Due to a sudden turn of events at work place last week, a quick travel for 2 Highways projects had come for the beginning of this week. now, i was eager to travel on site, since after frequent travelling, im finding sitting at office boring and rather be out there on the road!!!…but, the trip was to the Nilgiris, the lovely blue mountain range of South India which extends over three states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, which i really am fond of (having been to the Kerala part of the nilgiris!!) and i was bit skeptical of how much i would enjoy the trip as the schedule was pretty hectic…..
Anyhow, with no expectations and a total professional mind set for the whole thingy, i traveled to Coimbatore this monday for a three day trip…
But, as is always, the good things happen when we least expect it…..i had a totally exciting, exhilarating and interesting trip!!…read on to know more :)))
I landed in Coimbatore early morning and straightaway went to a scheduled Client meeting (without even changing closed or getting refreshed in a hotel!!) . The meeting went off rather well, after which, me and the other colleagues decided to start ur site work rigtaway. Now, a highway project site is not static site, its a whole road stretch…so for us, it meant travelling for the next three days on road!!!
The plan was such that the first day we would stay put in Coimbatore, the second in Ooty and the last day, we would be back to Coimbatore, since we had to catch an evening flight from there.
The Project road this time was majorly in the nilgiris, with only the beginning of the journey being on the flat plains…..the landscape was interesting in the plains…but once we reached the foothills, the real beauty unfolded!!!!!
oh!! before narrating more, i must tell you guys that since it was a quickie trip, i took most pics on my mobile , from inside the car..hence the low quality of images!!
Nilgiris, meaning the blue mountains, is a range of mountains in the south and they are part of the larger Western Ghats mountain chain making up the southwestern edge of the deccan plateau.the Mountains get the name from Kurinji flowers, which are blue in color and bloom once in 12 years. When the flowers bloom, they cover the whole of the Nilgiris range in blue, and it literally looks as the mountains are blue!!..hence the name blue mountains!!
The road we took passed through some lovely hill scenery and quaint towns like Coonoor and Wellington(both set up around 200 years back and wellington being one of the oldest army cantonments in India), all through our journey, we crossed paths with the coimbatore – ooty hill railway track which is a heritage property now and was first built around 200 years ago and is still operational today!!
By afternoon, we reacehd Ooty, which is the most important and prominent hill station in south india, we checked into our hotel after researching a lot of hotels and having a bit of fun while doing so!!
see the pic below, a vintage car displayed at one of the hotels we checked out, unfortunately the rooms were atrociously priced for the size and luxury it offered, so we had to turn it down!!
After a quick lunch, we again headed on our project road, this time the scenery was much more scenic, with a play of shade and light …provided us lots of moments to sigh gazing at the beauty around us!!!!
We reached the end of our Project road early evening and decided to turn back to Ooty, at this point our driver suggested us to take another route which will take us through Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and through some very scenic beauty and we will also be able to see wild animals….now i was not so convinced, since i have had very disappointing experiences in spotting wild life nearby forest roads…but since everyone was enthusiastic, i thought why not take a different route, alteast the landscape would be interesting!!
So we entered Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, and barely five minutes into our drive…our driver suddenyl stopped the car and gestured to the left side of the road…and lo behold!!…i see a wild bison!!…it was staring at me staring at him!!!
notice the pic below, the wild bison was staring cocky eyed at me….and it was a huge one, though our driver said it was just two years old!!
Barely had i recovered from my excitement of spotting the wild bison and moving ahead, we saw a male tusker elephant drinking water from a stream..my heart was literally beating in my chest!!!!!
Moving a few meters ahead, again our driver stopped the vehicle and gestured us to keep silent and listen carefully to the rustling on the right side of the road…he said it was elephant herd…and well, it was….a minute after the rustling was heard, out came a female with her child…but that was not all….it was actually a whole herd of elephant , which was waiting patiently for the vehicles’ movement to stop so that they crossed the road…..man, my hair was standing and my heart was beating fast!!!
A half kilometer ahead, we spotted a herd of deers and i was like, this is the best day of my life!!!!!
But soon, it was time to leave and we speeded up to reach back Ooty, as the mists came down and the road turned totally foggy!!
see the pic below, a herd of deer staring at us from behind the shrubbery!!!
Ooty was lit up nicely, it is like the typical hill stations set up in the British era……one major mall road, a church, governance building , one post office , etc etc…
We had pizza at one of the famous cafes in town,the sidewalk cafe..which dishes out firewood oven pizzas….it was yumm!!…and the weather was just chilly enough and the crowd and the setting lovely enough to make us all put us in a nice mood!!!
Next Morning, it was bright and sunny..and after enjoying the views briefly…we headed back to the plains!!! this time too, the ride back was fun!!!
Soon, it was afternoon and time for us to head back to Coimbatore to catch our flight…but not before we enjoyed a typical south indian lunch!!!!