Perched in the heart of Nilgiris,Ooty is filled with natural gems such as pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, and colorful gardens, which are also the perfect ingredients for having a memorable holiday on a hill station. This was exactly the scene when I visited the town earlier in 1996. Recollecting this prior experience, I decided to take the tour of town once again this summer weekend for adding more but diverse memories to my experience.
A Unique but Challenging Start…
Obviously, the heritage mountain train is a fun way to reach Ooty, as it travels via the old-world colonial charm, natural sceneries, and amidst a cooler ambiance as it goes up. This makes it a paradise for the nature lovers. There is no doubt that this tranquil hill station has managed to retain some of its old-world charm that had render it as a preferred weekend getaway during the summers for the British during their rule. However, this time, I thought to explore this ascend to the hill station through biking, and not by the train, thus transforming the typical experience into an atypical one.
A challenging biking trip to Ooty from Kalhatti Ghats certainly is not the task of a faint heart. I began my ride through the Bandipur and Mudhumalai forests but without confronting the wild animals for safety purpose. After having breakfast at Mudhumalai, the real climb started towards the Kalhatti Ghats, which took the rest of the day with a lunch break in between at a small hotel upwards. Just ensure that you take enough breaks and fresh juices while climbing for being energized until the rest of your ascend. Once in Ooty, the cool weather certainly provides you all the cooling to your body and mind!
Then, I just passed through the market before reaching my heritage but budget homestay in Ooty named Glyngarth Villa. However, I was actually shocked to see how filthy the town had become these days as compared to my earlier visit. This actually made me to decide to go for adventures in the green because I was looking for a serene but some exciting memories to take home.
Adventures in Doddabetta and Theme Park
As per the guidance of my homestay staff, I chose to trek the famous peak Doddabetta nestled at 10 km from the main town. Although a pony ride is also an option, the joy of reaching to its highest point in South India by trekking is a more exciting experience. The easiest way to reach the starting point at foothill is to go towards the southeast of Ooty. Although there are many tall peaks, Doddabetta is identified as the highest one capped by a flattish pinnacle.
The trek is easy and safe and that the highest peak point is the home to a reserve forest housing many flora and fauna species such as Langur, Tahr, and macaque. On a clear day that I was lucky to have, I could spot the Chamundi Hills along with the distant cities of Coimbatore and Mysore.
The Shola grassland and rhododendron trees that are short in length adorn the slopes but while trekking, I also passed through coarse grass and flowering shrubs at some points. On the hilltop, a telescope house offers better views of the entire panorama, which is not worth missing. Although the heavy rainfall keeps the temperatures low throughout the year, the best time to trek Doddabetta is summer for enjoying some never-seen-before views at a mighty pinnacle.
The other day morning, I left for Asia’s #1 theme park nestled at 60 km, the Black Thunder offering a perfect opportunity to experience an adrenaline rush amidst water rides.
Well, that marked the terrific end of my weekend trip that started from Friday and ended on Sunday!