Wednesday, July 12, 2023


Ooty and Kodaikanal are two hill stations on the Western Ghat mountains almost at similar altitudes of some 6000 ft displaced from each other by some three hundred kilometers ;Ooty closer to the city of Mysore though 160km from it and Kodaikanal close to the temple town of Palani in Tamil Nadu-both these towns developed by the English establishment and is similar in many ways with lakes and parks and boating.

Ooty is called Ootacamund and also Udhagamandalam and has a diverse population base of Kannada ,Tamil and Malayalam population ,though formally set up as a hill station by the English there were settlements here of many kinds since time immemorial largely composing of indigenous people who climbed up and down the hills to this 30 square mile plateu engulfed by hills.Coonor is a sister town of Ooty

From Mysore ,on criss-crossing the Bandipur forests two prominent towns emerge, Gudalur and  Naduvattom. Gudalur is some sixty kilometers from Sultanbattery. Naduvattom basically is a malayalam phrase which means "central circle" and considering that Sultanbattery was earlier called Ganapathyvattom it is likely the rulers of Wayanad had some sway over this place much before; including this place called Ooty, which was earlier called Udhagamandalam the word Mandalam translating to Village from Sanskrit.

In present day Ooty temperatures vary from 18 degree celcius to  0 degree celsius with the days being warm and nights become extremely cold due to the altitude and large trees that surround this place giving an air-conditioning effect.

One of the peaks that arise from the Ooty plains upwards is Doddabetta an isolated hill some twenty kilometers or so within Ooty and rising 1500 ft above it making it an even foggy and colder place.

The weather and largely the rain fall makes Ooty an ideal place for growing tea.Pulverised tea leaves creates tea powder which needs to be cleaned and packed to get tea a drink largely sponsored by the chinese and later adopted by the English.

One of the key attractions of Ooty is the botonical garden. It is a misnomer to call this a botonical garden as it is very much a park developed on one of the hill slopes that adorn this town.It must be some ten acres in space with a glass house and could be seen as a combination of Lalbagh and chikkalalbagh seen in  Bangalore.

The town of Coonor is some twenty kilometers on one of the edges of Ooty and houses the staff training college of the Indian defence and also has a park similar to the ones found in Ooty called the Sims park.Down the hill from Coonor on the Deccan plains is the town of Metturpalayam.

From Metturpalayam to reach Kodaikanal is some 300 kilometers driving through the plains of Tamil Nadu covering fringes of cities like Tirupur,Coimbatore ,Dindudal and Palladam .From Palladam cross the road leads again towards the western ghats to the town of Palani which is a temple town on the foot of the Western Ghats. From Palani it is  sixty kilometre climb uphill to Kodaikanal and  this  stretch is  steep and the hills have many other arteries facing places like  Karur and the like and also has exit into  Keralite  territories.

The night temperatures at Kodaikanal could be even colder than that of Ooty and the place has many parks and hill-views and also houses the Kodaikanal club that was built in the late 19th century.When going to Kodaikanal from Bangalore there is no need for touching Palani as the hills can be climbed from the yonder side through Karur ,which can be approached through Salem and Krishnagiri.

No comments:

Post a Comment