Weekend in Ooty & Coonoor

Two weekends ago we set off Saturday 5am and headed for Ooty. It was a bumpy ride there since there roads were scattered with pot holes, so we were grateful for the suspension the 4 x 4 taxi had. Our first stop was at the Bandipur National Park. The 300 Rs bus ride was disappointing. We only saw some peacocks, dears and a few elephants running away. Next stop was Ooty, but we detoured and went via Payakara where there was a lake and waterfalls which were both quite pretty.

Payakara Lake
Boating the Payakara Lake

Payakara Waterfalls 
The Payakara Waterfalls

The uphill roads to Ooty offered very scenic views. At certain times we were above the clouds. Our car was so close to the edge it was a bit scary for those sitting on the side.

Roadside break
Taking a break during the
long drive up to Ooty

We went to the ‘Botanical Gardens’ too, it was good but nothing really impressive.

The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens

Ooty is 7,440 feet above sea level, so it was pretty cold in the evening and morning. I completely forgot to bring more than one layer. But it was fine. It got down to about 10 Degree C at the lowest. Our stay overnight was lush: three rooms with a dining room and living room. Each room had a TV and separate bathroom. All for £4.85 each.

Sunday morning we took a scenic train ride to Coonoor.

Train Platform
People waiting on the platform

Enjoying the ride!
Enjoying the ride!

Scenic view while on the train
A scenic view while on the train

After that, we went to a tea factory to see how tea is processed right from picking the leaves to packing the granules. There was a variety of tea on sale too including ‘Masala Tea’, believe it or not! That had a strong scent of ginger to it.

Singara Tea Garden
Singara Tea Garden

We later went to several viewpoints including one called ‘Dolphin’s Nose’. I can’t figure out why it is called that. It had a waterfall running through the middle of it though.

Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint
Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint

Finally we headed back to Mysore. We stopped at the Bandipur National Park again to see if we could ride some elephants. We were in luck, they were available. It was interesting to note the driver push his legs onto the elephant’s ears to direct it. He also used a cane a few times, though I hope it didn’t hurt the animal. Elephants have very tough skin so hopefully not.

Riding Elephants
Riding Elephants