Not many of us are aware of the fact that if it goes with serenity and charm, South India outshines North India on numerous levels. While most of South India terrain is about the thick expanse of nature reserve prevailing over the Ghats, there’s more to those magical landscapes where lie unique experiences. These places studded with a myriad of activities make for every nature seeker’s perfect delight!
To soak in the magical bliss of the south, I’d recommend everyone a trip to the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve. India’s oldest biosphere reserve – the Nilgiris is the thickest canopy of green flourishing in the South and a pretty place to explore. Riding high on motivation, I set for Coonoor & Wellington – Nilgiri’s prized possession, this summer.
Perfectly connected with Coimbatore, Wellington cuts the picture of a dreamy mountain sojourn. Magical views, imposing Doddabetta mountains at a stone’s throw distance, Ooty and Coonoor in the close proximity, and infinite trails in and around the mountains make Wellington an exciting place to be.
After learning about its wonderful biodiversity and stunning outdoors, I was lured into a trip to Wellington, and what could be a perfect time to explore the place other than the peak summer. Central and plains of north India become really unbearable during summers!
So, when Delhi was getting roasted at 43 degrees, I decided to pack my backpack and flee to Wellington in Tamil Nadu. To my liking, I was greeted by a perfect 13-degrees outdoor, garnished with crisp mountain air soaked in monsoon drizzles, and lukewarm sunlight. During my stay, I relished the best that Wellington, Coonoor, and Ooty combined had to offer!
Wellington – Getting there!
By air: National highway Wellington to Coimbatore, which means it’s not at all easy to get there. Coimbatore, being an international airport is well connected with major Indian airports.
By rail: Coimbatore and Mettupalayam are the nearest railheads located at a distance of 70 km and 38 km respectively.
By road: Coimbatore and Ooty are nearest cities from where Wellington can be accessed by road easily. While Ooty is only 13 km far, Coimbatore is 70 km from Wellington.
Most memorable experiences at Wellington alongwith Coonoor and Ooty
i) Local trails and hikes
When in mountains, trekking remains my favorite activity. Soon after I entered the MRC Wellington campus, my eyes were prompt to figure out all the small and interesting trails that made for interesting hikes in the coming days. There are plenty of hikes in the DSSC area that lead to the nearby village and further to the base of the Doddabetta Mountains that over Wellington.
I was quick to figure out a couple of hiking trails that lasted for a couple of hours. After talking to a few locals I got to know that there is Doddabetta Mountain base, which also makes for a popular film shooting spot. Yes, it’s that fascinating.
ii) Heartwarming flora existing indigenously
Wellington is a florist’s delight! The pretty flowers of different colors flourish in the wild scattered amidst the thick greenery of DSSC all around. You just need to look around to see awesomeness existing in various hues.
and here’s another one…
I was completely mesmerized at the sight of these charming lovelies.
iii) Local transport
Local most prominent and apparently the only mode of local transport in the region is the government bus. While they make the cheapest transport option they are super quick with some of the safest pairs of hands behind the steering.
It’s fun and exciting at the same time. Auto rickshaw/cab is the other mode of local transport which is available plenty but you’re certainly not going to like their fares if you’re traveling on a budget.
iv) Road trip to Ooty
To reach Ooty all you need to do is drive for 1-hour from Wellington at a speed of 20-25 kmph. The ride is pretty smooth, and as you would be involved looking a the magnificent vistas all around you wouldn’t even realize when the 18 km distance spanned.
v) Boating & adventure rides at Ooty Lake
The fact that Ooty is one of the most popular places to visit in South India in summer makes it a super crowded tourist spot. Lake and boating activities, rose garden, and adventure rides in the lake premises make it a places ideal for family, especially kids.
Certainly not for solo travelers or experience seekers. I declare this place as a perfect family outing spot.
v) Handmade chocolates
You just can’t leave Wellington, Ooty, or Coonoor without loading yourself with cocoa rich local handmade chocolates. These mouthwatering boxes of delight that can be easily found in local confectionaries, or by the roadside, sold by local small-scale business owners. Rich in flavor, low on sugar, and variety in taste, you just can’t leave Wellington without these trying the handmade chocolates.
and some idli…
and some filter coffee to make you day!
vi) Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The most remarkable and momentous ride in the Nilgiris. The local train ride from Ooty to Coonoor to Mettupalayam is the most rewarding activity for anyone planning a visit to Wellington.
Coonoor Station being located just 20-minute drive away from Wellington is quite easy to reach and even I took the local bus to reach the railway station which falls no more than 100 meters from the bus station.
As I took the Coonoor-Mettupalayam ride, its sheer charm and remarkable journey left me speechless. The passenger train leaves Coonoor every day at 1515 hours.
vii) Wellington Gymkhana Club
Wellington Gymkhana is a regal beauty which remains a cut above the rest. For people who yearn to get here, they have to be a member of this elite club first. Of Course, I had the company of my brother, so things were quite different in my case.
All the sea of green around and the sprawling golf course in the foothills of the tea plantation cuddled by the pretty hills makes this place an enchanting beauty. Moreover, to get the feels akin to the royals, grab a cup of coffee and sit back in the pavilion area looking at the golf match in progress, this place will make you feel so good.
viii) Sleeping Lady & Lamb’s Rock
The most prominent viewpoints located 1.5 hours drive from Wellington is led by the most obscure pathways in the region and getting there will need you to traverse several tea plantations and factories.
ix) Beautiful Ooty town & landscapes around
Wellington is the place for everyone who’s a sucker for views! If nature views and sight of mountains and canopy of green, lit your eyes with excitement then Wellington is the place to be next summer.
I say summer because for the rest of the year Wellington remains cold anyway.
But the sweetest fruit of a visit to Weelington is enjoyed only when you go there and feel the remarkable difference in temperature. Especially for those who are traveling from North India. Keen on planning a trip to Weelington? Let me know if I could be be any help to you!