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Coonoor Tourism And Travel Guide
25° C / 77° F
November to May
2 to 3 Days
Coimbatore International Airport (80 kms)
Coonoor Railway Station (2.4 kms)
Coonoor, the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu in the south of India, is celebrated as a trendy summer resort. The mist capped mountain peaks of the Western Ghats, the tea plantations and the dales of wild flowers makes Coonoor one of the most significant tourist places of the country. Beyond its lush landscapes, Coonoor has heritage monuments and places of worship, forts, barracks, mansions and bungalows that date back to the 19th century when the British reconstructed the wilderness, hereto inhabited only by the tribal Badagas, Irulas and Kurumbas, into a beautiful summer resort, complete with gabled houses, parks and well defined lakes.
The lovely weather, the Nilgiris Toy Train and the iconic view points are some of Coonoor’s own charmers that attract tourism throughout the year. The souvenirs, Coonoor’s special tea and cheese and the Indo English gastronomical fare are further attractions. If you are planning a holiday trip to Coonoor, our travel guide will help you chart a memorable trip.
How to Reach
Though Coonoor has direct access by rail or road, the easiest way to reach the hill station would be by air.
The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport, with connectivity to some major cities in India and international flights to Sri Lanka, Singapore and UAE. From Coimbatore you could either take a train to Mettupalayam and then ride the Toy Train to Coonoor or take a direct bus from Coimbatore to Coonoor.
Coimbatore Railway Station has several train services from most major cities round the country. From Coimbatore you could take a train to Mettupalayam and a connecting NMR (Nilgiris Mountain Rail) train to Coonoor.
Coonoor has state run bus services from most cities in the South of India. You could also drive or ride a bike to Coonoor.
Coonoor has buses, tuk tuks and cabs to get around. But tourists prefer walking up the slopes and on the footpaths meandering through verdant tea plantations.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Coonoor has a nice, salubrious weather throughout the year. But since monsoon months are rather rainy, winter to summer months are considered the most ideal for sightseeing.
Summer months are warm and the peak tourist season, since Coonoor has been long since considered a summer tourist resort. There are several summer festivals you can enjoy while at Coonoor during these months.
Coonoor gets rains from southwest and northeast monsoons. Occasionally the rains might come in heavy and bring landslides and slushy roads along. Monsoon is a lean tourist season.
Winter is the idyllic season for a trip to Coonoor. The slopes of Upper Coonoor look misty and green all over. This is the right time for photography and for bird watching.
Things to Do
Visit the Pomological Station near Sim’s Park, which has hundreds of fruit bearing trees and flocks of beautiful birds that come to feed on the fruits. You might even spot gaurs and sloth bears, making the Pomological Station an ideal place for bird watchers and wildlife photographers.
State Horticultural Farm:
The Farm has exotic varieties of spices and fruits that are endemic to the cold climes of the Nilgiris. You could buy vanilla, nutmeg and cloves and fruits like mangosteen, dureen, carambola, rose apples and grape fruits. The Farm is on the Mettupalayam to Coonoor Ghat Road.
Visit the Toda Mund, a Toda tribal village near Ooty. The people who are cattle herders of the Toda tribes have quaint drum shaped huts with small shapely entrance doorways. There is also a pen for their buffaloes and a tirieri or a temple for the tribe god.
Wellington Gymkhana Club:
Set amidst lush green surroundings, the Gymkhana Club and the Golf course retain their typical British charm of yore. You can get accommodations and members get an absolute perfect holiday getaway playing golf, tennis or billiards. Check out the anthologies of books dating back to 1800s and the Gun Bar collection of old British armaments.
St. George’s Garrison Church:
Built in 1885 by Colonel J.T.Boileau for the British regiments camped in Wellington, the Church, ensconced in ideal sylvan surroundings, is a picture perfect prayer house. St George’s is the biggest church in Nilgiris and is renowned for its architecture and acoustics.
The third largest Waterfalls in Nilgiris, the Katari Falls are the location of the Kateri hydroelectric system. Enclosed in tall peaks and ravines, the cascade is one of Coonoor’s major tourist attractions and a popular trekking site.
Try continental cuisine along with Croissants, crème brulee, bread and tarts at Culinarium, ice creams, pizzas and bread at The Open Kitchen, Indian and Chinese food at Quality Restaurant and more continental fare at La Belle Vie. You might call on Hyderabadi Biryani House for biryanis, Sri Lakshmi for south Indian food and hot cross buns, puffs and honey cakes at teatime in Crown Bakery. There are lots more places where you get a wide range of food. We have given you a short list of places you can check out.
You can visit Pony Industries for colourful knitting needles, The Green Shop for organic stuff, tribal crafts, nuts and chocolates, Indian Bakery for Ooty Varkey and cakes, Nilgiris Supermarket for fresh fruits and veggies, grocery and toilette stuff. The Coonoor Market near the Railway Station doesn’t sell cool funky stuff, but it does no harm to explore the marketplace. There are fresh fruits and veggies, meat, clothes and plastic ware. Vriksh at Bedford has elegantly carved furniture sets and Needlecraft has exquisite linen and upholstery. Most of the shops sell handicrafts and organic stuff made by the tribals of Nilgiris, in a bid to improve the livelihood of indegenous groups.