Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Red Hills: Slice of Europe near Ooty

Red Hills: Slice of Europe near Ooty

Overview: My wife recently got a travel voucher for completing 5 years with her company, so we were pondering over which place to visit to utilize this bounty. We finalized on Red Hills near Ooty. I had read about it a lot and wanted to do this once, but due to budget constraints had to put brakes on this. So thought this as a perfect time to visit Red Hills.
We booked the Red Hills Nature resort for 1 day and the transportation from Ooty bus stand as well. We started from Bangalore at 10:30pm on a Friday. We reached Ooty at around 9am on Saturday morning and found the cab waiting for us at the bus stand. The Red hills nature resort is around 35kms from Ooty and the route leading to the resort is breathtaking with lush green countryside. On the way we come across names like Emerald and Avalanche which reflects the impressions left by the British. The roads till Emerald village are in a good condition but after that it takes a beating and our idea of not driving down from Bangalore to Red Hills turned out to be a good one.
We reached Red hills Nature resort at around 11am after taking breaks for taking pictures on the way through the villages of Appukodu and Emerald and the cabbage and carrot plantations all the way.
Ooty-Red Hills Road Cabbage fields Approaching Red Hills
The resort overlooks the Emerald Lake and the first impression one would get on looking at the view is "WOW!" Built in 1875, there are 7 cottages in the resort, each having excellent facilities. The resort is run by the Vijayakumar family. Mr Vijay, who was born in this very place, fondly explained about the history of the place and how he manages the resort. Sitting on the bench, one can spend hours together admiring the pristine beauty if nature. Several activities can be taken up at the resort, like trekking into the wilderness, mountain biking, fishing, jungle safari.
Red Hills
Red Hills Nature Resort At Red Hills Nature Resort At Red Hills Nature Resort
We relaxed for most part of the day and decided to go for wildlife safari near Parson's valley in the evening. We were lucky enough to spot a peacock, Sāmbhar, Leopard and finally a herd of Bison on the way back. Not to mention a variety of birds of different colours pleasing our eyes. We then stopped at Porthimund which offered a spectacular view of the evening sun hiding behind the clouds. The place was very silent and one can hear only birds and there is very little sign of human presence in those areas.
These lakes receive water from the rainfall only a couple of times in a year between June to August that would suffice the entire year.
Enroute Parsons Valley Sambhar Enroute Parsons Valley Porthimund Porthimund  Porthimund Porthimund
We returned back to the resort for a wonderful evening. The next day greeted us with a misty morning and we couldn't resist clicking the pictures of Emerald Lake again from different angles. After having a wonderful breakfast, we checked out of the resort in the afternoon towards Avalanche and the Toda tribal village.At Red Hills Nature Resort
At Red Hills At Red Hills At Red Hills At Red Hills At Red Hills At Red Hills
On the way we stopped at the Avalanche Lake which was again a lovely sight and with its winding shape passing through the Nilgiris. There is a dam which is constructed on the Lake which we couldn't go as special permissions need to be obtained. Avalanche Lake
Emerald Dam Avalanche Road Avalanche Lake Avalanche Lake Avalanche Lake Avalanche Avalanche Lake Near Avalanche Lake Avalanche Dam
Next we went to the Toda tribal village, and we were greeted with a group of Toda children greeting us into one of their homes. The Todas are believed to be of ancient European origin, probably the Romans or Greeks who came with Alexander around 1600 years ago. Though they have pretty much become adaptive to our civilization, they still maintain their own culture and traditions religiously. We went into one of their houses which is an oval shaped hut built by bamboos fastened with ropes, and from the interior has walls with stones and mud. The exterior is also made of hard stone and the door entrance is very small probably designed to keep wild animals away. We had to really bend ourselves to get into their house. Inside were two elderly women and some small children who live nearby. The showed us their traditional shawl and explained about their culture. They showed us their family wedding album as well which had the bride and the groom in their traditional attire. The friendly welcome was really overwhelming. The elders mostly speak only the Toda language with a bit of Tamil but the children speak English as well as they go to school.
 Toda Tribal hut Toda Tribal Village Photos inside the hut Traditional Toda Shawl Ceremonies at Toda Wedding Temple of the Todas Toda Couple wedding pic
Learning about their living, we bid farewell to them. Outside we saw their temple where they worship their God. Also the scenic beauty was great. We could see the different colours of trees in the mountains.
Different Colours of trees
Different Colours of trees Different Colours of trees Different Colours of trees   
From the Toda Village, we had a lot of time to spend before catching the bus back to Bangalore, so we asked the cab driver to drop us to the Ooty railway station to board the hill train to Coonoor. The fare to Coonoor was also quite encouraging (Rs 3 per head from Ooty to Coonoor). The Nilgiri Mountain rail also has an entry into the list of UNESCO World heritage sites. The route was very scenic and made way through the villages like Lovadale, Wellington which reflects the bygone British era. We covered the distance of 18kms from Ooty to Coonoor in 1 hour through green valleys, bridges and tunnels. We had our lunch at Coonoor and left for Ooty by the last train from Coonoor at 4:30pm.
Ooty Railway Station Inside the train Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway Nilgiri Mountain railway 
How to reach: Bus: KSRTC and TNSTC serves direct buses from Bangalore and Mysore to Ooty regularly. For details please check KSRTC website.
Car/Bike: Head on SH17 towards Mysore, after crossing Mysore and Bandipur proceed to Ooty via Masinagudi. Alternate route is to enter via Mudumalai and Gudalur. From Ooty, continue on Avalanche road, after Emarald, a fork road towards right goes to Red Hills.
Map:

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44 comments:

  1. Beautiful post with really nice pictures!

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  2. wow ! really wonderful ... amazing beauty !!

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  3. Paradise. Such beautiful scenery, it took my breath away. I have taken the train ride on the nilgiri train, its very beautiful...
    Lovely post, Thanks for sharing:)

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  4. Breath taking snaps . just mesmerizing . Must visit this place soon .

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  5. Thank u all!!
    Yes its such a wonderful offbeat place and its far cry from the noise & crowd of Ooty even during tourist season..

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  6. This is an outstanding post - crisp narration and magical photographs. A paradise on earth !

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  7. Thanks Ramakrishnan for the encouraging words.

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  8. Beautiful shots and nicely written. Am yet to go to the toda villages.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  9. Very nice shots! Interesting writeup about the Todas. :)

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  10. beautiful pictures

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  11. Nice location. As much commercialized as Ooty is, there are still quiet places around.

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  12. Fantastic and useful weblog. Thanks for publishing this. It’s useful and informative. Keep up the great.
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  13. Good pictures and Very well crafted article...

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  14. Do you have the contact numbers of the Red Hills folks.
    Thanks
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  15. Nice
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  18. Thank you so much for the post. Very helpful indeed. Looking forward to more of such useful and informative posts.
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  21. hii.Thanks for sharing with us.I liked the way you put up the information.I visited br hills resort and also bandipur resort last weekend with my family. really enjoyed a lot.Do visit once.

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  22. Awesome!!!Very interesting post... Beautiful pictures...Thanks! your blog is one of my must-visit place when I plan trips.This post is very useful for those who wish to explore ooty tourist spots.

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  23. hi Dear,nice blog im impresed by ur blog..hope u had a wonderful time there,i sugest u one more such kind of resort in bangalore

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  24. Hi,very nice blog..thanks for such a good post.i need vist good resorts nearby Bangalore so please help out in finding good resorts

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  25. Thanks for sharing all your experience ,hope you had a good time there,im palning for a family outing to some resorts around Bangalore

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  26. Hi,
    I like the way you writing the post...
    Images shows the beauty of wildlife..
    Mudumalai also the best option for wildlife Trip..
    Thanks for sharing such a great information..

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  27. Really nice blog as it is quite interesting...Specially all the beautiful pics..i think you really had a great experience...Thanks for the post.

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  28. Super article! I love the pictures you used in them as well! Was easy to read. Keep up the great. resorts near Bangalore

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  29. I read your articles. It is simple but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
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  30. Nice to visit this blog regarding Red Hills: Slice of Europe near Ooty.This is quite interesting. I’m glad that I came across your blog.

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  33. Thank you for all of the info! Great to be able to do! Also I found great ideas of Homestays in Ooty

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  34. Nice one. I would love to visit this place. Check out best Ooty tour packages also.

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  35. That was an amazing post about red hill resort and Ooty. Thanks for writing this and sharing all information you experienced. Would you be interested to come down to Dare Nature Camp in Wayanad?

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  36. I never read this type of article before. I appreciate you for the article you have written. Thanks.

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  37. thanks for sharing your experience. ooty is a small heaven in south india. i have been there once only and fortunately got a chance to explore some of the best places to visit in ooty . it was totally amazing.

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  40. Wow nice snaps...I like this place very much.Pench is also a beautiful place.Here you got a exclusive offer for seasons.Visit for more pench jungle safari rates

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  41. Superb Article and pictures. I like the place. Thank you for sharing this...Visit here also : http://www.goldenhillresorts.com/about-us-golden-hills-resorts-in-panchgani/

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