For every impulsive wanderer, relishing the essence of every bit of a journey is important. If it goes with me, these moments often reside in the transits and crucial rides. No matter what sort of ride you favor, it always proffers a kaleidoscope of changes occurring around. Often these changes encompass landscapes, people, language, culture, and food. Therefore, for me, transitions are exciting as much as any new place.
Recently, I took one such extraordinary journey, the Coonoor – Mettupalayam Train Ride. It happens to be the most fascinating ride in the Nilgiri Mountains, and without a second thought, I concur that this is one of the top things to do in South India (Nilgiri Mountains region) that everyone must experience.
For now, I’m short of words as I attempt to communicate that overwhelming feeling that engulfed me when I took the momentous trip. Here, I will share with you all the informations pertaining to the Coonoor-Mettupalayam Train and let the pictures do the talking!
What’s special about Coonoor – Mettupalayam Train?
The Nilgiris Mountain Railway, established in 1897, is a living legend, and a popular attraction in South India. Today, the entire Nilgiri Mountain Railway circuit is known as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Everything related to the railway, be it the vibrant exteriors of the railway station, the vintage ensembles from centuries back, look and feel, or the steam puffing engines, they all transport you back to the era when all of this begun.
The entire Nilgiri Mountain rail from Ooty to Coonoor to Mettupalayam is an excellent circuit spanning the best of the Western Ghats. For the most of the journey duration, the magnificent nature views comprising of streams, waterfalls, dense vegetations, numerous tunnels, and prominent landscapes of the region, would enthrall you to the core.
The first passenger train from Coonoor to Mettupalayam runs at 1515 hrs every day, while Mettupalayam to Coonoor train runs every morning at 0710 hrs.
Train timings: Coonoor to Mettupalayam – 3:15 pm; Mettupalayam to Coonoor – 7:10 am
Fare: INR 10 for general class
Ride duration: 2.5 hours approximately
Best of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The popular circuits of the UNESCO world heritage rail are:
i) Coonoor – Mettupalayam (up & down)
ii) Coonoor – Ooty (up & down)
iii) Mettupalayam – Ooty (up & down)
Please note that all prior reservations can be easily made on the IRCTC official website.
An experience that Nilgiri Mountain Railway was!
(Note: This pic is that of the Heritage Steam Voyage rail, which was scheduled right before my train at 3:15 pm, this is a special train and charges are INR 2000 per person)
Quite evidently, Coonoor – Mettupalayam is the most scenic stretch of the entire Nilgiri Mountain Railway, the 2.5 hours of pure bliss which you can experience while traveling to this part of Tamil Nadu.
Major highlights of the Nilgiri Mountain train ride & some protip
i) The total length of the route is 27 km and the journey time is around 2.5 hours, and the train speed will be somewhere about 15 kmph, good enough to catch every bit of glimpse passing by
ii) Numerous tunnels en route
iii) Hillgrove & Kallar are the stations en route where train halts for almost 15 minutes
iv) Make sure that you reach the station in advance if you are buying a general ticket form the counter. Try to grab a seat on the right side of the train in the moving direction
v) If you plan to get back from Mettupalayam the same day then head to the bus stop right outside the railway station. Booking a cab is advisable if you are traveling in a group
vi) While purchasing a general ticket from the counter, remember that one person is allowed to buy a maximum of 4 tickets only
vii) For a hassle-free ride, book your tickets online. You can only make a reservation for the train online. From the counter, only general tickets can only be purchased
viii) Even better, you can start from Ooty and continue the onward journey to Mettupalayam via Coonoor. The longest ride in Nilgiris Mountains starts from Mettupalayam at 7:10 am and takes 4 hours 50 minutes to reach the Queen of Hills – Ooty
ix) Make sure that you explore the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Museum at Mettupalayam Railway Station
x) And lastly, keep a lot of space in your camera/phone, you won’t get tired of clicking drool-worthy pictures!
Don’t miss it when you are traveling to Coonoor or Coimbatore! Even better, head to Coonoor, explore everything around. The Mountain Rail being the top thing to do!