India….. Chapter Three – Queen of the Hills

Thursday 3rd September

After a wonderful night in the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel , we were picked up by Pramod and Prakash to head South to the Hills !

There was some stunning scenery on the drive south , loads of paddy fields , Banana and Coconut plantations but nothing compared with what awaited us as we approached the Border between the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu States  . We were about to pass through Two National Parks , The Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park in Tamil Nadu . 

(Click on Photos to see Full Size)

 

We didn’t get to see any Tigers but we did get to see Spotted Deer , Mongoose , Hanuman Langur Monkeys , Bonnet Macaque Monkeys and Indian Elephants.

We managed to get up close to a 2yo Baby Elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary…..  

Pramod after receiving a trunk call !

This Baby Elephant…..

Was chasing these Wild boars……

I have to say it was a fantastic drive through both Parks !

Interesting fact – from 9pm to 6am they actually shut the road for the benefit of the animals .

Just after exiting the parks we stopped for a Coffee at a branch of the Cafe Coffee Shop chain , where we had a refreshing ice cold Coffee shake , Melanie was slightly distracted by a load of donkeys on the ajoining plot ! 

There was also a herd of goats wandering around on the other side of the road

We resumed our journey upwards ,  anyone who has done the climb up Bealach Na Ba would appreciate the climb up to Ooty , to get up to the 7,350 feet above Sea Level you have to negotiate 36 Hairpin bends ! Scary and exciting at the same time !!!

Facts about Ooty……

  • Full name – Udhagamandalam
  • Capital of the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu
  • Population 88,430
  • Known as “The Queen of the Hill Stations” , it was where the British Governor of Madras and his Officials ‘retired’ to in the heat of the Summer

The Temperature was a lot cooler than down in Bengaluru , a bit like a very pleasant British Summer , after a slight drive through the town we arrived at our accomodation , The Amrut Distillery Guest House on the shores of Ooty Lake . After meeting the Housekeeper Purshotham and his Wife/Cook/’Aunty’ Valli Margreat , settling down in our room and having a stunning Chicken Curry for lunch we went along the road to the Deer Park on the Lake .

We returned to the house to have one of the first of a many of outstanding Biryanis , tonights was Chicken , i have to say it is one of the best one’s i’ve ever had . After a few drinks we retired to bed…..

Friday 4th September

Today was sightseeing around the Ooty area , first off was a visit to Doddabetta , the highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills at 8,652 feet above Sea Level , when we first arrived it was quite cloudy but cleared a bit after a while , it was a very busy place , lots of vendors on the way up to the top from the Car Park . 

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Prakash and Purshotham at the Summit

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On the way back down to Ooty we stopped at the Doddabetta Tea Factory , it was an interesting little tour of the factory

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View from the Factory

There were some stunning views across Ooty from the factory , we came away with some tins of Tea and it is totally different to your normal brews . We headed back to the house for lunch , a lovely spicy Chicken noodles this time . After lunch our first port of call was the Government Botanical Gardens , this was the first place we noticed there was a charge for taking a camera in , very strange ! I think it’s best just to let the pictures do the talking as it was such a beautiful place…..

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These were as good as any Gardens we’ve seen anywhere , the staff obviously love their job the way they look after the place .

For our last place of visit today we headed to the lake next to the house . We did the boat cruise of the lake and the Train Ride .

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We returned to the house to sit out in the evening sunshine…..

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One of the local residents……

Tonights delight from ‘Aunty’ was a fabulously delightful Mutton Biryani , a superb way to end the night…..

 

To be continued…….

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2 thoughts on “India….. Chapter Three – Queen of the Hills

  1. Pingback: Summer Visit 2015 | Homer's – The [Whisky] Odyssey

  2. Pingback: 2015 , A strange sort of Year….. | Homer's – The [Whisky] Odyssey

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