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Coonoor
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Easy Activity
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Mon – Sun 10:00AM to 5:00PM
1 day. (suggested)
Oct to March
Sep to Jan
Coonoor
Bengaluru|Chennai
Summer: 20°C – 25°C
Winter: 8°C – 17°C

One of the most beautiful and serene hill stations you will come across in the country, Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the wonderful Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats. It is situated at an altitude of 1930 meters and just 19 km from Ooty.


Courtesy: Travel Trance

Coonoor is a delightful location to have a panoramic view of the Nilgiri Hills and the Catherine Falls. Coonoor is a dream come true for writers and poets due to its rich greenery, the manicured hills, the Colonial culture and amazing sceneries, which will leave you relaxed and inspired. While in Coonoor you can completely lose yourself to nature and its eternal beauty.

Coonoor, the second highest hill station in the Nilgiris is home to some of the largest and most mesmerising tea gardens in India. You have probably heard of the tea garden tours in Ooty, but Coonoor has equally fascinating tours if not more. Additionally, they are less crowded since Coonoor is still a relatively unexplored destination.

Tea plantations take up a significant part of the town’s land and provide employment to a large number of people. The terrace plantations that run for acres together is a sight not to be missed. There are also many treks that pass through tea gardens and lead to various waterfalls and viewing points in this area.

Located in the heart of the Nilgiris, Coonoor is also known as the green valley because of the large forested areas that are green throughout the year. This region also receives a lot of rainfall that helps to maintain the abundant plant and animal life of this region. Sim’s park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in this city and is a botanical garden built in Japanese style. Today, it has more than 1,000 species of flowering and non-flowering plants. In May each year, at the peak of the tourist season there is a fruit and vegetable show that is a major attraction.

Flora

Tea plantations are a sight as common as the blue sky, offering a picturesque combination of bright blue and lush, widespread green. Apart from the tea plantations, the famous Sim’s Park has introduced many rare and exotic tree & plant varieties to Coonoor including Eucalyptus, Acacia, Pinus, Cinnamomum, Rudraksha, Araucaria, Quercus, Phoenix, Magnolia, Pine, Turpentine, Tree ferns, and Camellia.

Fauna

A favourite pastime in Coonoor is bird watching which gives a fair idea of a sheer variety of the avian creatures flying around here. Cormorants, Pipits, Thrushes, Parakeets, Skylarks, and Nilgiri

verditer are commonly found here. Gaur ( a relative of the Bison) is endemic to the region of Coonoor and the Nilgiri hills and their population has seen a tremendous increase in recent years. They can be seen grazing in the tea plantations. Wild Elephants are also sighted in nearby areas.

Annual festivals in Coonoor are held to promote the wide variety of tea, fruits and vegetables grown in the area. Coonoor is popular as the younger cousin of Ooty because of its tea gardens and an annual Tea Festival is just the right way to celebrate the lush plantations of this tea garden town. The Tea and Tourism festival is held in January every year and brings in tea connoisseurs from all around the world. A huge variety of teas is kept on display for both tasting and sale. Local dance and music form part of the event which takes place over a span of three days. The arrival of summer is beckoned with the annual Fruit and Vegetable festivals which is a two-day event held in May. The venue is the astonishingly beautiful Sim’s Park which is spread over 30 Acres and houses the rare Rudraksha tree along with a vividly coloured spread of lovely flowers. Exhibitors from various districts in the State make this annual journey to showcase their varied and bountiful produce of fruits and vegetables.

Coonoor is well known for offering a delectable selection of unusual Jams like Peach, Mulberry, and Passion Fruit. You can indulge in the fresh and fruity taste of the jams while in Coonoor and also take some home. You can also experience the taste of unadulterated organic honey which is one of the best offerings of the city in terms of natural products.

The most popular local dish of Coonoor is Rajma and Avare Beans which is absolutely unmissable. The best part is that it is easily available in many local eateries, so finding and relishing it won’t be tough at all.

Other than the local favourites, both North Indian and South Indian cuisine is available in Coonoor. Mughlai food is also available in some eateries.

Hyderabadi Biryani House serves is a tourist favourite for serving delicious tandoor items and biryani at affordable prices. Ababa Cafe is perfect for the quiet, laid-back tourist who wants to sit in a peaceful corner, take in the serene ambience and enjoy some scrumptious desserts and tasty coffee. Cafe Coffee Bean serves quick snacks and fresh fruit juices. For a taste of international cuisine, visit to the Culinarium is a must as it serves European, Mediterranean,  and British cuisine along with some Indian food options and is compared to authentic European restaurants in terms of food and overall ambience. Hotel Sri Lakshmi serves affordable meals and visitors suggest to stick to South Indian options here as the safest bet in terms of taste. Cafe Diem is an excellent option for vegetarians who are looking for options other than South Indian food and don’t mind spending a little extra money as it serves an entire selection of tasty and innovative vegetarian items. For those seeking a taste of the most authentic South Indian cuisine, Rangoli Restaurant in Upper Coonoor is a great option.

Day 1: Arrive in Coonoor by road or rail and take the afternoon to soak in the beautiful vistas of the hill station. After lunch, proceed to Sim’s Park, one of the unique botanical gardens in India. Today, it has over 1,000 species of plants and flowers as well as carefully crafted landscapes. Japanese style architecture dots the garden and if you go in May, you can visit the annual fruit and vegetable exhibition that receives thousands of visitors each year.

Day 2: Leave early in the morning and proceed to Dolphin Nose, a viewing point that offers one of the most beautiful views of the Nilgiris. Proceed to Lamb’s rock from where you can see the expansive tea and coffee estates on the backdrop of the foggy Nilgiris. After Lunch, you can visit one of the many waterfalls around the town.

Day 3: Visit the Rallia Dam, located 10 kilometres away from the city centre. For the trekkers, this is an exciting place because there are many routes that branch out from here. For the wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, the breathtaking vistas and birds, butterflies and flowers will be an experience of a lifetime and for those who want to sit back and relax, you can lounge on one of the rocks at the water’s edge and enjoy the beautiful view of the backwaters, the mountains and forests around you.

Though the temperature in Coonoor is more or less constant throughout the year, the months of November to February see the mercury dropping when the maximum temperature hovers around 17°C, while the lowest stays around 8°C. Out of these, December and January are the coldest months in Coonoor. The forests are a treat to the eyes during this time as the monsoons have just ended and transformed the terrain into a dense green paradise. The atmosphere remains cold but perfect for exploring and enjoying the town and its attractions. One may choose to visit Tea Estate, the markets, the religious and rejuvenating centres. The Wellington Golf Course can be a pleasant experience too in this season. Coonoor is also famous for several trekking expeditions that usually start from the town. These expeditions also attract quite a decent number of visitors every year. If visiting in January, one may want to attend the famous Tea and Tourism Festival to try and purchase the best tea in the region.

Monsoons in Coonoor officially begin in July and last till September. But the town receives intermittent rainfall almost all through the year. This season, however, is perfect for those who wish to escape the torrential downpours in other regions. Here, the rains come in small spells transforming the hill station into an enchanting place. The temperature hovers around 22°C, and the most rainfall is received in September and October. Rain gear is required, without a doubt, but tourists can make the most of their trip even in this season. The skies almost always remain cloudy and the weather foggy, giving it a mystical atmosphere. Shopping might not be as enjoyable as it is in the other seasons, but the other attractions like the Law’s Falls, Dolphin’s Nose, Tea Estate, Ralia Dam etc. are worth a visit.

Summers in Coonoor are mild and pleasant, making it the favourite season for tourists to travel and explore. In spite of being the summer season when the hill station experiences the highest temperature of the year (ranging between 20°C and 25°C), the forests and rivers are still vibrant, and the breeze is ever present. Summer lasts from March to May and also brings light pre-monsoon showers. It often gets cloudy during late May-June before the onset of monsoons, so the humidity is a bit high, but it doesn’t interfere in sightseeing. Coonoor, therefore, is a favourite destination for summer vacations when the entire country is bearing the scorching heat. May, especially, draws visitors to attend the Fruit and Vegetable Festival which is held in the month of May at Sim’s Park every year. Other attractions including Wellington Golf Course, Ketti/ Hidden Valley, Churches, Forts and the Lush Tea Estates can be explored to the fullest during the season.

How to reach Coonoor by flight

Coonoor does not have an airport, and the Coimbatore airport is the closest domestic airport. Flights to Coimbatore from all major cities in India are operated by all airlines, and there are daily flights from Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Bangalore is the closest international airport and connects to all major cities either directly or via Mumbai. From Coimbatore, you can either hire a taxi for a two-hour journey through a breathtaking road to Coonoor or get till Mettupalayam to catch the toy train for Coonoor.

Nearest Airport: Coimbatore Airport (CJB) – 45 kms from Coonoor

Tentative return flight prices to Coimbatore Airport (CJB) from major cities in India.

How to reach Coonoor by road

Road transport is the most convenient and cheapest way to travel to Coonoor from nearby airports and train stations. Because of the hilly terrain, it ‘s hard to lay train tracks, and so all transport has been diverted to roads. There are buses operated by the government and private players to all neighbouring major cities including all five southern state capitals. Taxis and cars for hire are also available from many surrounding destinations.

How to reach Coonoor by train

Coonoor does not have a railway station of its own because of the extreme height and steep terrain. The nearest railway station is Mettupalayam which is 45 kilometres away. Coimbatore junction is more well connected with the rest of India and is about 75 kilometres away. Regular bus and taxi services connect these railheads to Coonoor.

Local transport in Coonoor

Commuting within Coonoor is easy as local transport is widely available.

Local city buses serve as a good option if you want a transport option which lets you explore the entire city without great cost. The only downside is the frequent stops made by the buses along the way. The cost of transport in local buses ranges from INR 100-150 per day, depending on the destinations you visit and trips you take. Rickshaws also ply frequently and you can hire one to get around the town. You may need to do a little bargaining to get a fair deal with the rickshaw pullers and the price will depend upon the destination.

Cab rentals are a slightly higher cost but convenient option to explore the surroundings. Prices start from INR 800 for a one day trip in Non AC cars and go up to INR 2,000 for Maxi Cabs. If you want to rent a cab on per kilometre basis, the tariff starts from INR 15 per km for Non AC cars and goes up to INR 32 for 20 seater coaches. Driver allowances, ranging from INR 200-300 per day, parking charges, and toll fee are extra and payable by the tourist.

Coonoor is a peaceful place and idling around on a bicycle is a wonderful option to take in the beauty and serenity. Cycle rentals are available on an hourly as well as a daily basis and the rent starts from INR 20 per hour.

Bikes and Scooters are available in nearby Ooty which are a fast and economical option to travel around. The average rental starts from INR 500 per day.

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