Every now and then people disappoint me and this time my sibling by choice Octopus did. He always told me he would first dance in my wedding and then allow me to dance in his baarath. But rather unfortunate that neither he got a chance to do it first nor I could do in his wedding. He betrayed me and that is the truth. Truth does hurt and I chose to let go for the heck of his happiness and I so wanted to welcome his gorgeous bride to the family.
Kozhikode is not only popular for IIT, but also for its beach, ghastly humidity and scorching summers. We drove from Bangalore to Kozhikode to get ambushed in the humidity. The minute we reached our hotel we looked like the ones bathed in sea water. No, I do not complain anything else about this place for it is the cleanest city with the most friendly people around. Only and only if it were not to be such a hot place.
Bangalore has been such a beautiful weather place, I no longer feel home when I visit my own home during summers. So the cribbing is very reasonable. But then I’m still going to cherish this visit, for my cousin got married there.
For the first time my heart which usually makes noise saying “Take Me Anywhere” rebelled saying “Idiot stop it, the last tan hasn’t even gone and you are tanning all over again”
Towards the Nilgiris
After the wedding, we made our way to the Nilgiris, Western Ghats (UNESCO declared World Heritage Site). On a summer night when I reached the Nilgiris I could feel the natural AC. The car windows were slid down just feel the nature at its best. It was a road trip, for they don’t trust my new driving skill, my sibling drove all the way round. When I reached Udagamandalam, my braces started dancing in tune to the cold. The shiver ran all over me. Just wondered how the heck a summer night be like this and temperature be like 15 degrees.
Day1: Wellington & Coonoor
Once upon a time, I was very passionate about joining the Indian Armed Forces. Subsequently, I even have written a couple of exams and never qualified in the initial shortlisting for my very tall stature. Without a doubt, the dream just remained a dream. The defence services’ lifestyle was something I was much drawn to in the childhood and even now. This time Wellington is the place I fell in love with.
Wellington is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, approximately 80 kms from Coimbatore and 18 kms from Ooty. Additionally, it is home to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), a premier tri-service training establishment that imparts training to middle-level officers of the three wings of the Indian Armed Forces, friendly foreign countries and various Indian Civil Service departments.
Wellington is also the base for the Madras Regiment, the oldest regiment in the Indian Army. It is connected by road to Coimbatore via Mettupalayam, and to Bangalore via Ooty, Bandipur, and Mysore. Precisely, Wellington lies at an altitude of 1880 meters above mean sea level and is blessed with a mild and salubrious climate throughout the year. For if I ever have to leave my everything, work and town, then Wellington would be the place to settle down in.
The Wellington Barracks is now named as Srinagesh Barracks in memory of the First Indian Colonel of the Madras Regiment Gen. S.M.Srinagesh.
It has the fame of some popular movies shot there. There is a beautiful Hindu temple which also houses the Sikh, Christian, Muslim and Buddhism significance within it. Wellington also has a lake with boat house. This could also be called as a miniature to Ooty Lake, but much more calm and peaceful with less or no people. From Wellington, we drove to Coonoor. On the way to Coonoor are Sims Park(Miniature Botanical Garden), Dolphin’s nose, Lamb’s Rock, Pasteur Museum and beautiful tea gardens. The picturesque hills are breath taking. Dolphin’s nose seems to have got its name from its very appearance. A few kilometers uphill and then u reach. The view is beautiful and so is the en route. The drizzling weather and streams all over are just wonderful.
Train tour between Ooty & Mettupalayam
After breathing fresh air and feeling good at heart, we made our way to Coonoor Railway Station. The train that runs to Ooty from Mettupalayam, and the must thing to do can be gotten into from here. This is the best experience that one can have. On a summer day, amidst the valley, streams, mountains and the sky-touching Nilgiri trees, the train runs slowly. There are 3 tunnels to pass-through. The changing high and the low altitude and the drizzles make it a complete heaven. Close to an hour journey makes it just AMAZING. With the overwhelming experience, I reached Ooty and then the resort. The resort itself is in a beautiful location. The sunrise and sunset from the balcony are no lesser than any therapy.
The most popular Indian Song “Chaiya Chaiya” was shot on the moving toy train here!
Day 2: Ooty
Whoever ever made fun of Ooty only as Honeymooners paradise, nah! You guys just got it totally wrong. There is so much more to go out and explore rather than! It’s a place to be in and around in the Summer. Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri are the three hill stations in the Nilgiris. Nested in the Blue mountains, Ooty stands at over 2200 mts above the sea level and has all the staples of a charming hill. With the cool temperature and the greenery, it has rightfully earned the name “Queen of Hills”. The buildings and bungalows display the colonial heritage of Ooty. The local vendors and residents are very friendly here. Every single person we sorted help from spoke fluent Kannada. What else one needs in a neighboring state? I call them Friendly and helpful.
On the second day, we chose to start our excursion from Botanical Garden. Before which we landed in A2B for a good morning breakfast. So that there are no experiments with food and tummy. When we reached Botanical garden it appeared to be too hot for the place only until the tanning process was done. And the rest of the day was cool with occasional drizzles. The walk around the entire garden takes more than 2 hours, only if you are a kind of person to enjoy the nature and weather. It covers an area of around 55 acres.
The Gardens have around a thousand species, both exotic and indigenous, of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants. In the center of the Gardens lie a fossilized tree trunk estimated to be 20 million years old. The Gardens consist of several lawns with flowering plants, ponds with lilies, beds of flowers and ferns laid out in an Italian style, several plots of flowering plants, a variety of medicinal plants. The present Botanical Gardens are divided into 6 sections namely Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace and Nurseries.
Botanical Garden – Virtual Tour
Boat House – Virtual Tour
The Boat-House at Ooty is one of the popular attractions. The calm and serene place to be. Look around anywhere and find only peace. For the lifestyle that we are leading, this place wouldn’t be less than a heaven. The lake is of a long stretch and is a feast for eyes. Every bit of this is awe-strucking. Do not miss it.
Doddabetta – Virtual Tour
We then headed for lunch and made our way to Doddabetta. It is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 meters (8,650 feet). There is a reserved forest area around the peak. It is 9 km from Ooty, on the Ooty-Kotagiri Road in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is the 4th highest peak in the Southern India. From the Doddabetta, the entire hill-station view is just breathtaking. It surrounds the three state borders of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The 2 Telescopes at the Doddabetta are maintained by the State Tourism and aren’t functional right now. However, the peak is beautiful even with naked eyes. After a bubble-fun trip to Doddabetta, we made our way to the Rose Garden.
Rose Garden – Virtual Tour
Rose Garden is situated in a vast 10 acres of land on the Elk Hill. And the flowers are arranged in five curving terraces. The garden has more than 20,000 varieties of roses of 2,800 cultivars. It is one of the largest collection of roses in India. There is an angel statue in the garden. The names are beyond fun when you walk reading them like Liver Pool Remember, Perfect Moment, Indira, Julie, Leg Glow, Pink Glory, Blush, Earth Song, Gypsy, Dream Come True, Buff Beauty, April Moon, Madam, Living Easy, Adam, Ballerina, Cinderella, Dark Desire, Dortmund(not kidding), and what not! All that I could think of there was – Dil Garden Garden hogaya 🙂
A complete walk over all the 5 terraces takes close to 2 hours, more if the pits stops are more for the photographs. Trust me you won’t regret walking so much, it’s an experience of a lifetime. The Day 2 ended on a happy note.
Day 3: Pykara – Virtual Tour 1, Virtual Tour 2
It is always a pain to leave the place that you liked so much in a rush. I have been in such pain many a time. Precisely this time it was the Nilgiris and not Hubli. Furthermore, Pykara is a very beautiful place. It is both the name of the river and the place. This has been very popular in the olden movies be it Bollywood or the Southern state movies. Additionally, the lush greenery and the scenic spots here are made for movies. Also,there is a beautiful boat-house, a waterfall, movie shooting spot, Pine forest valley, Lake and the Reservoir. Had I missed Pykara, a regret would house for a long time. Undoubtedly every bit of it is enchanting and leaves me content.
The short walk to the waterfall is amazing. Also, there is a battery operated car to and from for the elders. The pines all over made me over-aww! I had no idea there could be such a beautiful place in India, until that moment. All that I do when I go to such places is take deep breaths, for not only it is fresh but also to live the moment.
After Pykara, we made our way to Bengaluru via Madhumalai, Bandipur and Mysore. We were fortunate to meet the friends from the Jungle as it was an evening drive while we reached Bandipur forest area, . They are fearless, for they see humans and vehicles every single day. Also they are beautiful and they make me wonder about God’s wonderful creations.
We reached Bangalore by 10:30 pm.
This life is only as beautiful as we make it. Go places, meet people and cherish it forever. For life is all about nothing but to be happy without any regrets.
Pack your bags and check the wish-lists. Life is not only about paying bills and waking up early and going to work. There is much more to everything that we do, every single day.