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Scaling the unscaled heights.... Walking In The Blue Mountains

The Nilgiris, also known as the Blue Mountain ranges, constitute India's oldest mountain ranges and are located at junction of the western and the Eastern Ghats, 2,500-2,600 mts. above sea level. We all have heard and seen once about these mountain ranges but trekking these routes are just not a familiar version of Nilgiris- the blue mountains. Considered to be beginner's square one, the Nilgiri mountains are most breathtaking mountains for trekking. The Nilgiris stretch from western and eastern ghats and what pleases the tourists most is their year round accessibility.

Fave trekking spaces
The three hugely popular hill stations, Ooty, Kotagiri, and Coonoor, created by the British, offer ideal bases for interesting treks into the mountains where dense Shola forests blend perfectly with the tea estates, orange groves, coffee plantations, rolling meadows, bubbling brooks, tumbling waterfalls and crystal clear lakes. There are many more things to be discovered in the mountains like tribes of Todas, Kurumbhas and Irulas. Nilgiris are also known to be 'Scotland Of East' with bungalows and rest houses on one side and thousands of schools on other side that also boast of golf course and Officers Training on another side.

Beginning Details
The excursions at Nilgiri is one unforgettable tracks. Connected throughout by winding mountain ways, trekking here manifests plethora of surprises at once. Getting at the Ooty Red Hills, Porthimund takes a lot of gun powder to reach to the hill top.

Ooty-Porthimund
The town of Ooty is bisected by the state highways. So to begin the trek you need to head towards the highway and follow it westwards. After 3 kms, look for a sign on the left that says Parson's Peak. Turn onto the dirt track winding upwards and west. Soon you will be trekking to the upper reaches of the Nilgiris meadows. After 8 kms, you will be on top of Parson's Peak. The mountain slopes gently towards the west if you avoid a long walk take a bus from Ooty to the base. From the peak you will be able to spot a tiny hamlet of Porthimund, with its red tiled house nestling in the mountains. From Porthimund head towards the Mukurthi Lake and dam. The walk takes you through eucalyptus plantations, coffee estates and few small hamlets. It is superb experience walking through this area and breathing the crisp mountain air. If you wish you can camp here too.

Ooty Red Hill Trek
Pack Provisions, tents and waters and head south west from Ooty and head south-west from Ooty on the narrow Muthorai Road, and walk over the meadows and hill hocks parallel to the roads towards Red Hill. After 8 km, you will pass the villages of Muthorai and Pallada, and a little later, Ithalar. From here you will have have to trek across wide meadows keeping south till you reach the town of Emerald with its lovely lakes. Heading towards south you come across the Avalanche Village and surrounded by forests and silver oak.

Hiking around Kotagiri
Kotagiri is located at a height of 1,982m plus, is the heart of the tea growing area, east of Ooty. From Kotagiri head north-east of the town on the vast stretches of meadows parallel to the road to reach Kodanad, 20 kms away. The place offers picture post cards view of tea estates and the Moyar river winding its way in the depth of the valley. Next you move to Kotagiri just three kilometers from here is the beautiful 20 hectare Long wood Shola Forest, a lush tract that will definitely please nature lovers.

Hats off to Invader..
I was also pleased by the calls of mountains and thus decided to get down my wish to reality and thus it was happening this time. My trekking expedition gave me a chance to use my Bolero Invader with loads of attitude and powder. In fact the rough terrains is what the wheels are made for. With the altitude everything changed, the weather, the colours and the sky also. But the invader remained same on the mountains of Nilgiri. You can't imagine the scenario without Invader as its powerful engine made the steep roads like they were any other road and is easy to manoeveur on the treacherous mountain roads.

Writer's Account
Lucy
Lucy is a vacation consultant and tour impresario with our company. A typical Taurean, she madly loves travelling, and India is her favourite destination. She discloses her admiration for Indian women and their dressing besides her love for spending evenings on sea shores. Intensely infatuated by Goan wedding she jots a humorous account of being a witness to one of the marriages in Goa. Read more about a surprising account of Nilgiri trekking in 'A lill' bit of Goa on my mind' by her.
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