City : Coonoor
Location : south India
Language : Tamil
Know About Coonoor
Charming, pretty Coonoor is an uncrowded little hill station in the Nilgiris. The green hills of Coonoor are radiant with tea plantations, gardens and flowers.
The whole hill station has an unpolluted, unhurried grace, making it quite the place for a peaceful sojourn. Though the town has traditionally been over shadowed by big brother and popular neighbour Ooty, Coonoor is definitely less commercialised and has a more predictable climate.
The drive to Coonoor is breath-taking and winds around a dozen hairpin bends. The market and commercial heart of the town is in Lower Coonoor and the residences are clustered in Upper Coonoor. Most of the bungalows are old-fashioned with lattice windows, red tiled roofs, manicured lawns and rose bushes. Sim's Park in Upper Coonoor is a beautifully landscaped garden in the middle of a ravine. A profusion of trees, flowers, shrubs and ferns pepper the woods, right down to the lake at the bottom of the ravine.
Coonoor has many panoramic lookout points along the hillside. From Lamb's Rock, a pretty picnic spot 6 km out of Coonoor, there is a breath-taking view of the gaping Burliyar ravine, and the green ghats rising out of the Mettupalayam plains. A little further is Lady Canning's Seat, the lookout point favoured by the viceroy's wife, and Dolphin's Nose, an interesting rocky outcrop. A series of falls - St. Catherine's Falls, Law's Falls and Kateri Falls - gush over cliffs and canyons, carving deep chasms in the rock face. The ruins of Droog fortress is a wonderful summit for bird-watchers and you have a truly spectacular view of the plains all around.
Coonoor is located at 11.35° N 76.82° E. It has an average elevation of 1502 metres (4927 feet).
Coonoor's economy relies on seasonal tourist traffic during the summer months, and on the tea industry year round.
Daily wage laborers plucking Tea at a Tea Garden in Coonoor.The local populace almost entirely depends on the tea trade. The massive private tea plantations that surround the hills produce fresh green tea leaves which are picked, processed and packaged in bulk in local factories, for sale at auction houses in Coonoor, Coimbatore and Cochin.
Sims Park is, without doubt,the star attraction of Coonoor. Spread over 12 hectares, its small enough for a comfortable walk around and large enough to house a thousand varieties of trees, plants and flowers and a small lake.
The hills are among the more scenic spots in Tamil Nadu, and consequently attract enormous amounts of tourists during the hot Indian summer months. The town’s infrastructure often finds itself unable to handle the tourist inflow, and life turns especially chaotic when the local horticultural society holds its annual “Fruit Show” at the peak of the tourist season, hosted at Sim's Park.
There are several scenic areas around Coonoor. Coonoor provides tourists with a panoramic view of Eastern and Western Ghats along with its ravines, valleys, and waterfalls. There are some classical viewpoints close to Coonoor notably Dolphin's Nose, Lamb's Rock and Lady Canning's Seat.
Unfortunately "Development" has overtaken the town and hillsides are disappearing under construction activity. Some of the routes that were once quiet walks amid lush greenery have become walks among human settlements. The hill station has become a town.
Coonoor has some great scenic places to visit. Sim's Park, located in the midst of a ravine, covers an area of 12 hectares and exhibits over 1000 species of plants, trees and flowers. For some of the finest views around visit the Lamb's Rock, 6km away, where you can feast your eyes on the captivating view of the Burliyar ravine and the plains of Mettupalayam. Lady Canning's Seat, a little further ahead, is a point said to have been frequented by the Viceroy's wife. Dolphin's Nose, is a rocky projection in the hill-side from where you can catch more panoramic views of the hills and plains.
There are three spectacular waterfalls cascading down the hill-side: St. Catherine falls, 250 feet high, Law's falls and Kateri falls. You can climb up to the ruins of the Droog fortress and explore the area or even do some excellent bird-watching.
For excursions outside, you could visit the neighbouring hill station of Ooty; a trip on the Ooty- Mettupalayam mountain railway, which goes via Coonoor, is a memorable experience.
It's a great place for some trekking and hiking; you can start from Lamb's Rock and actually trek to all the major sight-seeing spots instead of driving. A visit to a tea-plantation is also an educative and interesting experience.
How To Reach
The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 100 km away. You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi-Kochi via Mumbai and Coimbatore.
Nearest broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam (46 kms). Major broadgauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected with all major cities. Mettupalayam to Ooty, is connected by a Mountain Railway which is 4 hours journey.
Ooty is well connected by good roads. There is a regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari, Tanjavur, Tirupati and Cochin. Buses ply regularly to Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Kotagiri, Coonoor and Doddabeta.