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digital drifter

A Reluctant Traveller To Ooty

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In a fit of madness and letting down of my guard, I've accidently agreed to take some days off to visit Ooty in August. To my horror, the tickets were booked even before I could say


So, in the interest of sanity and my daily food supply.

1. A place to stay in Coonor or Ooty if it's central for all sight seeing required.

2. Apart from Sims park and the lake, any other places to see.

3. A cab rental (Jenny's?) to move about.

A 2 year old is also in, whose attention span is like the flitting of a butterfly.

Suggestions? Hotel budgets in the range of 400-600Rs, say.

I've been to Ooty before as a teenager, so my impression of the place is, was nice but dead boring.

I suppose it's going to be 3 days (gulp!).

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You're not going to find night clubs in Ooty or Coonoor, and the towns are much like any other hill stations - that is to say, a lot of interesting architecture and colonial history, but little else.

However, if you venture just a few minutes from the centre of town you'll be in the middle of tea plantations, and on the edge of the jungle. A few more minutes and you'll be in an untouched wilderness where you will see an amazing range of flora and fauna.

There are things laid on for tourists, like the boating lake in Ooty (although, if you enjoy boating you would be far better of visiting Pykara Lake which is bigger, cleaner and away from the noise of the town).

For those interested in Bollywood, you can take a Filmy Chakkar to the filming spots and see the locations where the film stars acted their parts.

The Rose Garden and the Botanical Gardens are lovely, but more for my mother than for me!

The Nilgiris are perfect for trekking, photography and to escape the heat of the plains.

Take a trip down the Mysore Road and you'll be in the Mudamulai Wildlife Sanctuary. You can ride elephants in the jungle, see a wide range of wild animals and enjoy the peace and quiet.

For a two-year-old, I suggest a wooden spoon and a cardboard box - both can be easily found in Ooty or Coonoor!

Give me a PM when you arrive, and if I'm there we'll get together for a beer!

For a car, try Royal Price Tours and Travels at Charing Cross, Ooty.


0423 2443462 or 0423 3297989

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So, I did get shanghaied to Ooty.

A little overbuilt but still nice. Nothing interesting for me as such apart from going to a tea factory and watching the operations.

Some bits in random order.

Stayed in Nalapad residency the first day and would suggest give it a miss. slightly out of the town center but walkable. with a kid bawling to be carried, I was getting winded. Rooms were sparse, just 2 notches above prison grade. dodgy wiring, no carpeting and a loud TV. food timings atrocious and choice unmentionable. short staffed too.

Moved to Charing Cross, hotel venus. livable, just about. Apparently double glazed windows or just glazed windows have still not been discovered by hotels here. so you have condensation on the *inside* of the room windows, getting on to the carpet, which then goes damp,fungus, and that dried cow piss smell from each room after mold sets in. hot water available for 2 hours slots, once in the morning 7.30 and evening 8. timings may vary. :-)

if you're in the mood to walk, it's fairly easy to do. not with a kid or a stroller. weekends are crowded, weekdays, it's deserted and you have the town to yourself apart from the townfolk.

Taxi hire is a hit or miss affair to go sight seeing. Ask in 4 different places, 4 wildly varying pricing.

ooty is better for a single person or a pair without toddlers. weather is pretty much English, at least this time of the year. A bit cloudy in the morning, an hour or so of sunshine, then back to cloudy,a light drizzle, a weak sun, and a quick chilly night. If that's up your alley.....

food was reasonably priced. all joints are at about the same price. Room prices were about 700-1500Rs for this time of the year.

Little rain this year, lots of the water bodies were depleted but not scarily so. Took the ooty--coonor toy train. takes about an hour and has some nice views. saw some beautiful houses tucked here and there, with all sorts of English names. A bit quaint but lent an old world charm.

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Actually, that was from a bond movie, where Bond, in a fight gets a man into a bathtub and smashes a electrical applicance over his head and the man dies due to electrocution with the live wire and water et al.

Bond, as he leaves with some conversation, quips "shocking..." or something to that effect over the man dying due to electrocution.

That damned line has stayed with me for a long time and I admire the scriptwriter for that line alone.



it's there as one of the worst bond puns!

me, my taste and big mouth!

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