Nilgiris got its name thanks to the blue mountains that hugs the collection of small towns and villages in the eastern part of Tamilnadu. Flanked by the western ghats, Coonoor is the epitome of serenity and untouched natural beauty. This time for my annual family outing, we decided to do a quiet and peaceful place. Voila, Coonoor was the easiest and cheapest choice for us, as it was just an overnight journey from Chennai. This place is located at the most ideal location and is easily approachable from anywhere as it is en route Ooty which is another holiday destination in South India. Off late I personally think that Ooty has become over crowded and messy and somehow seemed to have lost its charm, Coonoor was a refreshing break and is quite similar to Ooty – exception, trust me it is more beautiful and serene.
We took an overnight train from Chennai to Mettupalayam – if you are traveling from anywhere outside Tamilnadu, personal suggestion would be to take a flight to Coimbatore and then take a train/ cab/ bus to Mettupalayam – its an hour’s drive. From Mettupalayam take the heritage train to Coonoor. Alternatively you can directly drive down to Coonnor, however I do not recommend that you miss out on the journey from Mettupalayam to Coonoor on the heritage train. It is only and oldest/ slowest loco train still functioning in the world and the 20 mile train journey (which takes 4 hrs approx) is an experience. Again to get the tickets for this train is quite a challenge, so plan and pre-book. Twist to the tale here, reserve your ticket but swap your ticket with someone traveling in the general compartment as the general compartment is better and more fun – it is like traveling on a time machine.
We stayed at the Sun Valley Homestay, which is a 5 min drive from the Coonoor railway station. We had a pleasant stay and the service was very good, you can read my review on the stay in TripAdvisor (linked at the bottom of the post). The best part about the stay was that the hotel owns a huge area of tea plantation at the back of their place, where you can go for morning strolls or a 2 hour fun hike – beware the occasional bisons.
My visit to Coonoor was for 3 days. The places to visit in Coonoor are Lan’s rock. Dolphin’s nose, Catherine rock – all three are view points. Suggest that you visit all of them in one day as they are situated on the same stretch. That is exactly what I did on the first day as well, there are lot of amazing spots along the way where you can halt and take some amazing snaps, or if you just want to enjoy the drive, you can relax and do the same as the drive is only 15 kms. More than the view at these points, what I liked most was the drive to these places.
Second day, I would suggest you take a nice long walk in the Coonoor’s own Sim’s park. It is relatively huge park and has a children’s playing area, boating, nursery and a nice forest trail where you can take a short walk. Do check out the glass-house in this park as it is very beautiful and it is nice spot to click pictures. They have different kinds of orchids for display. The park has wonderful collection of tropical flowers.
Third day is relaxation day – just sip hot tea or have a chilled beer and relax in your cottage enjoying the beautiful blue mountains of Coonoor. If you plan on visiting Kodanadu/ Kotagiri or Ooty, you can do that as well either via train or by driving down. You can return the same day as the to and fro drive is approx 50 – 60kms only.
I recommend visiting Coonoor in Aug or September as it is off-season and is zero-crowded, you have entire village to yourself.
There is nothing much to do in this place apart from laze around, you can sit back, relax, sip some good freshly made tea, read or spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Sharing some of my favorite clicks from this trip for you to enjoy!
Pls let me know if you have any questions, happy to help!
Link to my TripAdvisor review of they stay in Sunvalley – TripAdvisor Review – Sunvalley
Pls leave in your comments and thoughts on this post! Hope you have a nice day.