While just about hamlet in the Blue Mountains vies for the title of 'Queen of the Nilgiris', mist wrapped Coonoor in season, when the emerald green of the tea bushes is sharply offset by blood-red poinsettia, purple morning glory and golden sunflower is truly a regal sight. This really is a charming oor, that used to be home to home to the Coon tribe . The other story is that the mountains get their name from blue flowers 'Kurinji' that bloom once in twelve years.
Coonoor- An incomparable panorama
Once you are in upper Coonoor it is easy to chill out and take trips to the near gawk outs , trek to your heart's content in and around the sholas - the gallery forest of the blue mountains and the endless cups of Nilgiri grown area. Quiet the best thing Coonoor has to offer is the beautiful Sim's Park laid out in deep ravines, with winding foot path, pergolas, gazebos, a lily pond and a dense shola. Its marvelous trees-as many as 1000 species including the Burma teak, the rudraksh, mahogany, birch, Spanish Cherry-were brought from as far as Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile and many other places. An annual Fruit and Vegetable Show is held in Sim's Park. Lamb rock is 8 kms where as as Dolphin's Nose is a huge rock which resembles what else but a dolphin's nose . Ten Kilometer from Coonoor is a popular picnic spot and Catherine Falls, another waterfall atop the nose.
The remains of Droog Fort, once used by Tipu Sultan as an outpost, are 15 kms from Coonoor. Towering 6000 feet above the plains, it offers awesome views but be warned as its not for the faint hearted.
To one side of Coonoor lies the Cantonment of wellington, home to the prestigious Defence Services Staff College. The Wellington Golf Course nearby is hugely popular with film crews who periodically descend to shoot their songs sequences. Just behind this place lies the hidden valley, a great trek route.
Browse the shops
It is well kept secret but Coonoor is where savvy people stock up on exquisite house holds line,handkerchief with petit point embroidery, Irish and Belgian table sets and shadow-worked bed sheets. Up in the Bedford are small unpretentious stores like the Fine Things boutique for a selection of Coimbatore, Magalgiri and other south cotton clothes. Then there are women who sell fruit nectar, mulberry, passions absolutely ambrosials.
- Crack your options loose as get going to Coonoor as it is accessible through road, rail and air. The nearest airport is Coimbatore and from Coonoor station take the mountain train upto the Nilgiris. As far as roads are concerned Coonoor can be reached either from Bangalore via Ooty.
- Coonoor awaits you eagerly, especially, in the months of April to June and again from September to October.
- Tourist Office: Tamil Nadu Tourism, Welnock Road, Ooty, 643001