An excursion from Ooty to Coonoor is definitely exciting that takes you through forested regions and majestic hills looming at a distance. En route are several blind turns and hence you need to be extra alert around the corners.
However, a further drive of 18 Kms from Coonoor to Masinagudi is even more memorable with 35 hairpin bends to drive through making for one of the most enjoyable drives. Masinagudi was once an elephant corridor and hence you get to sight a few wild tuskers en route so do have your cameras ready by your side. Apart from this, the route is scenic and hence the drive through Masinagudi is charming indeed.
As you arrive at Coonoor, the city centre will be as crowded as Ooty however towards the lower level, it is quite peaceful. Coonoor is definitely more enchanting as a Hill Station rather than its quintessential English Cottages and Ancient Churches. Considered as the second largest Hill Station in the Nilgiris District followed by Kotagiri after Ooty being the largest of the three sub-districts, Coonoor offers several tourist spots and spectacular view points for tourists to explore.
Situated about 17 to 19 Kms from Ooty, Coonoor is a small but quaint and picturesque Hill Station which is most likely the second most popular tourist destination in the Nilgiris after Ooty. Perched at an altitude of 1,839 meters or 6,100 feet above mean sea level, Coonoor is also well known for its scenic picnic spots and verdant surroundings.
Coonoor is also referred to as the 'Jewel of the Nilgiris', owing to its rolling tea gardens, lush valleys, waterfalls and pictorial views. It is also apt for trekking and hiking activities and mountain biking or cycling.
Coonoor is one of the popular Hill Resort getaways, which is surprisingly not as commercialized when compared to other places in Tamil Nadu, India. Therefore, Coonoor makes for a perfect peaceful and reclusive weekend getaway for many tourists and a honeymoon destination for couples and newlyweds.
The name of Coonoor was derived from its indigenous Coon Tribal community where ‘oor’ means ‘hamlet’ in the Tamil language, hence the name Coonoor. Since, the 19th Century, Coonoor has gained extensive popularity after the British settled in Ooty making it their summer resort destination in South India.
It was the British and European settlers who developed Ooty and its surrounding areas like Coonoor and Kotagiri by constructing massive Bungalows, Clubs, Roadways and the first Railway Link, known today as the Blue Mountain Nilgiris Railway that connects Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri with the major Railhead at Mettupalayam located 47 kms away.
After the British abandoned the Nilgiris, Coonoor was left with colonial aura that still lingers on even today, dotted with small English style clubs, Elegant Colonial Mansions and bungalows including well trimmed lawns and gardens.
Coonoor is also blessed with excellent climate and weather which is a bit warmer but less moist that the climate of Ooty. This small hill station is practically divided into Upper Coonoor and Lower Coonoor sections wherein the small but significant commercial zone is seen only in the lower section while all residential zones are aptly place on the Upper level.
Raliar Dam is situated about 15 kms from Coonoor. It is a Dam and Reservoir placed close to Banthimai Village and acts as an important source of water supply to Coonoor and its small surrounding villages.
A tranquil and a lot greener and enchanting than any Hill Station, Coonoor offers an excellent first impression that is sure to positively assault on your senses with its intense greenery spanning all across the region whichever direction you lay your eyes upon.
Famous Tourist Attractions in Coonoor
Ketti Valley View Point
Ketti Valley View point is situated about 7 Kms between Ooty and Coonoor Road and just before you arrive at Coonoor Hill Station, hence, this is probably the first tourist attraction and view point that you would visit before you travel further to other tourist spots in Coonoor. Considered as the second largest valley in the world, Ketti valley is a very significant site for the Tourism Industry of Coonoor and Ooty as well.
Sim's Park is situated on the Northern portion of the Coonoor Railway Station within a deep crevice perched at a height of 1,768 to 1,798 meters. This Park is an important tourist spot in Coonoor that lures thousands of visitors who visit to catch a glimpse of its distinct Japanese Style Garden and numerous rare plants and trees that is not seen even in the famous Ooty Botanical Gardens.
Wellington is situated between Ooty and Coonoor and at a further 3 kms from the main town of Coonoor. It is a military cantonment which was established way back in 1852. With over 250 years of Service as the headquarters of the Madras Regimental Center, Wellington also serves as the head quarters of the Defense Staff College as well.
The Hidden Valley is an impressive and fascinating place situated about 4 kms from the main town of Coonoor and is frequented by numerous tourists visiting this area to catch the sights of mountains cradled amidst verdant and lush landscapes, a trekking experience worth all of the physical effort indeed.
Law’s Falls is situated at a distance of 7 Kms from Coonoor and placed on the Coonoor – Mettupalayam Road. It is known as one of the most spectacular picnic spots in Coonoor.
Lamb’s Rock / Echo Rock / Suicide Point
Lamb's Rock is situated at a distance of 8 Kms from Coonoor on the way to Dolphin's Nose and perched on a high cliff that can be reached by trekking through a very small forest area and keep walking ahead till you spot this fascinating rock.
Lady Canning’s Seat
Lady Canning’s Seat is situated at a distance of about 8 Kms from Coonoor Central Bus Stand and is possibly considered as the loveliest view point that cradles within the heart of the green and tall woods.
Dolphin’s Nose is situated near Tiger Hill at a distance of 12 Kms from Coonoor and offers fascinating and awe-inspiring panoramic views of the expansive lush verdant landscape that spans below and hence is an important and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Coonoor near Ooty.
The Droog Fort
Droog Fort is situated at a distance of 13 to 17 Kms from Coonoor that is sure to transform you into an Imperial past when Kings and Emperors had once reigned over the Nilgiris way back during the 16th Century. This Fort is a popular tourist attraction in Coonoor owing to its ancient and historical significance.