Heavily commercialised and brimming with tourists, Ooty’s charm has long waned, especially with city dwellers who are looking for a peaceful hideout during the holidays. If you are on the lookout for a place that looks and feels like the Ooty of yore, then, head straight to Kotagiri. Located a little over 30 kms from Ooty, and close to Coonoor, this magical place hasn’t seen the onslaught of tourists, yet. Tea estates and hills, covered in mist, are what meets the eye when you make your way to this picturesque village.
On your discovery of Kotagiri, your first stop should be the Kodanad View Point (where Jayalalithaa’s estate is located). Take a lovely drive there and don’t think twice about stopping en route for plenty of pictures. At the viewpoint, the mountains gracefully open out in front of you. Kodanad is especially popular for its sunrises so don’t miss it. Book yourself a room at one of the quaint cottages, bungalows, and resorts that dot Kotagiri and you’ll ensure that you are surrounded by the town’s undeniable beauty at all times.
You can also spend your time wandering about the small town. The market area is popular for its traditional bakeries that sell sweet treats like cupcakes and pineapple rolls as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also spot British-era bungalows that lend the town with an old-world feel. In recent years, Kotagiri has also become popular with trekkers. Check out The Green Shop while you are there for some organic honey, spices, and home accessories. Don’t forget to stop by for a good cup of tea, samosas, and bondas at Addengeppa Tea Stall.