The Nilgiri Hills & Tea Gardens
The Nilgiri Hills & Tea Gardens - 7 days/ 6nights
Silhouetted against the sky the blue mountains, or the Nilgiris, are an evocative sight. Their rolling slopes seem to dance to the rustle of eucalyptus trees that call out from valley to valley in joyous abandon. The towns were established by the British as summer getaways from the stifling heat of the lowlands and remain, suspended in time, reminders of a different era. As many as 18 tribal people make their homes in these mountains, including the distinctive pastoral community of Toda, from whom the British purchased what is Ooty today.
The Nilgiris form the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats: To the west prowl the dense tropical forests of Kerala, enclosing the man protected plantations spices, tea and rubber. To the east the landscape is dryer, harsher, the soil volcanic much as it is the greater part of the Deccan Plateau. This itinerary takes you from Bangalor, capital of the state of Tamil NKarnataka, a bustling metropolis and IT hub of South Asia, to Ootacamund, popularly known as Ooty the ‘Queen of Hill Stations' in South India. A short distance away, surrounded by tea and coffee plantations is Coonoor, another outstandingly scenic town.
The tour has an overall relaxed pace. Hotels used are comfortable mix of modern and heritage, while the journey up the blue mountains on a century-old train is a treat in itself.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 6 nights with breakfast daily, transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car and toy-train ride from Ooty to Coonoor.
Hotels Superior: Reegalis (superior) Mysore, Holday Inn (superior) Ooty, Taj Garden Retreat (standard) Coonoor. Deluxe (upgrade to): Metropole (royal) Mysore, Taj Savoy (standard) Ooty Luxury (upgrade to) : Lalitha Mahal Palace (standard) Mysore.
Day 01 ARRIVAL
Reception and welcome at the Bangalore airport followed by transfer to Mysore
Day 02 Mysore
take in the sights of this jewel of the South - Mysore Palace & Museum, Chamundi Hill and the gigantic stone bull.
Days 03 & 04 Mysore – Ooty
Drive to Ooty and enjoy Ooty's scenic mountain beauty.
Days 05 & 06 Ooty – Coonoor
Take the Toy train to Coonoor and you have 2 days to enjoy this hill station and its sights (including a spice plantation).
Day 07 Coonoor – Bangalore
Back to the “garden City”. Transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham