Tired of visiting the hill stations of Nothern part of Indi? then you should definitely check out the two gem hill stations of Karnataka. A trip to both these places will introduce you to an abundance of nature’s extraordinary phenomena wrapped up with numerous temples, monasteries and more. Both the hill station share a community for having trails of plantations of coffee, jasmine, cardamom, chocolate and more.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN OOTY
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
One of the most important tourist locations of Ooty is the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. The railway, also known as a Toy Train has seen immense popularity throughout the years. The Toy Train shares an impeccable history, due to which it has also been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway has been entertaining tourists since the year 1899. It stretched up to a distance of 46 kilometre that takes around a total time of five hours. The entire journey introduces you to stunning routes that will surely leave you mesmerized. One of the greatest features of the railways is its youngest X class locomotive which is over 50 years old and the oldest that is 80 years old.
One of the most calming and refreshing places to visit in Ooty is the popular Ooty Lake. The lake is set at a distance of two kilometres from the city of Ooty. The Ooty lake stretches over a wide area of 65 acres. It is said that its foundation was laid down by John Sullivan, the collector of Coimbatore in 1824. The lake introduces you to a bunch of flourishing greenery and Eucalyptus trees. The picturesque Nilgiri mountain ranges in the background and the water birds in the Ooty lake will surely lead you to a peaceful time. You can also choose to hire a paddleboat, rowing boat or a motorboat from the boathouse there, for an even more exciting time. The arena also has a mini-train for kids to enjoy and take a tour of the lake.
Located approximately 22 kilometres away from the city of Ooty is the famous Emerald Lake. The lake is located in the Emerald Village. It forms an essential part of the Silent Valley National Park in the Nilgiris District. It is one of the greatest spots to enjoy around Ooty when you want to explore away from the heaps of crowd. The greatest thing about the Emerald Lake’s surroundings is that they are absolutely clean. The lake also comes under one of the unexplored places near Ooty. Hence, if you are an admirer of the nature of love capturing them then you should definitely visit the Emerald Lake.
Ooty Botanical Gardens
Located on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta peak are the beautiful Ooty Botanical Gardens. In 1848, the foundation of the Ooty Botanical Garden was laid and was designed to have a terraced terrain. The gardens spread up to an area of 22 hectares by dividing itself into various sections that have been instilled beautifully. The vibrant colours of the garden that one gets to witness consist of green lawns, a vivid variety of flowers, ferns, and orchids. Another great highlight of the Toda hill is the Toda mund. The area gives you a special peek into the lives and traditions of the Nilgiri tribes, Todas.
Mudumalai National Park
The Mudumalai National Park is located on the northwestern side of the great Nilgiri hills. The Mudumalai National Park is also referred to as the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The National Park houses more than forty-eight tigers in the park. The great factor about this park is that the tigers are allowed to roam freely without any restriction. It not only houses tigers, but also elephants and numerous endangered wildlife species like amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Located on the northwestern side of the great Nilgiri hills, the Mudumalai National Park is one most known wildlife sections of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The national park is flourished with one of the wide forests and wildlife reserves. This includes the Mukurthi National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur National Park.
The Dolphin’s Nose is a tip of the peak on a gigantic rock that has been named after it resembled a dolphin’s nose. The peak is located 12 kilometres away from Coonoor, in the Nilgiri Hills. One of the most popular spots to visit around Ooty, the Dolphin’s nose is surrounded by another great sight that is Catherine Falls. The falls are known to drop down several thousand meters, lending you with a magnificent view to witness. Tourists love spotting the tea plantations and the hairpin turns on the way. Many people love visiting here during sunset and sunrise as it enhances the surrounding views of the Catherine Waterfalls, Nilgiris Hills, and the villages nearby.
If you are planning for an adventurous trip around Ooty then you should definitely visit the astonishing Doddabetta peak. The name Doddabetta translates to ‘Big Mountain’ in which Dodda is Big and Betta means mountain. The place makes for the most perfect spot to travel to visit. It is the fourth highest peak of South India after Anamudi, Mannamalai, and Meesapulimala. With an astonishing height of 8652 feet, it is marked to be the highest mountain of the Nilgiri Hills. It has been marked as a haven for trekkers, mountaineers or tourists who wish to grab the view of the Nilgiri mountains from this peak.
St. Stephen’s Church
One of the most stunning churches to visit in Ooty includes the St. Stephen’s Church. The church was built in colonial times due to which one can always spot and admire the architectural greatness of those times. Built-in the nineteenth century under the reign of the British government, the church’s constructions were constructed on the birthday of King George IV. Numerous attractions such as Mother Mary holding Jesus in her arms and the painting of The Last Supper can also be seen. The remarkable wooden structure and pretty stained glass windows that enhances the grandeur of the St Stephen’s Church.
TRAVEL TIPS TO OOTY
- If you are looking for an offbeat place to visit in Ooty then you should surely check out the Tea Park. The Tea park is not known to many tourists. Yet it will provide you with a great experience. Once here you should definitely opt for the Ooty train ride. If you love anything tea then be ready to click some pictures and to soak in the great aroma of the tea leaves.
- The best time to visit Ooty is in the summer season. The temperature is near 25-degree Celsius, however, the afternoons can be a little hot. However, sometimes the heat is unbearable but with the occasional showers, it won’t be a problem. The night here gets cold during the summer season. Therefore, do not forget to carry some extra warm clothes with you.
- The roads of Ooty are known to be well maintained and smooth for driving. But it is advised to be very careful when driving in Ooty as there is a high chance of spotting animals in this part of the Mudumalai forest. Hence, make sure that you drive slow on your way uphill to Ooty and do not hit any animals crossing the road.
- Do not wait in the lines to get tickets in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway also known as the Toy train. The best way to ditch the crowd is by booking tickets in advance on the IRCTC website. The one more great thing about booking in advance is you get to choose the best seat possible for you and your friends or family and not be handed out of what is left.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT FOR COORG
The Abbey Falls also known as Abbi Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions around Coorg. Located approximately 10 kilometres away from the town of Madikeri, the falls leap from a height of seventy feet leaving you with one of the most magnificent sights to witness. Sitting in the laps of the western ghats, the waterfall is surrounded with lush and flourishing greenery. Various small streams can be seen merging into one to form the most magnificent waterfall in the entire southern part of India. The stream of water further joins the River Kaveri is one of its tributaries. The step onto the falls from the main entrance has around two hundred steps downwards throughout and takes you through a variety of coffee, cardamom, pepper and other spice plantations.
Located on the Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, the source of the river Kaveri is the Talakaveri. The river originates as a spring feeding a tank or a Kundike and then flows underground to re-emerge as Kaveri some distance away. The place also has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriamma. It is believed that the river originates as a spring feeding a tank or a Kundike. The place has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriamma. It is located next to the tank and bathing in it on special occasions is considered holy. On the Cauvery Changrandi day, various of pilgrims and tourists visit the stream to witness the rise of the spring’s fountainhead. The river water gushes up at a predetermined moment that is an astonishing sight to witness. Visitors are also able to climb 407 steps to the top of the hill.
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Stretching up to an area of 181 square km, the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is a famous tourist attraction of the beautiful hill station of Coorg that was established in the year 1974.
The sanctuary gets its name from the Brahmagiri Park. It is the highest peak that has a height of 1608 m. Tourists will be able to spot some green lush forests, shoal forest patches in grasslands, bamboos and plantations of coffee and cardamom. The fauna of the sanctuary includes the elephant, gaur, jungle cat, leopard cat, lion-tailed macaque, slender loris, Nilgiri langur, spotted deer, sambar, wild pig, sloth bear, mouse deer, porcupine, flying squirrel, civets, brown mongoose, otter, barking deer, tiger and the wild dog.
Situated at a distance of 34 km, the Namdroling Monastery in Coorg is the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is also known as the Golden Temple. The Namdroling Monastery showcases some brilliant Tibetan architecture and its artwork. This can be witnessed through the massively stunning temple tower and its outer walls that have beautifully adorned with many murals. It spreads over an area of 80 square feet that was built from Bamboo which had been donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. Currently, the Namdroling Monastery houses around 5,000 members of the Sangha community, various auxiliary structures like educational institutions, a hospital and much more.
If you are someone who loves the water and its thrills then you should definitely explore the rivers of Coorg. One of the most ideal ways in which you can enjoy the hill station is by going river rafting. Coorg is known to be famous for being a white river rafting destination. The white frothy river with its speedy waves that flows through the stunning landscapes, makes for the perfect rafting experience. The Barapole River is surrounded by the Western Ghats and borders the Deccan Plateau. To experience the incredible water rafting here, you will have to visit the Upper Barapole that is called the Kithu-Kakkatu River. It is a strong catchment area for the monsoons. Whereas the Barapole River takes you through green and wide forests, providing you with amazing views to witness.
Nagarhole National Park
A little ahead of Coorg lies the popular Nagarhole National Park. Located in the Mysore district of Karnataka, the park is famous for inhabiting rich wildlife. The incredible flora and fauna that boosts inside the arena attract thousands of visitors. Known for preserving nature in its true raw form, the Nagarhole National Park covers a wide area of forest that boasts of thriving wildlife. The park also considered a treat for the eyes due to its various streams and landscapes. The tremendous wildlife that the Nagarhole National Park houses include the elephant, jackal, tiger, panther, gaur, sambar, spotted deers, mongoose, civet cats, hyenas, sloth bears and more. It is also known to house a vivid variety of 250 species of birds. They’re also known to be many varieties of reptiles inside the park such as the king cobra, krait, Indian rock python, Russel’s viper, vine snake, tortoise, monitor lizard and toads.
The Iruppu falls is known to be the most popular falls of the southern part of India. The water flows through the Brahmagiri Mountain Range in the Coorg district of South Karnataka, leaving one and all with one of the most astonishing views. The Iruppu falls are also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls. The name has been derived from the River Kaveri whose part these falls form. Just near the Iruppu falls lies the famous Shiva temple. Its existence and the flowing river streams existence have been connected to the epic Ramayana. Therefore, the water of the falls is considered extremely powerful and auspicious. It is said that it has the ability to clean the past sins of the devotees. Thousands of tourists flock up to here during the festival of Navaratri. Visit here during the monsoon season to witness an impeccable sight of the Iruppu falls.
The Raja Seat is a garden that is located in the town of Madikeri in the Coorg district of the state of Karnataka. It houses one of the most beautiful flowering plants and designed fountains. Earlier, the garden was known to be a favourite spot for the Kings of Kodagu to relax and rejuvenate. The kings loved coming to this spot to catch a fulfilling glimpse of the sun setting at the end of the day. They were also known to spend some time in the garden with their respective queens. Even till today the tourists or locals that choose to visit here are left mesmerized by the wide variety of flowers. Nature-lovers should definitely visit here with their family. The perfect way to enjoy this garden is by setting up a mat and enjoying the once royal experience.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR COORG
- One of the most important travel tips for Coorg is to plan your trip according to the best time to visit the city. Although many tourists visit Coorg throughout the year, the best time to visit here is from October to May. The temperature during these months is pleasant as it is neither too hot nor too cold. The average temperature here can shift between sixteen-degree celsius to twenty-six-degree celsius. The temperature during the night is known to drop to ten-degree celsius or even less from November to January. Hence, it is wise to pack some warm clothes for your self.
- If you are planning to drive alone or with your friends and family to Coorg then you need to be extra careful. It is advisable that you carry a medical kit with you. The medical kit should include all the road and medial essentials that you may or may not require. Whether it is water, some food, medicines that you would require or anything else. It will also be necessary that you keep some extra medicines with you in case of anything because at times it is very difficult to get even basic medicines from the roadside in Coorg.
- Another important travel tip for travelling in Coorg is to avoid travelling or driving at night. It is also essentially important to avoid travelling to remote areas in the night. Do not travel to anywhere after the sun has set and the city is entirely dark. This is considered as an extreme safety measure because the roads in this region are generally very narrow, hence, driving at night is known to be a very risky thing. Travelling at night is considered risky not just because of the narrowness of the roads but also because they look extremely similar. Therefore it is considered as an extreme possibility that you might get lost while driving around.
- During the winter season, the outdoors get misty after 3 pm. Therefore, the visibility becomes very low and driving becomes an extremely challenging task. Hence you should be very careful and attentive while driving. This mostly happens with tourists that visit Coorg from outside and are not familiarised with such situations. The one advisable thing that you could opt to do in these situations is to use fog lamps.
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