Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


To get away from the dust and the heat (well, the heat anyway) my next stop was Ooty. Yes, the name given to it by the British is much easier to pronounce. It is located up in the hill country, the Nilgiri range of the Southern (Western and Eastern) Ghats. The British of colonial days turned it into a retreat, their own respite from the heat of the plains.

The Nilgiri are sometimes called the 'Blue Hills'.

It was nice to be in a different environment. It was cooler; there were different trees, I was hoping for more pine but they were mostly eucalyptus; and things just took on a different air.

Before arriving in Ooty, something kept nagging at me from the back of my mind. The name sounded awfully familiar and not just because I read about about it in the guide book. Then the second day when I went to the botanical gardens and saw the entrance, it hit me. I had been here before, 13 years ago. On my last trip to India, I believe this was as far south as I had gotten. I had gone to Ooty before and completely forgotten about it until right then.

The more I walked around the city, the more I began to remember things. I think the reason I didn't remember the first day was because the town has changed, a lot. I remembered a lot more tea plantations. Most of the tea plantations seemed to have moved further away from the town. Now the plots are lying empty or a lot of vegetables, mostly carrots, are being grown in former tea plots. The town has more buildings, too, but nothing really looks very new.

One of the tea plantations still in the valley.

It is OK that I was visiting the town again. I was actually rediscovering it all over again. And I did a few things I didn't do on my first visit. On Christmas eve day I climbed up the highest mountain in southern India, Doddabetta peak at 2634 meters (8640 ft), and hiked back down a roundabout trail into the valley of Ooty.

A pond along the trail down.

And on Christmas day I took a bus to Kalhatti falls, ate my lunch (yes, peanut butter and crackers) in the presence of some beautiful nature, and then walked the 11 km back to town. It was a Christmas celebration of a different kind.

The falls from the bottom. I have a view from the top, too.

Labels: , ,


At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful way to have celebrated Christmas. I love the waterfall, such beauty.


Post a Comment

<< Home