The tranquil hill resort of Coonoor, standing at the head of the Hulikal ravine , 27 km north of Mettupalayam and 19 kms south of Ooty, at an altitude of 1,858 metres, on the south eastern side of the Dodabetta mountains is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills. This picturesque retreat is covered by grassy meadows, tea bushes, a profusion of sunflowers, marigolds and rhododendrons, all growing wild. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year.
What to See
Coonoor’s many hillocks and mounds are perfect for trekking. A popular pastime is birdwatching, as an extensive variety of birds can be spotted at the Nilgiris. Apart from the varied species of vultures, eagles and owls, song birds like bulbuls, thrushes, babblers, larks cuckoos, robins and several others are a treat to tone-deaf city ears.
Sim’s Park is a carefully planned and artistically laid park cum botanical garden on the slopes of a ravine with hundreds of rose varieties.A Fruit and Vegetable show is held here in May every year.
Take a breathtaking view of the Coimbatore planes from Lamb’s Rock ( 5.5 km ), a sheer precipice which drops down several hundred metres into the heart of dense jungle.
Dolphin’s Nose (12 Km) has spectacular views onto St. Catherine’s Falls on one side and Coonoor and Kotagiri streams, tributaries of the Bhavani, on the other.
A Tea and Tourism Festival is held in Coonoor every winter.
To visit a Tea or Coffee plantation, contact UPASI (United Planters’ Association of Southern India), “Glenview”, Coonoor.
How to Get There
By Air: The Nearest airport is Coimbatore, which has daily flights to and from Madras, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.
By Rail: From Coimbatore, 3 hrs. Mountain train to Coonoor
By Road: Regular bus services from Coimbatore