On our Return from Masinagudi trip, we decided for a quick a 2 day visit to Ooty since it is located at just about 1.5 hr ride from Masinagudi. Also, this was our stop over before we headed to Coimbatore and headed back home. The main idea was to take the Toy train and the best way was to take it downhill from Ooty to Mettupalyam.
Though very popular, we have never been to Ooty once and hence decided to take it off from our list. Ooty, located at an altitude of round 7000ft. Ooty is easily reachable from Coimbatore at just around 90 km from the city.
Given that we have given only 2 days for Ooty, we did not want to overdo the sightseeing part, especially given the continuous drizzles throughout the stay.
A Bit spoilt, but retaining its charm:
As we approached Ooty, the signs of commercialization did show up, but beneath this bout of commercialization, Ooty does retain its charm. The rapid development of this place still is not enough to dominate the majestic Nilgiris. The monsoon season and the continuous rains ensured that the tourist flow was minimal when we visited this place.
The advantage of the off season visit is that we can be choosy about our stay. We stayed in a resort called Lymond house. It turned out, that this place is actually quite a popular resort known for numerous movie shootings happening.
When it comes to resort stays, this was another lucky time for us where since there were no other guests in the resort (Ooty is heavily crowded during summers and winters, not much during monsoons), the entire resort was for us)
The wooden rooms fitted with fire place in the corner, a nice luxurious wooden Bed with a warm and cosy lighting making us lazy enough for us to just stay indoors. The chill breeze and the torrential rains didn’t help to beat the lethargy.
In the lines of Kodai Lake, we went for boating trip at the Ooty Lake. Due to the heavy tourist flow and commercialization, Ooty Lake seems a bit dull and jaded with the water being not so pure. The only respite being it is a bit far away from the centre of the town. However, the boat trip around the lake is a relaxing one. The smooth rocking movement of the boat with stunning views of the forest and the wind kissing us makes it a comfortable ride.
Boating in the lake did give us enough energy to checkout few places in the town. We headed towards the rose garden followed by a ride to the famous glenmorgan tea estates which offers beautiful visuals.
When we got tired of walking, we took an auto rickshaw and headed wherever we feel like. The city map is handy during such ad hoc visits. The auto rickshaws are very costly, mostly a trend we observed across Ooty. They seem to have standard, but very high cost for even a 2-3 KM ride.
Walking around the town
“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” – Steven Wright.
Although the main town of Ooty is now heavily commercialized, if you move slightly away from the main town, that’s where the old charm returns.
We headed for some peaceful places slightly away from the town where we got to see the Ooty in its full flourish. The heavy wind conditions with occasional showers have made the conditions very chilly.
Toy Train – Joy ride to end the trip
The trip to Ooty is never complete without taking the Toy train (more on it in a separate blog later). Being one of the oldest mountain raliways, Nilgiri railways can be enjoyed by toy train ride. Other than English, mountain railways in another thing we are happy about British’s contribution to India. We took the toy train while heading back to Coimbatore.
The 4 hour ride to the bottom of the Ooty hills slowly takes us back from the top of the Nilgiris to the foot hills. Passing through the small and beautiful stations in between, we gobbled up some scrumptious snacks available at the stations in between; The nilgiris hangover remained even after we headed home for many months.