Ooty is a place where kids go for an excursion, this was the thought I had before coming to Coimbatore four years back. For Coimbatorians Ooty is a place where they go for a morning ride just to have a sip of Tea. Even I did the same when I became a Coimbatorian. I have been to Ooty more than a dozen.
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
― Anita Desai
I think it’s right about me. Queen of hills became a part of my regular life. When I get tired of being normal, the only thing I do is Ride to the Top. When discussing a trip at Coimbatore, it usually ends up in Ooty. Each time I climb up, I get something new. This time also I found something new which will remain for a lifetime.
We started early in the morning from Mannarkad by 7.30 AM, from the starting itself we were excited by the chilling climate and never ending sceneries. The border villages of Palakkad are really gifted. From Mannarkad to Attapadi we passed through Attapadi Reserve Forest, which is an extensive mountain valley in the western ghats, the origin of Bhavani River.
Morning drive through such a haunting jungle was really an unexplainable feeling and when you realize that no human trace on road, make it more adventurous.
Bhavani River flows eastward through the valleys and the road route seems to be constructed following the banks of Bhavani, that made a feel like Bhavani also accompanied us.
When we saw 60Km to Ooty sign board at Mulli by 10.00 AM, We thought we reached very near to Ooty and we could climb up before 11.
We reached the Kerala border sign board. The road ends at Kerala border in Mulli, there is check post where you have to share your vehicle details. After the check post the road is not tarred till Tamilnadu check post. Tamilnadu officers at check post thoroughly checked our vehicle and we paid Rs. 50 to cross the border.
Just after crossing the Tamilnadu border at Mulli we came to realize that the adventure has just started. The road was narrow, sharp bends, Elephant Dungs throughout the way, and terrifying jungle.The cell phones don’t have coverage on the road.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
― Lao Tzu
We had enough time in our hand as we don’t have any preplanning. So we stopped where ever we thought photogenic. We were badly addicted to clicking selfies and portraiting the sceneries.
From the road we started seeing a waterbody on the right side, We don’t have an idea about what it is. As we went nearer we saw Canada Powerhouse and the penstock pipes.
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery — air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Yes, it’s true. A turn near Kundah was our next stop, we sat there for a while. We were getting blended with the breeze and mountains. This is a must see place in Nilgiris. Many tourists don’t visit this place due to lack of basic facilities or the so-called “usual” tourist specific thingie missing here. But I am sure that’s the good part to keep the virginity of this beautiful place as is.
Our next pit stop was Manjoor, we had a tea and paripuvada as we thought we will reach Ooty before lunch time.
After Manjoor, we saw Chamraj Tea Factory and had a green tea. We took a short break as this place have a garden and they have well-maintained toilets too.
Next thought was reach Ooty and have lunch, we were badly hungry. We entered to polluted busy Ooty Town. Ooty have nothing that much exotic when compared to the route we climbed up.
After lunch from Kabab Corner, we thought not to stay in the town and moved in the direction of Masinagudi.
Refreshing views, the horses were grazing on the green meadows, lake boundaries by pine forests. We took a small break in the meadow.
We had some ice apples of palm on the way, you can find roadside shops selling roasted cone, fresh carrots, boiled groundnuts, salted mangos…
Saw a watershed at Naduvattam, took another stop there. It was worth being there for some time. Silence, Mountains, lush greenery and water the best combo for a traveler.
We returned from Naduvattam to Ooty. It reminded me fast and furious game that I played in my school time, we were a bit late. It was dark and dinner time. Found a restaurant named Earl’s Secret on Google. Yeah, it’s really a secret for those who go Ooty. A glass house restaurant and ice cold environment and nobody else there. We had our most wonderful dining at Earl’s Secret.
We returned to home via Kotagiri, as it was night and all of us wanted to sleep as we woke up early, we were rushing to home. The only place we stopped was Mettupalayam view Point in the Kotagiri Route, where you can see the entire Mettupalayam lightened up.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
We reached back safe at home with lot of never ending memories and slept well. 🙂