Like many destinations that have picturesque photographs taken of them, I had come across awe inspiring pictures of the valleys, tea gardens, toy train of Coonoor.
Finally a few days ago, I got to visit this sleepy hill town and discovered it has a character of its own.
(At a tea plantation in Coonoor)
So what are the things you must do when in Coonoor? I have fortunately been on the heritage train rides in Darjeeling, in Matheran and even from Ooty to Coonoor. But all this was a couple of years ago. When I decided to spend my day, I thought I will skip the train ride, but went to photograph the train next morning and luckily got the ticket. Now let me admit, this train journey of one hour ten minutes became the highlight of my trip as it was fun, picturesque and brought child like glee. Watch out for the heritage train passing through the dark tunnel. It actually comes out through a mini mountain!
If you have been to Munnar in Kerala, Coonoor might be less appealing yet a visit to a friend’s home in a village in a public transport gave me the opportunity to realise that this town has enough treasure worthy scenic spots and it was no where on the regular tourist spot list. As travellers, we have to be open to experiences and exploration and search for the off beaten than what’s shown by others.
There are one or two premium cafes and in case you are near to the location, you can enjoy a cup of tea or indulge in a leisure lunch with postcard perfect views in the backdrop. However the town by itself is largely picturesque, so ensure you go on long walks,
(At Cafe Diem, Coonoor). ( Photograph by Mums and Stories)
There are I believe keep rides offered in open jeeps through the valley, yet I was more than happy zipping in my auto, hired from the hotel. Transport is a concern and it is better if you have your own transport or get an auto from the hotel.
However Coonoor is a destination where you couch up and relax and do all the pending stuff that had piled up. Like reading a book, listening to music in a picturesque location, going for a train ride that is indeed joyous and sipping cups of several tea varieties.
(The heritage train on its way from Coonoor to Ooty)
If travelling with kids, train ride will be fun( do go in for early morning ride from Coonoor to Ooty) to avoid crowds and disappointment of not obtaining your tickets.
(At a tea tasting session at Tranquiltea, Coonoor. Pictures by Mums and Stories).
Take along scrabble, Crossword or play any other board games as the destination with its weather, particularly in the evenings make you unwind and unplug.
Ideal time to visit may be the end of monsoons or winter, though summer wasn’t bad. There are number of touristy spots but I skipped it from my list as there were mounting crowds in each space, thanks to vacations and I wasn’t ready to go for crowded spaces.
However did manage to visit Sims park. There’s visit to tea factory, Lambs rock and other tourist spots for first time travellers.
(Sim’s Park at Coonoor).
I also went for a tea tasting experience and found it to be good, though not exceptional. I also took long walks and had ample amount of ‘me time’
(Reshma Krishnamurthy from Mums and Stories travelled solo for this trip).
(All photographs are subject to copyright).