Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ooty Trip - Part 3 : Botanical Gardens, Dodda Betta, Shooting Medu

We had stayed in Coonoor the night before. So, on May 3 morning, plan was; two of us will go and park the car in Ooty. Then, those two will come back to Coonoor by bus. In case, you are wondering what is it all about, this was our arrangement to make sure that everyone in our group gets to enjoy the travel in Nilgiris Heritage train from Coonoor to Ooty. Shrinidhi and Deviprasad went to Ooty to park the car. Me, Suhas and Atheeth stayed back in Coonoor.Nilgiri Heritage Train, Ooty
Nilgiri Heritage Train, Ooty
Nilgiri Heritage train(also called Nilgiri Toy train) from Mettupalyam arrives at Coonoor at 10 30 am and departs from there at 10 40 am. Tickets for the train are issued only half an hour before the departure. Anticipating the rush for tickets, two of us stood in the queue as there was a restriction that only 4 tickets will be issued per person. There were 2 types of seats - I class and II class, priced at Rs.76 and Rs.3 per person. We had bought tickets for I class, but did not find any drastic differences between the classes - each row of I class seats had 4 seats and II class row had 5 seats. Apart from that, I class seats were little more cushioned than the other.Train Entering a tunnel
Train Entering a tunnel
As the train from Mettupalyam did not arrive on time, Coonoor railway station officials arranged for another small train starting from Coonoor which left at 10 45 am. Journey in the train which passes through tunnels, travels in middle of hills, was a nice experience though I would not term it as great. May be the hype around it created lot of expectations in me. In this journey, we took snaps of the landscapes of Ooty and of course, of the heritage train. I also shot several videos of the train travel, which eventually made me run out of camera batteries. Train travel was just over an hour, thus reaching the Ooty railway station at 11 50 am.Train on bridge
Train on bridge[Photo courtesy : Shrinidhi]
Ooty Lake :We had visited the Ooty lake on Day 1 of the trip in the evening. After hearing from boating co-ordinators that we need to wait for an hour for our turn, we dropped the idea of boating there. When Heritage train was reaching Ooty, we could spot the famous lake. After purchasing some books at Higgin Bothams at Ooty Railway station, we headed towards Ooty Botanical Gardens after picking the four wheeler, we had parked in Ooty.Ooty Lake
Ooty Lake
Ooty Botanical Gardens : As it was a Sunday, entrance of famous Ooty Botanical Gardens was crowded. Ooty botanical gardens was full of trees of various heights, flowers of various colors and people from various backgrounds! Well, this makes an ideal picnic spot for family crowd. My camera batteries dried up after taking few snaps of the place. Now, only Nidhi's camera was operational.Ooty Botanical Gardens
Ooty Botanical Gardens
Dodda Betta : Dodda Betta is 8km from Ooty Botanical gardens. Though the vehicles reach till the peak of the hill, people also prefer to walk to reach Dodda Betta peak. When we went there, we were welcomed by the traffic jam. So, after parking the vehicle some way behind, we climbed the hill. Dodda betta peak also has asphalted roads. View from Dodda Betta, Ooty
View from Dodda Betta
This was a surpise for me as I had always imagined ground at peaks of hills to remain natural. A telescope installed here, enables you to view the distant Coonoor town from here. After Dodda Betta, we are returning back to Bangalore, thinking thats the end of trip and no more places to be visited. But soon after leaving Ooty, we got down at Kamaraj Sagar dam and Shooting Medu. Realizing the difficulties in Kalhatti Ghat road, we had now chosen the Gudalur route to reach Mysore.Another view from Dodda betta, Ooty
Another view from Dodda betta
Kamaraj Sagar Dam : Also known as Sandynallah Reservoir, this apart from being a picnic spot, is also a good place of study for enviromentalists.Kamaraja Sagar, Ooty
Kamaraja Sagar [Photo Courtesy : Shrinidhi]
Shooting Medu : As suggested by its name, numerous Indian films have been shot here. Particularly, this place is ideal for song sequences. Surrounded by forests and mountains, this is a wonderful place. After that, Ford Fiesta was zooming towards Mysore. We realized after few minutes of drive that we had missed Pyakara lake, another shooting spot, seeing its board on our way.Trip gang at Shooting Medu, Ooty
Trip gang at Shooting Medu[Photo by Shrinidhi]
Ooty Specialities :

Masala Tea : When in Ooty, you would notice tea shops almost everywhere. Why not, since it is home to numerous tea factories. Also, one wonders at the variety of tea flavours provided - Masala, Chocolate, Cardamon, Lemon and the list goes on. Well, we prefered Masala tea everywhere we went and the price is also uniform - Rs.5 per cup. So, surely wet your taste buds with variety of tea flavours when you visit Ooty.Shooting Medu, shooting spot in ooty
Shooting Medu [Photo by Shrinidhi]
Ooty Chocolates : We had received numerous requests from friends and relatives to bring Ooty home-made chocolates while leaving Bangalore. In Ooty, we had a difficult time in choosing the flavours! - Milk chocolates, Pista, Fruit and Nut - like tea flavours list goes on, here too. Once somebody in my office had brought Ooty chocolates which did not have any particular shape. But when we looked for them, they were are all in regular shape though not neatly cut - times are fast changing!Vegetation at Shooting Medu, Ooty
Vegetation at Shooting Medu [Photo by Shrinidhi]
Language : Conversing with the locals is never a problem in Ooty. You can talk to them in Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi or English. People are very hospitable, indicating that they are good hosts.

Eucalyptus Oil : Nilgiris are also known for production of Eucalyptus oil. You can find it being sold virtually in every shop in Ooty.

Beautiful images from Ooty had filled our memory, when we were returning to Bangalore. It was around 12 15 am that night, when we reached home.

Thanks nidhi for some of the photos featured here.


Also read,
Ooty Trip Part 1 - Road to Ooty
Ooty Trip Part 2 - Coonoor, Kotagiri, Kodanad Viewpoint


  1. informative account on Ooty .. print out of ur post will be handy for somehow who plan to suggest ooty .. i suggest you to post a summary for all three posts :)

    one more suggestion .. try to make photographs seamless with posts .. .. 3 column template gives less space to the body and hence big photographs don't blend very well with current width.

  2. Thanks Shande.
    Let me see how I can implement your suggestions.

  3. Raveesh, you have undoubtedly taken great pains to create your TULU learning website, but as a resident of Maharashtra trying to read, understand and listen to the TULU words and pronunciations, the Kannada versions given side by side along with the TULU language words and sentences are a HUGE DISTRACTION and CONSTANT IRRITANT to learning the TULU language, defeating the very purpose of your website.

    Please have mercy on people trying to learn TULU, and don't be so cruel as to kill your own website by doing this. You could create a twin website exclusively for learning the KANNADA language, (which I also wish to learn), and place a link to that website in your TULU language learning website and vice versa, instead of killing the interest of persons wanting to learn TULU, by putting both language versions side by side in the same website and doing your best to confuse them.



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