Ooty – Pyar ki Booti

Ooty – Pyar ki Booti

Remember this phrase from movie “Karz”, aka, “1 haseena thi, 1 deewana tha, kya umar thi, kya zamana tha”. I heard and saw Ooty first time in Karz and noticed 2nd time in movie Maine Pyar Kiya – “Dil deewana, bin sajna ke, maane na”

After visiting Muddumalai National Park, we planned to visit Ooty the next day. Earlier I had plans to stay in Ooty and that too in Mithun Chakroborty’s hotel “Howard Johnson-Monarch”, but I didn’t got the vacancy and ended up in Masinagudi. Anyway, Ooty was 28 KMS from the resort @ Masinagudi and this is a shortcut route to Ooty. Resort manager told us that it will take around 1 hour to reach Ooty and be careful while driving. We started about 10:00 AM in the morning, First 4-5 KMS were fine and then I saw the first sign board with “Careful – Hairpin bend # 1/32”, I was a little bit nervous as this was my first self-drive on mountains in India. There were 32 Hairpin bends, few were really very steep, my Fusion were good on performance. Few patches were bad along with some construction. Outside view was fine but not very spectacular, I am referring to the Himalayan range view while driving to Nainital, Mussorie, Shimla.There was a typical midway place, there was moderate traffic though it was a peek season to visit Ooty. Once all hairpin bends got over, this road merged to the main highway to Ooty. We reached Ooty @ about 11:00 AM and asked for the route to Ooty Lake-BoatHouse, as that was the first To-DO item for us. Ooty lake is the main attraction and you can enjoy pedal boat rides, motor boats or shikara kind of boats.

It was Saturday and peek season for Ooty, as expected, it was crowded. It took long to park the car and waiting at ticket window. Dimpi, Ujjwal, Navya and Aditi spent their time having “Sweet corns”, “Budhia ke baal-bole to Cotton Candy” and kiddie rides. I was looking for a motor boat to hire, so that I can sing song like Rishi Kapoor – Dard-e-dil, dard-e-jigar”, but ended up with a bigger boat. Boat tickets are not much expensive, Rs. 250 for a 8 person boat for 30 minutes, which is enough to circle the lake. Boatwala took us for the ride, it was raining and a little cold, thanks to resort manager who asked to us carry our jackets.

While boating, kids saw a toy train taking a ride around the lake and were excited to ride in that. After the boat ride, we went out and saw horses, and we all took a horse ride, it was a little expensive, but good for fun. Me and my wife took a ride together and I was feeling like “Prithvi Raj Chauhan riding with his wife” bas 1 Talwar (sword) ki kami thi. As soon as we were done by horse ride, it started raining heavily, everybody start looking at me and I knew that what they were asking for, GO-GET-THE-CARRRR!!!

From there, we went for food, restaurant was nice from outside, decor was nice, but vegetarian food was real junk even very dirty place. After lunch, we moved to next attraction on agenda – “Botanical Garden”agenda. Again, it was very crowded, so we dropped idea and plan to some other place, which place, hmmmm, it’s Coonoor, which is just 17 KMS from Ooty, and there suppose to be a 50th Anual Fruits festival in Coonoor Sim’s Park. Drive to Coonoor was nice, it is down the hill drive and on the way to Coimbatore from Ooty. Road was narrow but not too steep. We reached Coonoor in 25 minutes, headed straight to Sim’s park, the place of Fruit festival. It was quite a good festive environment, enough parking space, organized traffic. There were hundreds of variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers. I took few pictures and exhibitors were posing nice in front of their stalls. At one stall, my wife asked for “Litchi”, do you know what price he told, Rs. 1100/- for 1 KG hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. He said, madam, come tomorrow, we will sell it for half the price, silly fellow :)

We walked around the park, it was well maintained, children play area, a small lake, there was a Tamil dance competition was also going on. I saw few photographers with portable printers, idea was to take a digital picture and print it immediately and give it to customer immediately, gone are the days where you pay for picture and wait for picture to reach your home and some time you got cheated as well. We came out from the park, it was 4:30 in the evening, we dropped the idea to visit other places in Coonoor like Dolphin Nose etc. We drove back to Ooty, view was very nice while going back, there are many 5 star hotels/resorts on Ooty-Coonoor road like Taj etc. It took 1 hour to reach Ooty which included a horrible jam.

We then straight away moved to Masinagiudi, when we were about to take the road to Masinagudi from main highway, road was blocked by police barricades. Police man asked us not to go on this road as it is dangerous to drive in evening and night and no body is allowed after 8:00, take the main highway. I said, it’s still 6:00 PM and my resort is just 28 KMs, if I take main highway, it will be 130 KMs and will take 3 hours to reach my resort. Police men said, you are an outsider, go, and talk to “sahab”. Sahab ke paas pahucha, Sahab ko dekha, sahab ne mere ko dekha, license dekha, papers dekha, fir bola, Rs. 50, and please don’t go beyond 1st or 2nd gear till you reach bottom of the hill. I nodded my head, and started back, I knew the road, keeping policewala’s advice, I didn’t went beyond 2nd gear, there were few very steep down hills and roads head speed barkers on it, good for drivers. We reached our resort covering all 32 hairpin bends again in 45 minutes along with a mid way break.

At the end it was good driving experience. Ooty doesn’t have that charm which I was imagining since my childhood, Coonoor was nice and a place to visit again. Resort manager was waiting for us for a bon-fire, we enjoyed the Tamil Antakshari with some other resort residents.


  • nandanjha says:

    Very interesting read Upanshu. I think I am going to write a long comment today. Not for you but for fellow ghumakkars :) so that they know you better.

    In early 2001, March/April kinds, me and Upanshu were representing our office at a corporate computer science Quiz at IMT, Ghaziabad. We were very enthusiastic but thats doesn’t really help a lot in Quiz so after 4-5 technical rounds, our score was in negative. We would press the buzzer, attempt the question and would fail.

    After five rounds, quiz master announced that next 2 or so rounds are on ‘General Awareness’. Probably as the ‘law of averages’ go there were at least 4 questions on bollywood apart from other GK queries. The ones on GK were normal but the ones on Bollywood were really tricky/difficult ones like “Whats the date when Mukta Arts releases its movies and why” and so on. As you would have probably guessed, armed with Upanshu’s terrific knowledge in this area, we were leading after these two rounds.

    Finally we wont the Quiz on a tie-breaker questions, its quite funny since we won a ‘computer science’ quiz out of our non-cs gyan :). The event was sponsored by Essar (yeah thats what Hutch was called then, which is now Vodafone) and both of us got a SIM card. Probably 7 years back, there were not many people who had mobile phones.

    Thats my long comment.

    Now a query to fellow ghumakkars, how many of you really knew about Karz and Ooty connection or ‘Dil Deewaana…’ and Otty connection. I didn’t know for sure and I always thought that I know Karz really well.

    Great post and great fruit pics.

  • upanshu says:

    Thanks Nandan, your comments keep me encouraging for writing more and more. Couple of corrections

    1. It was March 2000, and I think you are still carrying that number, I used that during my marriage and trashed after that.

    2. Question in the quiz was: “What is the date for UN day?”
    Answer: 24th October, and I also mentioned that Subhash Ghai has his B’day on 24th Oct and he launches his movies on 24th Oct :)

  • nandanjha says:

    Yes. That was the question. I first thought that its March 2000 but then it seemed too far to me :) so somehow I thought that probably it was 2001.

    I had that number for a long time before I shifted to Idea (and now Airtel). I gave that number to one of my friends who surrendered it later (without my knowledge, else I would have taken it back) since he was spending most of this time in UK.

    The interesting thing is that the initial no had 08923 as last five digits. My Idea and now my Airtel has same trailing digits, as of now there are 4 such nos within our family which trail in 08923 :). You are right if you are thinking that I am a crazy guy.

  • upanshu says:

    You are not crazy man, I have three numbers in my house ending with “622”

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Scenic Ooty and some reminiscing by old pals.

    May be its really so or the times were different, Ooty always brings me romantic memories as I went there along with a whole bunch of college kids. Carefree as we were – and indeed no traffic blues – we enjoyed it to the hilt.

    Though we didn’t sing ‘Ek haseena thi, ek deewana tha’, in fact it was really ‘kya umar thi, kya zamana tha’.

    Sorry to note that you didn’t find Ooty charming but your post brought all those sweet memories back and I’m going to spend some time recalling those precious moments.

  • Thanks Patrick. I think it is not just Ooty which is getting crowded, same should be for Delhi weekend hill stations like Naninital and Mussorie.

  • manish khamesra says:


    I smiled at your Prithviraj Chauhan type feel. As ever your writing ishtyle make us smile. Interestting comment by Nandan and interesting anecdote too.

    Well, picture of tree tomoto and that of water melon is very nice. Ab tak suna karte they ki Mithunda has his resort in Ooty, now we know the exact location of it.

    Patrick I too has visited Ooty with my parents and my college friends and will like to join you on kya umar thi, kya zamana tha – I hope you don’t mind it becoming a duet :)

  • Thanks Manish, appreciated your comments. It’s actually not Tomato and Watermelon, they are — I don’t know there name, sorry :(

  • manish khamesra says:


    Its not tomato its tree tomoto. For its close-up you can see my post on Munnar. The other one I liked was not of water melon but of Melon (Kharbuja).

  • Sabolholidays hotel is a good hotel in Ooty which doesn’t burn a hole on your pocket. Its view of the OOTY Lake is awesome….

  • Joseph Agent says:


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