A Weekend 8,651 Feet High – Doddabetta, One Of Southern India’s Tallest Peaks, Ooty

“Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.”

This post is about a day and a half spent in Ooty.

Ooty (Ootacamund, Udagamandalam) is a popular hill station in the Nilgiri Hill Range of southern India. It is located 80 km off Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The economy here is based on tourism and agriculture, along with the manufacture of medicines and photographic film.

Ooty has a lot of places of interest and to see. Unfortunately, I was fighting with time and hence I could not visit many of the places.

So this post is primarily centered around Doddabetta, the tallest peak in southern India. 

Structure:

  1. Journey to Ooty from Bengaluru
  2. Villa stay in Ooty
  3. Journey to Doddabetta
  4. Doddabetta
  5. Sims’ Park
  6. Summing Up

Journey To Ooty From Bengaluru

You can choose to drive down to Ooty or take up any of the plethora of government/private bus services.

Ideally speaking, you should reach Ooty within 7 hours.

bengalurutoooty.jpg

On the way as highlighted in blue above by Google Maps, you would cross the famous Bandipur National Park and also further down, you will cross the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

Notable places en-route: Mandya, Mysuru, Nanjanagudu, Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

mudumalai.jpg
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve – Did Not Visit Though, Unfortunately

Now as soon as you enter the Bandipur Region, you will enter the forest area. You will be engulfed in forests hereon until you reach Ooty. It will be truly picturesque and pristine – as pure as the raindrop that drips slowly off the highest cloud.

board.jpg
When Everything Goes Right
forests.jpg
Forests Cleanse The Atmosphere
road.jpg
Winding Road
greenery.jpg
I Want My Future Weekend Retreat Cottage Built Here – Don’t You Too?
stream.jpg
Even Though The Water Looks Dirty, That Doesn’t Affect The Picture, Does It?
woods.jpg
Whizzing Past The Forests
deer.jpg
Deer In The Background
water.jpg
Wherever Do You Lead?
nilgiris.jpg
Nilgiri Hills In The Background – Reaching Ooty
hillock.jpg
A Hillock En-Route
symmetric.jpg
Looks Symmetric, Doesn’t It?
ooty.jpg
Destination Ooty – Reached

Just under 7 hours, I had reached Ooty.

You will need a sweater or two – it is a chilly place after all.

I got down at the government bus station.

Now, Ooty is huge compared to other hill stations like Kodaikanal and Chikamagalur. So better to chalk out a plan well in advance. My visit was totally impromptu – hence I missed seeing a lot of places.

Villa Stay In Ooty

A cousin of mine had rented a villa among the tea estates for a couple of days. Expensive, yes, but I could not thank him more. It was such a surreal experience.

Picture this… You are the only family in a radius of two kilometres of greenery of tea fields. Yes, it was completely isolated from the rest of Ooty. The Toyota Innova car struggled to reach this place.

villa.jpg
Villa Stay
cottage.jpg
Villa Under Sunshine
fields.jpg
View From The Balcony
entrance.jpg
View From The Entrance
backyard.jpg
Who Wouldn’t Want A Backyard Like This?
wall.jpg
Spot The Precariously Positioned Lunchbox!
car.jpg
The Car Struggled To Get To The Villa – Narrow Path
fireplace.jpg
Much Needed Warmth – Fireplace

 

Journey To Doddabetta

Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 metres (8,650 feet) and is the highest peak in southern India.

After a good dinner and a night’s sleep, we were refreshed the next day.

Agenda was to cover two places since we were ready only by 11am in the forenoon.

A piece of advice – although easier said than done – try waking up by 6am so as to get ready early and maximise the time at your disposal. Easier said than done, truly, because the climate of Ooty just doesn’t let you get off of your bed!

The next set of pictures depict the scenery en-route to Doddabetta and form a story of their own, with the witty captions!

nature.jpg
Off We Go!
Some Uphill Blur Is More Like It
Some Uphill Blur Is More Like It!
buildings.jpg
Human Civilisation – We Never Really Leave Any Stone Unturned, Do We?
cottages.jpg
Cottages, Cottages & Cottages!
splendid.jpg
I Want A Cottage Right There On The Hillock In The Backdrop, Don’t You Too?
ootacamund.jpg
When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left Instead!
valley.jpg
Now, That Is A Valley!
valleys.jpg
Then You Saw Me, Now You Don’t!
overcast.jpg
Overcast – Clouds Closing In As We Move Closer To The Peak
nilgirihills.jpg
Nilgiri Hill Range In The Background
hillside.jpg
Observe The Cottages In The Backdrop – How Wonderfully Situated On The Steep Slope Of The Hill!
clouds.jpg
Rare Sight Of Less Greenery!
picturesque.jpg
How Often Do Hills, Valleys, Tea Fields, Cottages & An Overcast Sky Come In One Picture? Not Very Often!
A Panorama Of The Previous Capture
A Panorama Of The Previous Capture
sunshine.jpg
The Sun And Clouds Played Hide & Seek
beauty.jpg
Green & White – The Only Two Colours In This Capture – Need I Say More?
stormclouds.jpg
Looks Like The Grey Clouds Had A Word Or Two To Say About The Previous Picture
rainclouds.jpg
Even The Sign Board Is Facing Away From The Storm Clouds!
udagamandalam.jpg
Clouds So Huge They Look Like An Avalanche

 

Doddabetta

After an hour’s drive from the centre town of Ooty and an uphill drive among the drizzles, we had reached Doddabetta.

The view from here is simply spectacular.

Picture this. You are at the highest peak in all of southern India. You can proudly feel that you are above all the points in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana.

In fact, it is said, that you can even view some of the towns of different states from certain viewpoints on the peak – and why not?

You are 8,651 feet above sea level – you are 2.3 kilometres above sea level!

As before, I will let the photographs below narrate their own stories.

doddabetta.jpg
Doddabetta Finally! Yes, That’s Right – On Top Of The World – Or At Least, On Top Of A Small Part Of The World
hilltop.jpg
8,500+ Feet Above Sea – You Are One With The Clouds!
cloudy.jpg
Tried Zooming In – Camera Gave Up!
nilgirihills.jpg
The Entire Nilgiri Hill Range Visible
hilltop.jpg
Can’t Get Enough – That, On The Left Has To Be The World’s Highest Play Pen
clouds.jpg
Clouds Creeping In From The Left
cloudyhill.jpg
Clouds Creeping From The Right Too – Clouds, Clouds, Everywhere!
rain.jpg
Clouds Cave In – Yes, It Did Start Raining And It Is Said Rain Water Is The Purest Form Of Water Indeed
beautiful.jpg
Scary, Isn’t It?
panorama.jpg
Panorama 1
panorama.jpg
Panorama 2
doddabettapanorama.jpg
Complete Panorama Of Doddabetta – 8,500+ Feet Above Sea Level

We spent an hour on the peak. There are play pens for children, a viewpoint with a telescope, and a plethora of shops selling hot snacks.

You do get a sense of satisfaction after you reach this place. A sense of innate satisfaction, that yes, you have reached an important landmark in southern India. It is a must-visit.

Sims’ Park

We headed for Sims’ Park post lunch, which is situated near Coonoor.

It is a park with spectacular flora and fauna. Let the pictures below speak a thousand words themselves since by this point, my post has crossed a thousand words per se.

simspark.jpg
Sims’ Park, Ooty
garden.jpg
Best Way To Spend A Relaxed Evening
flora.jpg
Flora Everywhere!
trees.jpg
A Tree House Here Would Be Splendid, No?
gardens.jpg
Gardens, gardens, everywhere!
entry.jpg
This Way To Bliss!
flowers.jpg
Don’t You Feel Like Going Inside This Picture?
dew.jpg
Crystal Clear Dewdrops!
thorns.jpg
Thorn Among The Leaves Or Leaves Among The Thorns?
petals.jpg
Four Petals – Four Dewdrops

 

Miscellaneous

bridge.jpg
An Isolated Bridge – Where Does It Lead? I Want To Find Out Next Time For Sure
movingclouds.jpg
Moving Clouds At Eye Level
movingrainclouds.jpg
Panorama Of Moving Clouds
spiral.jpg
Hypnotising, Isn’t It?
greentea.jpg
Mountain Fresh Green Tea

 

Summing Up

These were the things we were able to cover in 1 and a 1/2 days.

Frankly, it is less than half the time required to cover Ooty and surrounding areas completely. Ooty is huge compared to Kodaikanal – so a 3 day, 3 night stay would be perfect. Google would give you a better answer than me when it comes to more places to visit. But, that said, do not miss out Doddabetta – make it the first thing that you visit when here.

Do not miss the green tea and homemade chocolates – they are the specialty specific to any hill station!

If interested, do have a look at my other travelogues!

FORESTS, ROCKS & RIVER RAFTING – A WEEKEND IN DANDELI & GOKARNA (PART 1)

CAMPFIRE, WATERFALLS & BEACHES – A WEEKEND IN DANDELI & GOKARNA (PART 2)

A WEEKEND IN PARADISE – KODAIKANAL

A DAY BACK IN TIME – WORLD HERITAGE SITE MAHABALIPURAM

Liked what you read?

Leave a comment! 🙂

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: