Kotagiri is the oldest hill station of the Nilgiris, this is a beautiful yet quiet small town that falls on the slopes of the Dodapedda peak. Flanked by the highest peak of the region this place almost always is shielded from the sun and thus is marvelously lush and colorful. The drive along the tea estates showcases the trillion shades and hues of green. Kotagiri has a very long history, although there is no written history before the arrival of the British. The area, along with Ooty, became popular with British residents looking for a temperate area to spend the summer. Visitors can simply relax in the hill stations of the area, or take advantage of opportunities to trek, sight see, or even seek out adventure sports in larger hill stations such as Ooty. A specialty of the area is the European style houses built by the British. Some of these houses have now been converted into homestays.
There’s not too much to buy in Kotagiri, although there may be the opportunity to buy local teas and handicrafts. There are many trekking trails. Anyone looking to get off the beaten track should go with a trustworthy guide. The trek to St. Catherine falls is a popular 8km trek. Another popular trek is the Longwood Shola Forest.
From Coimbatore, take the mountain railway up to Ooty or Coonor. From there, buses are available to Kotagiri. The distance from Ooty and Coonoor is 28km and 23km respectively. One advantage of Kotagiri is that it is unfailingly cheap and good food. The Hotel Hope Park charges Rs. 70.00 for lunch. Hotel Kasthuri does cheap vegetarian food. There are snacks such as samosas available opposite the bus stand. Tea is popular here, and different flavors, such as chocolate, ginger and lemon are available.
Take care when trekking in the area as accidents can happen. Stick to safe, well known routes and give yourself plenty of time to get back before nightfall. Take a guide if you are not familiar with a place. Take all other usual and sensible safety precautions.
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Kotagiri - THINGS TO KNOW
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