The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains or the Nilgiris as they are known as is a must see place. It is listed as one of the 400 natural wonders on the earth and is a unique patch of green on the planet (quoted from the book The Nilgiris) Last week, we drove down to spend couple of days in and around Ooty. First stop from Bangalore was Mysore, stayed there for night and then early am started for Ooty. What was supposed to be a 3 hour drive from Mysore turned out to be a 6 hour one since the road from Mudumalai via Masinagudi to Ooty was closed for repairs and we had to take a detour via Gudulur. This road is pathetic and full of potholes. A 60 km drive took 3 hours!

We had booked ourselves at Kurumba Village Resort.30Kms from Ooty beyond Coonoor on Mettupalyam road. The resort is situated inside an amazingly beautiful valley with a small waterfall within the resort . (Just surprised that while the Nilgiris are touted as a Eco-Region, how did the resort get the permission to construct deep in the valley, disturbing the eco-system?). The locals say that Nilgiris is not just to be seen and left in a hurry. But we did quite the opposite, even though we were booked for 2 nights in the resort, we quit after a night since  we did not feel safe. There were hardly any other guests at the resort, it isn’t a child friendly place, plus the fact that they switch off outside lights after midnight and with no cell phone coverage, it made the place seemed much worse than it actually is.

And then to Ooty. It was the off season, so hardly any tourists, it was a pleasure driving and walking on the roads. Parking was not a problem and the lovely weather made it all the more worthwhile! And the food everywhere we ate was outstanding! For a change we went to all the tourist places, took photographs at all the locations, acted and behaved like tourists!

It was however distressing to see the local municipal waste van emptying the garbage just outside Ooty in the valley. The road all the way from Ooty to Gudulur is in a pathetic shape. Same is the case of the road from Nanjangud to Bandipur forest. And there is a large scale felling of trees for about 2kms after Nanjangud towards Bandipur. It is heart-wrenching to see large trees being cut down for road widening!

Our plan was to go to Masinagudi and spend a night or two in the jungles out there, but since the approach road to Masinagudi was closed, we tried to see if we could stay at either Mudumallai or Bandipur, neither worked out. One has to book at the respective offices in Bangalore or Mysore.

Will post the photographs in due time.

For now it is back to Bangalore and the traffic and the pollution.

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