Stunning sights of Ketti Valley

Stunning sights of Ketti Valley

Lately, whenever there is an opportunity, we escape to Ketti village in the bosom of Ketti Valley on the Ooty–Coonoor highway. We set out early in the morning so that we could have a peaceful drive through Bengaluru roads. By 8 am we reached Lokabiruchi Hotel in Ramanagar. After a sumptuous breakfast, we set out for Ketti.

Driving on good roads is a pleasure and some distance beyond Gundlupet, we got a glimpse of the Nilgiris which never fails to cheer us up. We timed our drive in such a way that we could greet our four-legged friends in Bandipur. The sauntering elephants, gambolling antelopes and jumping monkeys, and strutting peacocks were indeed a beautiful sight.

Driving through the ghat section and seeing the lovely landscape dotted with streams, waterfalls and tall Eucalyptus trees was a very pleasant treat. We reached the marketplace in Ooty around noon, after about eight hours, in time for lunch at Nahar – the best hotel in our experience.

Armed with essential groceries, some addictive fudge, Thiashola tea, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass oils, we marched to our abode in Ketti.

Ketti village is situated in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu and is a revenue village of Coonoor taluk. On the way, we passed through the Lawrence School, Lovedale and Ketti stations, a wayside 'mandir' and finally reached our destination.

The sapphire skies, distant blue mountain ranges, flecks of silver-lined clouds, evergreen Silver Oaks, the surrounding emerald tea plantations, the twittering of endemic thrushes and flycatchers -- these were some of the sights that we saw there.

Ketti is the second largest valley in the world and is known as the 'Switzerland of India'.

If the valley is spectacular in the day, the best was yet to come. As night fell, you couldn't but marvel at the scintillating stars!

Early morning walks in the valley were enjoyable. The hill folk, mainly Badagas, are friendly.
You get to see mothers walking their children to school, eagerly wishing you 'Good morning'.
During one of our visits, we requested a water diviner to come to our house to check whether we could dig a well. She stood in our drawing room holding a forked twig. She walked around and suddenly the twig was deflected downwards by some unseen power indicating a stream. I tried to mimic her and needless to say nothing happened.

She revealed that there was plenty of ground water and now we have a lovely well.

After two days of rejuvenation in the idyllic surroundings, we, like homing pigeons, returned to Bengaluru, to our home and hearth.

And do we miss our Ketti? We carry its panoramic beauty and nurturing serenity in our heart and at the first opportunity we get, we dash off to the place again.

(The author can be reached on jyojyon@gmail.com)

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