Coonoor Holiday Guide
Welcome to Coonoor
The Nilgiri Hills are famous for their sublime hill stations. Notable among them is Coonoor, located at the head of the Hulikal ravine at an altitude of 1,800 m above sea level. It is 19 km from Ooty (also, Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund), another famous hill station of the Nilgiris. Coonoor is famous for its verdant environs and for a variety of wildflowers and birds. Coonoor provides a perfect setting for activities like trekking and hiking. It is also famous for its tea plantations and festivals. During summer, this hill town is over-spilled with holidaymakers. Coonoor is also an ideal locale for filmmakers, both from India and abroad. It formed the backdrop for David Lean's movie A Passage to India (1984) based on E. M. Foster's novel. Bird watching is a popular pastime in Coonoor, as the area boasts of a large variety of species like cormorants, pipits, thrushes, parakeets, skylarks, Nilgiri verditer, etc. Travelers can take a walk through the tea gardens. There are number of trekking and hiking trails around Coonoor. Travelers can enjoy the exhilarating and unique ride on the toy train that connects Coonoor with Mettupalayam and Ooty. The trip provides some breathtaking views of the Nilgiri hills in all its natural glory.
There are several places to see and visit near Coonoor. The Dolphin's Nose Viewpoint, which is 10 kms from Coonoor, is an important place to visit. It not only provides a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri hills but also of the famous Catherine Falls.
The Nilgiri hills have been the home of the Toda tribe for centuries. Coonoor began to develop as a tourist destination in the 19th century when the British made the region a popular hill station. During summers Coonoor enjoys a mild climate while the burning sun scorches the surrounding plains. The British gentleman, who discovered these hills in 1819, returned the following year to build the first bungalow. Attracted by the temperate climate, the British elite lost no time and established their settlements in the hills. With them came tea plantations. The construction of a railway line accelerated the development of this region.
In those days the rail track from Chennai ended at Mettupalayam. From there the journey to the hills had to be undertaken on pony or bullock cart. In August 1891, the Governor of Chennai laid the foundation of the Nilgiri railway. The concourse was ready within three years, after which a new company undertook the project. In 1897, the line reached Coonoor and was officially inaugurated the following year. By 1908, the line was extended up to Ooty. Today the train is a major attraction and Coonoor attracts a large number of tourists round the year.
Route map from Bangalore to Coonoor
Bangalore – Mysore – Nanjangud – Gundlupet – Bandipur – Madumalai - Kalhatty - Ooty - Coonoor
Distance from Coonoor
Bangalore: 299 km.