Its been almost 8 years since we came to Bangalore and we have tried to cover all major tourist attractions in South India. Last year we covered most of the places in Kerala and it was a wonderful experience. India has some really beautiful and scenic tourist places which are worth visiting. If you want to explore some well-preserved forest areas and green spaces, you must travel to South India.
Recently we planned a trip to Ooty and Coonoor from Bangalore. Ooty has always been one of my favourite destinations. It is a great family fun destination and its good to travel with kids. It has been a major tourist destination in South India and there are good hotels, resorts and restaurants for families.
Travel plan – Ooty and Coonoor from Bangalore
Bangalore – Mysore- Bandipur forest area – Ooty- Coonoor- Ooty – Mysore – Bangalore
We started from Bangalore in the evening and reached Mysore around 7 pm. As we planned this trip during Dussehra holidays, we got to see a glimpse of Mysore all decked up for the world famous Dussehra celebrations. We went to the famous Mysore palace and it was a mesmerising experience. The whole city of Mysore was decked up like a beautiful bride. I will share my experience of Mysore Dasara or Dussehra in next post.
Mysore- Bandipur -Ooty
We stayed in Mysore at night and left for Ooty next early morning. We crossed Bandipur forest on the way and it’s a great experience to pass through the forest area. Kids were excited as you get to spot many wild animals on the way. Mysore to Ooty is 127km and It took us 4 hours to reach Ooty from Mysore as we took the way which has fewer hairpin bends. There are two ways to reach Ooty from Mysore and you can choose any one depending on you and your family. As I get motion sick, I preferred to take the Gudalur way. The other one is through Masinagudi which has almost 36 hairpins.
Places to see in Ooty –
Ooty is a small town in Tamil Nadu which is also called Queen of Hills. You can easily cover all the places to see in Ooty on a two-day trip as everything is close by.
- Ooty lake and Boathouse – As our hotel was nearby the lake, our first point of the visit was the boathouse. It si a major tourist attraction in Ooty. The boathouse is just next to the lake. You can enjoy a boat ride with your family and there are motor boats and pedal boats available.
- Botanical garden – This one is our favourite and kids loved it too. It is a well-maintained garden with a lot of greenery and beautiful flowers and trees around. All the nature lovers are surely going to love this place. There a lot of colourful plants and interesting trees and flowers. It is a huge botanical garden, so it might take you 2-3 hours to cover the full area.
- Doddabetta peak – It is the highest peak in South India. It was really cold when we went up there. You can get a good view of the mountains and the city from up there if you go in the morning or afternoon. If you want to see cloud-covered mountains, you can visit the late evening. You can get to see a spectacular view of the mountains from there.
- Rose garden – It is a small garden with many beautiful roses and it is one of the largest rose gardens in India. It has some largest collection and variety of roses in this garden.
- Pine forest – We stopped here while going back as it was on the way and you can visit it while going or coming back from Ooty through Gudalur way. It has a lot of tall pine trees which gives it a scenic view. There were a lot of monkeys in the forest, so be careful with the small kids.
- Pykara lake – This one also we saw on our way back from the OOTY. It is another scenic spot and Pykara waterfall is 20 km from Ooty. There are speedboat rides and tall pine trees around. The view is beautiful from here as it is surrounded by picturesque valleys.
- Other than these places, you can see the tea museum, St. Stephens church, wax world museum and thunder world.
This was our second visit to Ooty and last time we didn’t visit Coonoor. This time we wanted to cover Coonoor too. We went through the famous Nilgiri train, the mini train which runs between Ooty and Coonoor to experience the fun.
Nilgiri mountain railway –
It is one of the most popular toy train rides in India. It runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty via Coonoor and goes through the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu. If you are travelling during rush hours, there are chances you might not even get a ticket. So, its always better to book tickets beforehand. It is a UNESCO certified world heritage site and it is surely an amazing experience especially for kids.
Things to do in Coonoor –
Coonoor is a small town located 20 km from Ooty and it takes roughly an hour to reach here. It is a small hill station with beautiful tea gardens. It is popular for its production of Nilgiri tea.
- Sim park – It is the most popular tourist attraction here. It is a perfect place to see the beauty of nature. We enjoyed the well-maintained park visit with our kids.
- A visit to the tea museum, tea factory and tea gardens – We went to a tea factory and spices garden to explore the real Coonoor. Kids enjoyed the interactive sessions in the tea factory where they explained how tea is manufactured and how pure essential oils are made. It was a fun session for kids.
- Shopping fun – We purchased eucalyptus oil, spices, homemade chocolates and different variety of teas from Coonoor. Our favourite is the chocolate tea. You must get it when you are in Coonoor.
You must stay in one of the home stays situated in the Nilgiri mountains if you want to explore the real beauty of Coonoor. It is a small town but it is full of scenic beauty and you must visit to enjoy the natural beauty, greenery and mountains.
So, this is a summary of our wonderful trip to Ooty and Coonoor from Bangalore. Do share your experiences in the comments below.
See this video on my Youtube channel to experience the fun through the pictures. Please subscribe to my channel for more such videos.