tea plantations. Kodanad offers great views of river Bhavani and misty covered mountains.
One of the must do things in Nilgiris is a Toy train ride. Nilgiri Mountain Railway travels between Ooty and Mettupalayam daily. It covers a distance of 26 Km and passes through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges and 208 curves. Nilgiri Toy Train offers you a picturesque journey through valleys, mountains, waterfalls, tunnels and tea plantations.
As the name suggests Dolphin’s Nose rock resembles the shape of a dolphin’s nose. Dolphin nose offers you a scenic view of Catherine falls and Coonoor stream meeting the Kotagiri stream. It is an ideal destination for outdoor activities like picnic, boating and horse rides. Dolphin nose leaves you awe struck with its magic every time you get to see this massive rock.
Toda huts are small cultural houses constructed in different shapes by the Toda tribe to restrict wild animal attacks. Toda huts are constructed in dense forest slopes of the pasture. Experience the unique culture and traditions of the Toda tribe. You can buy stitch by stitch traditional shawls ( Puthukuli ) , hand weaved cotton pillows, furniture covers etc from Todas.
Doddabette is siuated at a staggering height of 8650 feet. Dodabettameans Big rock and is located around 10 Km from Ooty. The summit offers an astonishing view of nearby areas covered with dense forests. On clear days, one can see as far as Mysore. Doddabetta is an ideal vantage point as it is located between the Western and Eastern Ghats.
Pykara is the largest river in the Nilgiris. The lake is considered sacred by the Todas. Pykara river is originated from Mukurthi peak and passes through hilly tract, generally to north and turns to West after reaching the plateau’s edge. Pykara is located around 21 Km from Ooty and is a must visit destination in the Nilgiris.
Emerald lake is a part of the Silent Valley National Park and is located around 22 Km from Ooty. Emerald lake offers a clean and quite sorroundings. It is one of the less explored places in the Nilgiris. The blue water of the river and the woods around are home to a number of flora and fauna. Emerald Lake is a paradise for nature lovers as the landscape offers a perfect composition.
Needle Rock View Point
The picturesque Needle rock view point is located near Gudalur. Needle rock also known as Soochimalai / Oosi Malai resembles a conical shape. On clear sky days, Needle rock view point offers a breathtaking sunset view. This beautiful place offers scenic views of Gudalur and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary, Bandipur and parts of Mysore.
Home Made Choclates
Home made choclates are very famous in Nilgiris. Nilgiris offers you a wide range of Home made choclates.