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Travel Tales from Nilgiris – Coonor – Part 1

Wouldn’t you want to wakeup to these views day after day?

gardens

Last week we travelled on an impulse to the Nilgiris – mountain ranges at the intersection of three south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Things fell into place on the prior weekend and Wednesday morning found us onboard flight to Coimbatore – the nearest airport. Two hours later we were on a winding road amidst blue-grey tinted mountains, acres of tea gardens and smelling the fresh air laced with the heady eucalyptus.

Tea gardens

Taj Gardens

We reached the Taj resort by afternoon, rested and then in the evening headed to highland tea factory for a tour. We saw how tea is processed, sorted and packaged. The lovely ladies in the factory have to be vary of the tea dust that flies everywhere and wear scarves for protection.

Highland tea factory

Tea factory

Lady at tea factory

Filling tea in bags

It was serene and calm; not very crowded given the rainy and cold climate with the onset of monsoon. A bit like Seattle in Spring. We were not geared for the cold and had a rain jacket to keep warm. Even for Varun we didn’t have any warm clothes on hand. We made a beeline for the stores to buy some corduroys and denim pants for Varun and a couple of jackets.  They were very useful in the trip.

For four days we woke up to chilly mountain air, lightly drizzle, beautiful blooms, lakes and waterfalls and acres upon acres of rolling hills dotted with tea plantations. We took a ride in toy – train to Ooty and spent evenings by a roaring fireplace – a novelty for me in India.

Abundant flora, greenery , chirping birds everywhere and solitude if you skip the tourists hotspots. I don’t remember all these wonderful things about Nilgiris from my childhood visit though I distinctly recall the tall eucalyptus trees and the cabbage sized colorful dahlias.

The place is lovely -in fact perfect destination for early monsoon.  We went to bed early tired from the travel but with excited for the scenery to unfold in days ahead.

Stay tuned for more travel tales.

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