Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mysore - Ooty - Coonoor - Day3 - Coonoor

Day3 started not so early morning with hot water being delivered to the room and ordering idly coffee for breakfast. Thank god we were able to get our orders through because the guy would not understand anything other than Tamil and only southie languages we were little conversant being Kannada and Telugu. After Idly Coffee me and my dad walked to the Ooty Railway Station to get the tickets for the Ooty-Coonoor train but to our surprise we found a sizable amount of crowd and our position in the Queue was quite behind even at 7.30 AM. After 8 AM the counter for computerized tickets opened and only then we came to know that the tickets for First Class is issued through that counter and you need reserve seats atleast a couple of days before. So instead of trying for General ticket we decide to go to Coonoor by car itself.

Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris. It is about 19 km from Ooty. Coonoor is famous for its beautiful hillscapes and for a variety of wildflowers and birds. Coonoor is also famous for its production of the Nilgiri tea. The drive to coonoor from Ooty is exquisite for the narrow roads and the in-numerous tea plantations on the hills some trees so close that my mom picked a few tea leaves as well from the car window when the car was stopping due to traffic. It was also a trying time for our driver's patience and his skill again courtesy the Tamilnadu drivers :D.

The first attraction was Sim's Park a small botanical garden spread over an area of 12 hectares, its small enough for a comfortable walk around yet large enough to house a thousand varieties of trees, plants and flowers and a small lake.The park is open to public from 9:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. We walked around the garden and clicked some exotic pictures of flowers in the park. At the lake there were a number of fishes and the ladies fed them and there was a huge rush among the fishes to grab breakfast :) which attracted a few children from around who enjoyed the fish feeding.

Beautiful flowers in the Sim's Park

Roses in the Sim's Park, Coonoor

Next was the Doplhin's nose it's a huge rock resembling with a dolphin's nose is about 10 km from Coonoor.You can glimpse awe-inspiring Catherine Falls from atop the Dolphin nose. We got some breath taking view of the tea plantations as well. My sister got a instant photo of her with the tea basket posing as a Tea picker :). We spent time there and purchased the famed 'chocolate tea' from the nearby shops. One more thing beware of the monkeys as one of them snatched 'bhelpuri' packet from my sister, poor girl she was completely startled by the swiftness of our ancestor.

Panoramic view of the Catherine Falls from Dolphin's Nose Coonoor

Tea Gardens at the Dolphin's Nose

Below monkey mom & baby at Dolphin's Nose
The next destination was Lamb's Rock. It was named after the man Captain Lamb who tried in earnest to open a path to that particular point. With such a view, no wonder this man put forth such a valiant effort to reach the point. The rock is a jagged cliff that drops down several hundred feet to the lush jungle below. On the right hand is the Hulical ravine. It is possible to see the Coonoor stream some 5000 feet below. This vantage point also provides you with an excellent view of the Coimbatore plains. We had to trek about 500 mtrs through the jungle to get to the highest point which senior citizens avoided but we went ahead looked around.

With the Lamb' Rock our sight seeing for conoor was over and it was time to return though nobody wanted it but we had to return. On the way back we stopped at Ooty's Preethi Palace hotel for Vegeterian lunch aka Karnataka-style. Also we stopped at one of the falls which was actually very tiny one. While returning we watched Kannada movie "Mungaru Male" the sensational film of 2006. We started from Ooty at around 3PM only stopped in between at Gundlupet for evening tea and then in a place at Mandya for dinner and we reached our home by midnight. It was end to a trip with lingering feeling for more and 3 days seemed to be too less.

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