If you have romantic walks, serene landscapes enveloped in lush greenery, pleasant weather throughout the year and breath-taking views in your mind, then Coonoor is the place to be. This is the second largest hill-station located in Tamil Nadu, in south India in the Nilgiri Hills and is also the second-most visited after Ooty. The Nilgiri Hills is a range of mountains in the Western Ghats which forms a hotspot of endemic species, unique to the place, great bio-diversity and display of flora and fauna.
Often described as a dream come true for poets, writers and artists, Coonoor with its panoramic views of the Nilgiri Hills, serene atmosphere, friendly locals, manicured hills with green rolling beds and narrow lanes carved in the rich thicket for romantic walks is the perfect destination for nature-lovers and romantics.
Coonoor is a hill-town that has still managed to preserve the architectural relics of its colonial past. This is a hill-station that inspires you to lose yourself in the beauty of nature and feel completely relaxed!
Best Places to Visit in Coonoor
When it comes to things to do in Coonoor, the hill station offers spoilage for its tourists. Coonoor is one of those attractions that offer a plethora of activities to its visitors varying with their tastes. Find here the best places to Visit in Coonoor :
1. Sim’s Park
For the romantics and nature-lovers there are places like the Sim’s Park, which is a botanical garden that reserves and exhibits unique species of flora endemic to that area. They have a great collection of more than 85 different species of roses that are on display in a marvelous rose garden, bursting with colors. Sim’s Park is a unique treasure trove of some of the rarest species on earth. This one-of-a-kind botanical garden in the valley preserves over 1000 species of plants that are scattered all across the vast sprawling green bed which forms the park. If you are in Coonoor then Sim’s Park should definitely top the checklist of sightseeing locations. Situated north of the railway station in Coonoor this park s divided into 8 sections. The section most widely visited is the one with large widening footpaths and sholas for its interesting topography and aesthetics.
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2. Catherine Falls
The house-special Catherine Falls with its dancing double cascade is a sight for the eyes to absorb. There are other great look-out spots that give magnificent panoramic views of the valley like – Lady Cunning’s Seat, Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose, etc. The waterfall is located just 17 Km away from Coonoor town area in Kotagiri, situated amidst thick pine forest this waterfall is a feast for the eyes of any nature lover. One can get the best view of the St. Catherine Falls that starts at an amazing 250 feet, from the Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint. The sight of the falls is further beautified by the addition of cool breezes coming from the Nilgiri Hills as if to bid farewell to the water. The massive fall with a double cascade then pools at the bottom of the fall forming a crystal lake with strong under currents.
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3. Droog Fort
This relic of Coonoor’s colonial past is also known as the Bakasura Malai, which is set at a distance of 15 km from Coonoor town. Situated at an altitude of 6000 feet above sea level the fort offers great panoramic views of the hills and valleys, while still being an amazing sight to behold in itself. It is known that Tipu Sultan has used this fort as his outpost during the 16th century. Today most part of the fort lies in ruins but it is a sight to behold and a great tourist attraction visited by many. The journey to the fort is also an unique experience as one must trek for about 3 km through the Nonesuch tea estates.
Lovers of architecture must visit the Droog fort, which is a specimen of Indian history; the colonial past of the hills still rings with the bells at the Church of St. George. Other notable spots include Rallia Dam, hidden valley, and the Highland tea factory where people can take a close glimpse at tea production and even go on a tea tasting experience.
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4. Hidden Valley
Situated just 4 km away from Coonoor City centre, Hidden Valley is yet another feast for your tourist eyes with its verdant greenery and pleasant weather round the year. Hidden valley is the place to visit for those who love adventure and nature. You can partake in activities like trekking, rock-climbing, mountaineering and more amidst lush scenic beauty. The enchanting scenery looks as if taken from the pages of a fairytale and a trip to Hidden Valley will definitely be a cherished memory for you and your loved ones.
Coonoor has much to offer as for local sightseeing and shopping activities, with quaint cafes and eateries tucked in the peaceful, green streets of the hilly town here and there. Notable mentions include Lamb’s rock, high field tea factory, Laws falls, Nilgiri’s store and much more.
Best Time to Visit Coonoor
Coonoor is known for its pleasantly cool climate favorable for people all round the year. However, being in the tropical land, the summers are scorching hot everywhere else in the country. So, the summer months attract a lot of tourists to Coonoor that jack up the prices of hotels and accommodation along with everything else in the travel industry.
Relatively the winter months remain somewhat empty of tourist crowds and prices of accommodation and everything else are low, due to this being the off season. Monsoon in Coonoor has its own unique beauty with the hills showered by drizzles round the day, the cloudy sun-lit afternoons, freshness in the flora and waterfalls gushing with brimming streams and lakes. The tea plantations take the form of green velvety carpets covering slope to slope. The only price to pay during the monsoons is the high amount of humidity in the air, but the weather otherwise remains pleasantly mild with low tourist action, that keeps the prices low. The best time to visit the beautiful green Nilgiri Hills at Coonoor is from October to March.
How to Reach Coonoor
It is highly recommended that one board the picturesque toy train ride from Ooty to Mettupalayam. There are also direct trains available from Coimbatore which is pretty close to Coonoor. Bus services are also frequent from places Kotagiri and other nearby cities. The gauge lines laid in the town of Coimbatore connects it to most major cities, where people can travel to Coonoor.
The distances of Coonoor from major cities in the south of India are as follows:
- Coimbatore– 70 km
- Ooty– 19 km
- Mysore– 145 km
- Calicut– 176 km
- Kanyakumari– 515 km
- Erode– 132 km
- Tirupati– 515 km
- Trichy – 267 km
- Salem– 155 km
- Cochin– 283 km
- Mettupayalam– 34 km
- Kodaikanal– 238 km
- Delhi– 2479 km
- Mumbai– 1184 km
- Hyderabad– 877 km
- Bangalore– 288 km
- Chennai– 418 km
As for accessibility and accommodation, getting around the town is usually easy by cars and taxis. During winter months most people take to walking around as the best option given the views and the weather. The lower town side of Coonoor offers several budget accommodations, and luxurious star rated hotels and resorts are located in the upper town side of the city. Pre-booking is advisable to get rooms with best views in Coonoor.
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