Kotagiri, is the hilly retreat which is one amongst the three major hill stations located in the Nilgiris. The place is located approximately at a distance of 29 km from Ooty and 19 km from Coonoor. Ooty is one of the most well-known, over-crowded hill stations with pretty much nothing to see or do, apart from the botanical garden, the lake and the toy train ride which simply get boring after sometime.
Well if you agree, then you might want to have a look at Kotagiri, which is much more peaceful, quieter and more beautiful than Ooty. Tucked away in a corner of the Nilgiris, the place is located at the heart of the blue hills wrapped in shola forests.
The place gets its name from the Kota tribes and in translation means the "Mountain of Kotas", which is housed amongst the tea estates and is surrounded by the never-ending mountain ranges which forms a fine example of paradise with its endless beauty.
The First Choice Of The British
PC: Hari Prasad Sridhar
It holds the distinction of being the first location in the Nilgiris which was to be discovered and converted into a settlement by the British Government and was also the first choice of several officials of the Madras Government to use it as a summer retreat. One can witness the colonial influence in the town, while walking through the streets, in its buildings and churches.
The climate of the place makes it all the more attractive, along with the drive from Ooty to Kotagiri, which is extremely scenic and mostly covered with tea plantations on both the sides, wrapped in mist which gives out a magical feeling. The surrounding forests are well known for their herbivores and if you are lucky, you could stop the Indian bison walking through the tea plantation right next to you.
Places To Visit
1. Catherine Falls
Cascading at a height of 250 ft, the falls gets its name from a British coffee planter's wife Catherine. The falls comes down to further join the Kallar river and is fondly called Geddhehaada Halla which in translation means "foothills of the Dale river". This beauty is located at a distance of 8 km from Kotagiri on the Mettupalayam Road.
PC: Michael varun
2. Longwood Shola Reserve Forest
Spread across an area of 116 hectares, the place showcases a dense, thick cover of evergreen forests and is home to a number of animals such as the flying fox, Indian bison and many more. The reserve forest is the only remaining natural shola forest of the region.
3. Elk Falls
Located at a distance of 7 km away from Kotagiri is the Elk Falls which is truly a sight of true splendour and bliss. The falls is an ideal gateway for who would like to experience lush greenery and cascading waterfalls at one stop, although it can be visited anytime during the year, the best time to visit the place is during the monsoon when the waterfall transforms itself into a cascading beauty.
4. Kodanad View Point
PC: Hari Prasad Sridhar
At an altitude of about 1793 m above sea level, the region is blessed with a large number of wide open viewpoints. The Kodanad View Point is one such well-known place which captures the attention of all its visitors with its beautiful sceneries of the Nilgiri ranges along with the Catherine Falls, Rangaswamy Peak and the Dolphin's Nose.
5. Rangaswamy Hill
PC: Buvanesh Subramani
The hillock is the abode of the Lord Rangaswamy and hence, is considered to be a sacred hill which stands tall at a height of 1785 m above sea level and 20 km away from Kotagiri. The hill is considered as a holy place for the members of the Irula tribes and attracts quite a number of tourists.
How To Reach
PC: Thangaraj Kumaravel
By Air: The nearest airport is the Coimbatore Airport which is well connected to major airports across the country and to a number of them outside the country. The airport is located at a distance of 47 km from here and one could find quite a number of taxis which would take you to the hilly town.
By Train: The nearest major railway station is Mettupalayam which is located at a distance of 33 km from here. The station has trains which are well connected to major towns and cities across the state and to a number of them outside as well.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach the place is by road, as the there is excellent connectivity by road with regular bus services from major towns and cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, etc.