Sim's Park is one of the principal attractions in Coonoor. Named after J. D. Sim who served his office as secretary of the Madras Club in 1874, Sim’s Park is a horticultural reserve. It aims at preserving several rare species of plants and serves as a true delight to those who visit it. Spread over 12 hectares, the park boasts of 1000 odd species of plants. Designed along the lines of Japanese aesthetics, camellia, magnolia and pines are some of the many different plant species that the park preserves.
They thrive in the cool climate of Coonoor and are a sight to behold at any time of the year. The primary attraction of Sim’s Park may very well be the Fruit and Vegetable Show that is held annually, during which a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural produce is put up on display. Sim’s Park is located in upper Coonoor, at an elevation of 1780 metres above the sea level.
Droog Fort, a dilapidated fortress is a popular tourist attraction around Coonoor. It was once used by Tipu Sultan as a military outpost, owing to the pin point view it afforded of the surroundings. The strategic location of the fort made it easier to ward off enemy attack on places of interest. What remains today of the once proud fortress is but a crumbling wall, though the bird’s eye view of the structure remains the same.
You have to trek a bit through the Nonsuch Estate for close to 4 km to get to the Droog Fort. The elevation of the peak is 2000 m above sea level, and you get one of the best views of the plains from this spot. The spot is purportedly a good location for birdwatching as a lot of rare species populate the area, not to mention the scenic trek from Nonsuch estate to the fort.
Dolphin's Nose, as the name suggests, is a peak that resembles the shape of a dolphin’s nose. The view it affords is something mere words cannot elaborate and hence, is a destination travellers should visit while they are at Coonoor. You might have to trek a bit, but the ambience Dolphin’s Nose immerses you in is worth the effort. You can see many important landmarks in the Nilgiris from this point, including Catherine Falls, which is located in Kotagiri and is another hill station in the Nilgiris district.
But, do watch your step while on top of the rock, because on either sides of the rock are deep abysses. The vista offered by the viewpoint are sure to leave a spectator spellbound. Dolphin's Nose viewpoint is located at a distance of about 10-12 kilometres from Coonoor and lies close to Tiger Hill.
Lamb’s Rock is another famous tourist attraction in Coonoor. Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain and looked down at the plains? Have you ever enjoyed the grassy green and red earth, stretching out as far as the eyes can see and felt like a god for a moment? If you haven’t, then Lamb’s Rock is the place to go to to make you feel that way. Located 8 kilometres from Coonoor, Lamb’s Rock offers the visitor a breathtaking view of the Coimbatore plains.
It is a great place to go to for a picnic with the family. It was named after Captain Lamb, who put in concerted efforts to make a path to the spot. Lamb’s Rock is a place found en route Dolphin’s Nose, another spectacular tourist spot, affording a breathtaking view.
Guernsey Tea Factory is one of the principal producers of Nilgiri Tea. Any visit to the Nilgiris is incomplete without tasting its famous tea. Then what would be better than to go to the source and taste the unique blend that can be found nowhere else in the world? The answer would be to go to Guernsey Tea Factory.
One can buy freshly prepared tea powder from this factory as well as drink some tea made at the factory itself. The working hours of the factory extend from 8 am to 6 pm, and it is open to visitors. A tour of the factory is a must, as it offers the tourist a firsthand view on the various aspects of making tea, right from bringing in the raw produce to the final stages of processing.
Guernsey Tea Factory charges a nominal entry fee per person. Pay that, and you practically get to know everything there is to know about making tea.
Katary Falls gathers its fame as the third largest waterfall in the Nilgiris. It is also the site of India’s first hydroelectric power project, otherwise known as the Katary Hydroelectric system. Katary Falls is 180 m in height and is located 10 km from the centre of Coonoor at Kundha road.
The hydroelectric power plant generated 1000 KW of electricity from the mechanical energy of the falling water from the Katary Falls. The hydro electric power station is an attraction on its own and attracts hundreds of visitors.
Katary Falls, along with Law’s Falls, is located quite close to Coonoor. The waterfall is a sight to behold during the rainy season, with water flowing rampantly from the top of the mountain. The height of the location and the scenic beauty of the surroundings make Katary Falls look like a never ending cascade from the sky to the earth.
St. George’s Church was constructed during the days of the British Raj. Designed by Colonel J.T. Boileau, the construction of the church was finished in the year 1826. It is a cantonment church with deep ochre stucco and white inlay work. To approach the interior of the church, one has to pass through a vestibule.
The design of the church takes you back to the days of the Raj. With the vaulted roof held in place by ionic columns and the gothic sculptures that serve as decorations, St. George’s Church is a type of building that is rarely found in India.
The altar of the church demands special mention. It is almost completely made of beautiful white marble with gorgeous inlay work. The very setting of the church amidst trees is one of the reasons for the peaceful aura it exudes. It is located quite close to the town of Coonoor and is easily reachable.