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 !!!
- 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 .
Prakash and Purshotham at the Summit
On the way back down to Ooty we stopped at the Doddabetta Tea Factory , it was an interesting little tour of the factory
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…..
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 .
We returned to the house to sit out in the evening sunshine…..
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…….