Cheese Farm, Tea Museum And Heritage Trains: 6 Things You Can’t Miss In Coonoor

The lesser known hill station in the Nilgiris, Coonoor has long been in the shadows of big brother Ooty. But as poor Ooty gets crowded, people are slowly meandering to Coonoor. And why not! The little town, not too far from the army base of Wellington, will have you falling in love with it instantly. From tiered waterfalls and the most delicious roast chicken in a long while, here’s what to do in Coonoor.

Tea Museum

The Doddabetta Tea Factory in Coonoor started operations in 2005, and when the founder NK Krishnamoorthy wanted to add on a museum, it seemed like a fine idea. So if you’re a tea totaller, head here to learn all about the history of tea, all the way back to when the Chinese apparently discovered {or Buddha, perhaps} and brings you to current times of the Nilgiris tea. Apart from the origins of tea, you’ll also learn how tea is treated as a beverage as well as a trade commodity. Plus, the cultural influences that tea has had across the globe.

Check it out here.

Katary Waterfalls

Currently the third highest waterfall in the Nilgiris, this pretty one is particularly interesting as it’s two-tiered. At 180-metres, you can see it from a distance, but it’s usually safe to trek up to so we suggest you make an adventure of it. Naturally don’t venture out in the monsoon as it’s slippery and the waterfall gets a bit more fierce too. The falls are the site of India’s first hydel power plant, so check out the dams and the massive generator when there.

Make Cheese At Acres Wild

Gouda, Colby, Cheddar or good old Mozzarella, learn how to make cheese at Acres Wild, a lovely farm and resort. If you’re not much into cheese and just want a session as opposed to a course, then they’ll teach you easier ones as part of your stay. Check in here for a very different kind of holiday that is all about being cheesy.

Find out more about them here.

Ride The Nilgiri Mountain Train

One of the most charming train rides in the country, hop onto the Nilgiri Mountain train for a trip from Coonoor to Ooty. The whole journey is picturesque {the train actually begins lower down in Mettupalayam} but the part between Coonoor and Mettupalayam so maybe skip main Ooty. It’s also a heritage ride as it runs on vintage steam locomotives. Keep your camera handy, it’s especially spectacular when it’s misty.

Check it out here.

Eat At The Culinarium

A cliffside restaurant just before the Ketty village of Coonoor, The Culinarium is a slice of heaven! They serve very authentic European, English and American food with the roast chicken and pot pies being the favourites. They also have a patisserie so naturally. the cakes, breads and tarts are dreamy. Take some home, we say! Oh, and did we mention it’s got unobstructed views of the valley below?

Read more about it here.

Load Up On Pony Needles

Opposite The Culinarium is the headquarter and manufacturing facility of Pony Needles. Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s one of the largest needle and knitting product manufacturers in the country. They have fine quality sewing needles, knitting pins, snap fasteners, hooks, eyes, and threads of all colours. We also love the DIY craft kits that help you make bookmarks, pouches and toys for kids. Don’t leave without buying their coloured safety pins though. They are super useful, more so when you’re wearing ethnic Indian clothes.

Find out more about them here.