குன்னூர் (Coonoor) – The place less explored

The last time I remember visiting Coonoor was when I was 10 years old (23 yrs back). Had been planning to visit again , but never really happened until last week, thanks to the accomodation provided friend’s uncle.

Getting There
Coonoor is on the hills between Mettupalayam and Ooty. It is approx 70 kms from Coimbatore and takes close to 2 hrs to cover the entire distance.

The route is Coimbatore-Mettupalayam-Coonoor.


If you are travelling from Bangalore or Mysore then the route could be
1) Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlupet-Masinagudi-Ooty-Coonoor. The roads from Masinagudi to Ooty are not that great and would require some skillful and careful driving. This is the shorter route.

2) Bangalore-Hosur-Salem-Erode-Avinashi-Mettupalayam-Coonoor. Look out for the diversion towards mettupalayam from Avinashi. This route saves close to 40 kms. This is a longer route, however, the roads are wide upto Avinashi. From avinashi, its a single lane state highway.

The roads between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam are under widening, so the speed is restricted . The hills begin after Mettupalayam and its a wonderful drive all along to Coonoor, which is a distance of 35 odd kms.
There are 14 hairpin bends between Mettupalayam and Coonoor anoud the journey takes anywhere between an hour to 75 minutes. There are regular buses from Coimbatore to Ooty that pass through Coonoor. The approximate time in a bus would be close to 3 hrs .

Chugging up the hills

One of the interesting way to get to Coonoor “Toy” train. It is called the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. This was built by the Brits in the year 1908. This was declared as World Heritage site in 2005.


The train starts from Mettupalayam and terminates in Ooty. Mettupalayam to Ooty takes a cool 5 hrs for this train. The train ride offers a scenic ride all the way.

Just a few views from the train

This train consists of 4 coaches which includes 1 First Class, 1 Reserved compartment, 1 General coach and 1 compartment which is divided for ladies and the guard of the train. The steam engine is attached at the back of the train and pushes the train forward. The train is powered by steam engine from Mettupalayam to coonoor. At Coonoor , the steam enigne is replaced by bio-diesel engine for the rest of the journey.

The climb from MTP to Coonoor is a steep one and to climb this incline the train uses a specially designed mechanism called the Rack railway. A line of teeth-like structure runs along the length of the line. The steam loco is specially fitted with an equipment to make use of this rack rails. Each compartment has its own braking mechanism in case of emergency.

The train is crowded during the weekends. Its a good idea to book in advance. The tickets for this train can be booked online at www.irctc.co.in. (From MTP to UAM).

Food and Accomodation

Coonoor, though less crowded than Ooty, has a variety of staying options to suit every budget and purpose. If you are a traveller looking to go around and explore the place, there are lot of hotels/dorms where one can dump the bags, freshen up and get going. If you like to spend a relaxing time with family, taking things at your own pace, there are home-stays and cottages available. You could have an entire place for yourself and cook your own food as well.

There are quite a few restaurants in the town. The best place to have a good veg meal is Hotel Sri Lakshmi, which is close to the center of the town.


Things to do
Coonoor, compared to Ooty is less crowded and an ideal place to spend a relaxing time. There are a couple of attractions for sight seeing like SIMS Park, a small botanical garden where one can see a lot of flora and fauna. Lamb’s Rock is one another place from where one can have a view of the plantations.
The best thing one can do here is to visit a tea plantation. Lots of greenery around and also you can get to know the process of tea making , right from the plucking of leaves to packaging for retail use.

Black thunder amusement park: You would come across this water park while coming down from Coonoor towards Metupalayam.
If you want to break free from the hustle-bustle of the city and have a relaxing weekend, Coonoor is one of the places you can look forward to.

8 Comments

  • maheh semwal says:

    Let me take the opportunity to comment first on story.

    First of all it was nice to see you post almost after one year.

    I heard a lot about Coonoor but never never have been there, thanks for taking us there.

    Very useful for the follow Ghumakkar. I like the way you put collage in your post.

    Keep writing.

    • Karthik says:

      Thanks maheh for the comment :-).

      It had been a while since I actively participated here. Feels good to be back here.

  • Nandan says:

    Welcome back Car-thik. Glad to read your stuff after a long time. As expected , a roadie would like all the details -)

    I am hoping that Roopesh (our Rail Ghumakkar Enthusiast) gets to read about the train part, the rack rail and all that.

    I like the title with the native script. Good to see you. Be around.

  • Rajeshwari says:

    Small hill station, tea estates, toy train, not much crowd, good budget hotels….Coonoor sounds so tempting!

  • Sahil Sethi says:

    @ Karthik ,
    I have been to Coonoor ,Oooty and Coimbatore. Thanks for refreshing the memories. I really loved the Tea estates. I remember I had taken hundreds of pics posing in those tempting green tea gardens.

    Sahil

  • Vibha says:

    Welcome back Karthik,

    “Less crowded than Ooty” sounds really tempting. Will soon need to make a trip to Southern India. It has been a while since I last visited it. Things must have changed drastically.

    Keep writing.

    -V

    • Karthik says:

      Thanks Vibha!!

      Let me know when you are planning a trip to Coonoor or Ooty. Can help u with good accomodation :-)

      Cheers
      K

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Seems very interesting place. Very informative post.
    Pls use pics instead of thumbnails.
    :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *