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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

A Trip to Ooty

July 2, 2009

DAY 1

On the 2nd July 2009, we left for Ooty on a Toyota Qualis. We were ecstatic.

 It didn’t take much time to reach Mysore. The night was cool and the traffic was minimum so our car could speed at more that 80 km per hour. As our car crossed Mysore, we got up from our deep slumber seeing the dazzling lights from the Mysore Palace.


 
The night was a spectacular one. None of us could sleep as we meandered through the dense jungle of Bundipur and then entered the State of Tamil Nadu. We had to pay Rs. 500 to the security personnel on duty. We had seen many deers in the jungle whose eyes lit with fire as our cab’s headlight fell on them. Then we also saw some bison. We were afraid deep down the heart of tiger and elephants but luckily we didn’t find them and felt relieved. Though we also felt that it would have been good had we caught the sight of a tiger, because we had seen many signboards depicting tiger on the way. The morning emerged breaking the night of the day as our cab kept taking the hairpin turns. Sanchita already had taken an anti-vomit pill because she could never tolerate journey around the mountains.
As the morning grew brighter, our Qualis took a hiatus when Uttam da urged the driver to stop because the sceneray was too good to resist. We got down from the car and had a nice view of the hill surrounding a calm and serene lake.

 

After a long search we finally got our cottage. It had two big rooms with two large beds. It aslo had a big drawing room with a sofa where one could stretch after a lazy morning tea, with one eye on the newspaper and another on the television. The rent was Rs. 1700 for one day (24hrs).

 This is a glimpse of the hill from our cottage. It was really nice and we were happy to get such good view from our cottage window.


Finally we were on the top of the hill. It was an achievement for us because the way up was slippery and it was pouring down and we had got half drenched. We had to struggle with the umbrellas which threatened to open-up inside out against the strong breeze.

 

The view from the top was breathtaking. It was drizzling in the beginning and the rain started falling heavily. The mist looked spectacular against the varying shades of greenery.

Now we were heading towards pykara waterfalls. The road went downwards and led us to a staircase, which we had to descend. It was drizzling and the scenery looked good. We were wondering what was in store for us as we kept walking down the narrow slippery road.


Pykara Water Fall. The waterfall is not spectacular. It’s a a gentle stream of water running its way through a bed of rocks. It looks like a very ordinary water fall and you won’t find water falling from great heights. However the beautiful green trees with their branches spread out all over will definitely attract one’s attention. We had gone their during the monsoon and it was drizzling so the trees looked even greener.


The gentle sound of the falling water is soothing to the ears. The mud is slippery here and you will see signboards indicating frequent accidents. So caution should be taken while enjoying the beauty of nature. The region is plastic-free.  

So we didn’t have the courage to step on the slippery rocks and enjoyed the view from a distance. Took some lovely snaps and finally started returning.Some of the trees were really beautiful in this place.



The lake in pykara looked really beautiful. By the time we reached there it was 5pm. So we couldn’t do boating.


DAY 2

We slept well in the night. We got up almost at 9 O’ Clock and ordered for tea. The long cold night left a tonsil in my throat and I felt relieved only after gargling for 30 minutes. By the time we left, it was 11 O’ Clock. We headed straight towards the railway station, which was around 3 km from our cottage. We got to know that the ticket counter would open at only half an hour before the toy train would leave (at 12:30 pm). So we went inside the station, which looked rather small. We found that many rooms were available in the station, which could be booked online, and the rates were also cheap. The dormitory looked surprisingly clean. Finally we enterend the attached restaurant (run by irctc) with the station and ordered for idly, vada and dosa. The food was good and we pledged to come there again for dinner. We then went near the ticket counter and stood just before it. The queue got longer with the passage of each minute. Finally we got the much-awaited tickets. And at what cost? Only 3 Rs per ticket, would you believe? The station was gradually filling up as we waited for the toy train to arrive. Finally the train arrived and people started rushing into it, without even allowing the passengers to get down. I ensconsed myself, near the window to ensure I don’t miss even a glimpse of the beauty of the journey, which I had heard so much.

The train left after blowing a long whistle and the view we enjoyed from the window was simply breathtaking.

 

Finally we reached at Coonoor and we headed for the cab which had left us at Ooty Railway Station. The cab headed for the famous Dolphin’s nose.



We were told that the views wouldn’t be clear because of the dense fog and the rain. But we didn’t lose heart and were optimistic that we would certainly get something to see. Plus every season has its own beauty. One can’t find the trees and tea leaves more vibrant and rich in other seasons.

Earlier in the month of November we had gone to Munnar and I felt that Coonoor was no less in beauty either. A difference I found in Munnar and Coonoor was that Munnar was more of tea plantations and Coonoor had a mixture of lovely forest cover and tea estates. Also the tea plants had some trees planted in between, which we came to know as a tree used for making furnitures.


We took the picture above from a point near the dolphin’s nose. Beause it was rainy season and also it was drizlling, there was white mist all over. Only for 1 minute or 2, after a long wait, the clouds used to clear up. The above photo showing a distant rainfall from the window of cloud cover was taken at such a time. A little later, the camera was zoomed a little more and the below photo was taken.

 

The photo shown below has been taken from the Dolphin’s Nose.

 

Here we found many monkeys. These monkeys never threatened any visitor. They were pretty friendly. Some baby monkeys were seen clinging on to their mothers.

 We finally returned from Dolphin’s nose and on the way back we saw some lovely views. We were heading towards lamb rock view.

 

We reached the lamb’s rock view. Some of the photos we captured in the camera were just too good as you can see below. Lamb Rock View-

 

The gang reached the top and posed for a photo.

 

There was more distance to climb. Finally we reached the topmost point. The fog was denser here and we couldn’t find any clear view. Finally we returned from this point. We were feeling a little hungry and found the orchid square restaurant on the way down. The restaurant was good not only because it had good food, but also because we could enjoy a nice view from the restaurant. 

We returned home in the late evening. The Roger Federer and Andy Roddic Wimbledon final match kept us stay awake till almost 11 O’ Clock in the night. We were now only left with Dodabetta, Botanical Garden and the Ooty Lake.

DAY 3

I got up late on the 3rd day as well because I had to write the blog of the 2nd day at night while Sanchita (my wife) slept under two thick blankets. When I woke up, the morning looked the same as the day before. The drizzle was on and the fog had engulfed the whole place. Soon there was a knock on the door and the morning tea arrived. The hot Nilgiri tea refreshed us as we prepared for the last day.

First we headed towards the Botannical Garden. It was almost 11 am. We were treated with some lovely sights of different varities of trees and flowers. Below is the image of Montery Cypress California.

 

A yellow flower with dark spots that resembled a butterfly impressed me.

 

We had to go all around the park with our umbrellas as the drizzle never stopped. The droplets of rain were powdery and seemed more like fog than rain. The rain drops on the flowers enhanced their beauty. Some of the flowers looked as if they were made of white papers while some plants seemed to be made of plastic. We couldn’t understand much the botanical names of the trees.

Dragon Tree (dracaena draco liliaceae; these are generally found in the canary islands)



 
There was also a cottage displaying embroidery works by toda tribe. We purchased a shawl, which cost us around Rs. 750. Then we also purchased homemade chocolates that ooty is so famous for, eucalyptus oil and another herbal oil, which was good for muscular and joint pain at a shop, near the entrance of the garden.

 

From here we went to the Ooty Lake. Booked the tickets from the ticket counter and off we went for boating...

 

The ride on a motorboat (8 seater) was quite pleasant. The fuel used was LPG... the fuel container of the boat is the LPG Cylinder. Unbelievable !!

 After the boat ride, we went to see the theatre show. Each ticket was Rs. 50, and the boat ticket fetched us one free ticket for the theatre show. It’s a 10-minute show, but don’t go by the duration !! Pregnant women and people with heart problems were strictly forbiddent to watch the show. The light, sound and the movements of the chair were synchronized in such a way that it created a real effect of a vehicle moving at a tremendous speed.

Finally we were out of Ooty Lake and were now heading towards the highest peak in South India, The Dodabetta Peak.

 

You can see all the information in the above picture. When we arrived Dodabetta, the rain had increased in intensity. The visibility had come down drastically and we couldn’t even see people 10 metres away. There were som lovely spots from where we could have enjoyed very good views, but the rain played spoilt sport. We had some food and finally returned from Dodabetta with a pledge that we would come here again to see the lovely views from the peak of Dodabetta.

 

Finally the descent from Ooty commenced, as we had already checked out in the morning. We reached home in Bangalore at 1’O clock in the night. We were all very exhausted. It was a memorable tour. Ooty is worth going several more times. We had learnt a lot of things from this experience. I have prepared a small list of Do’s and Don’t that we have learnt from our experience.

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Carry Anti-Vommit tablets and have it before you leave for the journey. Also have adequate antacids, band-aids and other first-aid medicines.
2. Check out for food and lodging in the Udagamandalam station only. One may try to book rooms here in advance using irctc online booking. The rooms and bathrooms are very clean here. The food is also very good and fresh.
3. If lodging is not available in the station try to find a cheaper hotel. Don’t just search on the main road. There are many hotels, so one has to search in various places.
4. The toy train journey from Udagamandalam (Ooty) to Coonoor is a must for every visitor. Don’t miss.
5. Conoor is a must-see place. The Dolphin nose and the Lamb Rock in Conoor are good places to visit.
6.  I couldn’t explore the Avalanche so don’t know how it is.
7.  The pykara fall is not that great a waterfall. The boat ride in pykara lake shouldn’t be missed.
8.  The boat ride in Ooty Lake is not that spectacular. The theatre shown in Ooty Lake is good.
9.  Ooty is very cold so take necessary warm clothes
10.  Ooty in rainy season has its own charm but may be you will miss some of the views due to mist and fog. But hill stations without mist is boring.

 

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Thanks so much for blogging about your Ooty trip! I visited Ooty many years ago and when I left Ooty and came back home, I was feeling "homesick" for Ooty! That's how much I missed the place. So beautiful, peaceful and magnificent.

Thanks for your comment Praveen! Yes ooty is a lovely place to relax, unwind and simply enjoy mother nature at its best ... and especially when it is foggy,slightly drizzling...



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