An escape to Coonoor

l Weekend getaway

An escape to Coonoor
A long weekend that would enable us to indulge in a getaway was soon approaching. The three families who would be travelling together were scrutinising the feasible destinations, as one of us proposed Coonoor.

A small town nestled in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu, it’s a nature lover’s paradise. Luxuriant scenic hills, boundless acres of tea estates, pristine lakes, cloudy misty mountaintops, beautiful gardens and chilly weather are just a few of the virtues that Coonoor offers.

How did we go?
We drove from Bengaluru to Coonoor by car, starting at 5 am on a Friday. Breakfast was at Kamat Upachar on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, after which we headed to Masinagudi and then to Ooty. From there, we followed the directions sent to us by our host to reach Shunyata Homestay in Coonoor by lunch time.

What did we do?
The moment we got out of our car, we could feel the tranquility of the place. The view was refreshing — we were surrounded by lush greenery as far and wide as the eyes could behold. We entered the mansion — our home for the weekend. The rustic wooden interiors gave the property a colonial look and there were some interesting curios and artefacts, but the main spot was the patio that rendered a stunning view of the overlooking hills and valleys.

After freshening up, we had a leisurely lunch prepared by the housekeepers. In the evening, we decided to go to Sim’s Park in the vicinity. This park shelters diverse species of plants, shrubs and trees and is developed on natural contours of the regional land. A stroll in the park was rejuvenating. Soon, we headed back to our nest and retired for the day post supper. The sound of the gusty mountain winds punctuated by the chirping of birds was my alarm for the morning!

Rose Garden in Ooty was next on our itinerary and after a sumptuous breakfast, we set out. An almost two-hour vividly picturesque drive took us to Ooty. The garden exhibited innumerable arrays of roses in offbeat shades and sizes.

Later, we headed to the main market for some shopping, where we purchased spices, tea and some tasty homemade chocolates. Lunch was at Adyar Ananda Bhavan after which we headed towards the Pykara Boat House in Pykara village.

The serene lake in the midst of a beautiful hilly terrain offered a wonderful boating experience. On our way back to Coonoor, we stopped by the shooting point (for movies) and the pine forest, both gratifying locations.

Back home, we were treated to ‘masala tea’ and crispy ‘pakodas’. The evening was spent playing games and engaging in other activities. The next morning, nature had turned over a new leaf for us, I suppose. To our delight, the patio had a contrasting tale to tell. The entire landscape was cloaked with a thick blanket of white mist and clouds. For a moment, it felt like I was sailing on top of the clouds. I sat down to watch the mist loitering with the winds and the view was absolutely breathtaking!

Some of us even went out for a walk down the countryside before leaving. Later, we packed our bags and headed towards Bengaluru. After having revived ourselves, we were back to our pavilions loaded with amazing memories.

(The author can be contacted at dear.rajak@gmail.com)

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