Brief
A quiet hill station ,an hour away from Ooty, and reached by a delightful toy-train, Coonoor nestles snuggly in the lap of the famous blue Nilgiri hills. A delightful town with exquisite scenery all round, there is much to see at this idyllic, lesser-known retreat covered by grassy meadows, a profusion of sunflowers, marigolds and rhododendrons, all growing wild. With steep hills and valleys carpeted with tea bushes, interspersed with eucalyptus and silver oak, life moves at a gentle pace in this town of tea estates. Commanding a breathtaking view of the Coimbatore plains, it is a paradise for avid trekkers and naturalists with its vast stretches of undisturbed shoals forests. An essentially small tea garden town, the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year.

History
Coonoor is part of the magnificent Nilgiri range, so called because of the magical blue mist that hangs around the mountains. It was first discovered for the outside world by John Sullivan. In May 1819, Sullivan visited the eastern plateau for three weeks with a noted French naturalist, who was named somewhat pompusly, Jean-Baptiste Louis Claude Theodore Leschenault de la Tour. Despite that name, he was no stranger to the ills that befell white men in the plains of India. But on reaching the hire altitudes near Coonoor, he recovered and got his strength back. Sullivan built the first stone house in Ooty. Between 1820 and 1827, he pleaded with the directors of the East India Company to develop that area in the Nilgiris as a sanatorium for sick European troops in India. When they finally capitulated, they began developing the area and also laid down the first railway lines -- which still exist as The Blue Mountain Railway thus making it easier for the ailing. But long before heat-and-dust-ravaged white men began making the pilgrimage to the hills and health, the Danayakas held the country adjoining the Coimbatore region which included the talukas of Kotagiri and Coonoor. The Toda tribe have lived in these parts since time immemorial. Some of their ancient tribal homes can still be found on the outskirts of the region.

Culture
A Tea and Tourism Festival is held in Coonoor every winter.

Climate & Geogaphical Location
The weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year. Coonoor is situated on the eastern side of the southern extremity of the Doddabetta range, at the elevation of 1,858 mtrs above mean sea level.

How to Reach
Coonoor is well connected by rail, road and air. By air, the nearest airport is Coimbatore and is on the international circuit connecting it to Sharjah. On the domestic front, it is connected to Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and other important cities. By rail, Mettupalayam is the common mainline railhead for Ooty as well as Coonoor. The narrow gauge link from Mettupalayam to Ooty passes via Coonoor. By road, buses coming from Coimbatore pass through Coonoor on their way to Ooty and the visitor can alight en route. There is an alternative route to Coonoor from Mysore.

Tourist Places
Ooty

The Queen of hill stations, Udhagmandalam or Ooty is natures gift, in the picturesque Nilgiris (Blue Mountains). With its rolling green downs for hunting, misty mornings and mild evenings, making it reminiscent of English countryside. The ambient beauty of this hill station, lies in its peaceful ranges, surrounded by a misty blue haze. Known for its salubrious climate and scenic beauty, it is a delightful place to escape  from the oppressive summer heat for the South Indians and in the winters for north Indians wanting to avoid the cold.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lying in the Nilgiris District, it is situated at an elevation of 1000 mtrs. A variety of habitats, ranging from tropical evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, moist teak forest, dry teak forest, secondary grasslands and swamps are found here. The wildlife includes elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, and porcupine etc. The avifauna is varied with minivets, hornbills, fairy blue birds, jungle fowls etc. Python, monitor lizard, and flying lizard etc represent the reptilians. Picturesque scenic spots in the sanctuary include the Moyar Waterfalls, the Chief Ministers watch tower, Ombetta Swamp, Theppakad elephant camp etc.

Dolphins Nose

A little further along the same road to Lambs Rock is Dolphins Nose. The Nose is a unique rock of tremendous proportions, jutting out of the face of the hillside in formation, by which its name is suggested. Commanding an excellent view of the magnificent St. Catherines Falls with their stream continuing several hundreds of feet below, it well pays the exertion of getting there.

Others

 

KATTERY FALLS - About 5 Km from Coonoor on the Kendala road, one can have a wonderful view of the magnificent Kattery Falls. It is one of the highest falls in the Nilgiris to be seen and enjoyed. LADY CANNINGS SEAT - About 3 Km further along the main road is Lady Cannings Seat. Charlotte Canning, wife of Lord Canning - the Viceroy,loved to sit here and paint the wonderful scenery all around. From this point, the Lambs Rock, the Droog and the Lamptons Peak are all to be seen. LAMBS ROCK - A favourite spot for public parties, Lambs Rock is a sheer precipice of jogged rock which drops down several hundred feet to bury away itself in the luxuriant jungle below. It is indeed a spot that a visitor will remember and relish for a long time. LAWS FALLS - Named after Lt. Colonel Law, who traced and mainly constructed the Coonoor Ghat, the Falls are about 5 Km below Coonoor on Mettupalayam road. One of the prettiest spot, it is famous as a place for picnics.  PASTEUR INSTITUTE - Just across the main gate of Sims Park, the Pasteur Institute, is an oblong two-storied structure, with turrets at each corner and presents a solid and rather imposing appearance.  POMOLOGICAL STATION - Close to Sims Park, this garden was established in 1920 with a view to demonstrate and propagate scientific methods of raising nursery plants and of growing fruit-bearing trees.  RALLIA DAM - Located near Banthomai village on the Kotagiri road, Rallia Dam is the source of water supply to Coonoor town. A fine picnic spot, but of late, because of silting, the dams capacity is considerably reduced. SIMS PARK - Inaugurated in 1874, the Park occupies the slopes and base of a small ravine. At the head of the gardens, the well-kept lawns and artistically laid-out ornamental beds, look beautiful and lack no wealth of the flowering plants or shrub.. THE DROOG - Also known as Pakkasuran Kottai because of the dilapidated fort, it was built in the 16 century and is said that Tipu Sultan used it as an outpost. The peak here stands at an elevation of 6,000 feet and directly overlooks the plains.  WELLINGTON - It is a cantonment named in honour of the Iron Duke Wellington, who took an interest in the establishment of this station as a sanitarium.

 

 
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