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Coonoor Travel

COONOOR - A SMALL TEA GARDEN TOWN: Coonoor is situated on the eastern side of the southern extremity of the Doddabetta range, at an altitude of 1,858 meters above the sea level. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris. Coonoor is located 19-km away from Ooty, a famous hill station of India. Coonoor was home to the Coon hill tribe. Coonoor is the first of the three hill stations in the Nilgiris- Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor - that one comes across when leaving behind the southern plains. Grassy meadows, tea bushes and profusion of Sunflowers, Marigolds and Rhododendrons, all growing wilds cover it. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year. The town is physically divided into upper and lower Coonoor.

Location: 19-km Away From Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Attraction: Sim's Park, Pasteur Institute, Pomological Station, Lamb's Rock, and Law Falls
Best Season: November to February
Famous Show: Fruit and Vegetable Show

Sim's Park:

Sim's Park is a carefully planned and artistically laid park cum botanical garden, named after the Honorable J.D.Sim, a member of the governor-general's council (1870-75). Sim's park was inaugurated in 1874 and is situated in a deep ravine at an elevation of 1,768 to 1,798 Mts. The park consists of 1,000 plant species, which includes magnolia, tree ferns, pines and camellia, planted in a scattered fashion all over the place, that lend a special charm to the park specially when they bloom in different seasons throughout the year. The rose garden at the bottom of the slope is equally remarkable. Many species of trees and shrubs, which do not thrive, well in Ooty are found to flourish here. The winding footpath spread all over the park is the most distinctive and lovable feature of this park. A newer attraction is a map of the World made by plants sent by various countries, just like Ooty's.

A Fruit and Vegetable show is held in the park during the month of May, which attracts thousands of visitors.

Pasteur Institute:
Pasteur Institute established in 1907 is located just opposite to the Sim's Park. This institute is famous for research on Rabies and giving effective treatment to persons bitten by rabid animals. It also manufactures Polio vaccine. There is an interesting history behind the idea of setting up an Institute for the production of anti-rabbis vaccine. Mrs. Lily Packenham Walsh, wife of a senior British officer, died of a dog bite in 1902 in Chennai. During those days, the vaccine was available only in the Pasteur Institute at Kasauli (North India) and patients had to be taken all the way to Kasauli for treatment. Therefore, the Pasteur Institute at Coonoor came to be donated by wealthy American philanthropist to Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India. Lt. Col. Cornwallis was its first director. The main building of the Institute stands on the spacious grounds, which are well laid out. It is an oblong two-storied structure, with turrets at each corner and presents a solid and rather imposing appearance. Since Independence many new buildings have come up.

Pomological Station:
Pomological Station is one of the three experimental fruit gardens in the Nilgiris maintained by the Horticultural Department where the states Agricultural Department researches on fruits including Plums, Apples, Peach, Persimmons, Apricot, Lemons, Pomegranates etc. This garden was established in 1920 with a view to demonstrate and propagate scientific methods of raising nursery plants and of growing fruit-bearing trees. Jams and other fruit preservatives are prepared for sale to the public.

Laws Falls:
Laws falls are a beautiful picnic spot, named after Lt. Colonel Law, who traced and mainly constructed the Coonoor Ghat. They are about 5 km below Coonoor on Mettupalayam road. The height of the falls is about 180 feet. There are vast stretches of undisturbed sholas and it is a paradise for naturalists.

Lamb's Rock:
Visitors can have a breathtaking view of the Coimbatore planes from Lamb's Rock, 8 Km from Coonoor on the way to Dolphin's Nose. It's a sheer precipice, which drops down several hundred meters into the heart of dense jungle.

Lady Caninng's Seat:
A small house that commands panoramic view of the tea estates and the plains marks Lady Caninng's Seat, 9-km from Coonoor.

Dolphin's Nose:
Dolphin's Nose is about 12 km from Coonoor. The Nose is unique rock of tremendous proportions, jutting out of the face of the hillside in formation in which its name suggests. It exposes a vast panorama, which encompasses Catherine falls.

The Droog:
The Droog located 15-km away from Coonoor is also a famous picnic spot, standing at 6,000 feet high overlooking the plains, which was used by Tippu Sultan as an outpost. Three km of trekking has to be done to reach the point.

Kattery Falls:
Kattery falls are one of the highest falls in the Nilgiris situated about 5-km from Coonoor on the Kendala road. At the beginning of the century a Hydro power station was build, the first ever-Hydro power plant to harness the fall to generate electricity for Cordite factory.

Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore, which has daily flights to and from Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.
Rail: Coonoor is on the toy-train line between Mettupalayam (28 km) and Ooty. The toy train leaves Mettupalayam for Ooty early morning and arrives at Ooty by noon. The total time taken on the return trip back to Mettupalayam is about 3½ hours. However, this train service is often disrupted during the heavy monsoon season.
Road: Coonoor is well connected by road with the major cities and towns of the state.

Area 14-sq-kms
Population 48,000 (1991 Census)
Altitude 1,858 m
Temperature Range (deg C)
Summer - Max 27ºC, Min 12ºC
Winter- Max: 22ºC, Min: 7ºC
Clothing Light woolen in summer and heavy woolen in winter.
Best Season November-February
Languages Spoken Tamil and English

Tamil Nadu Chennai Chidambaram Coimbatore Coonoor Courtallam Cuddalore Dharmapuri
Erode Kanchipuram Kankyakumari Ketti Kodaikanal Kotagiri Kumbakonam
Madurai Mahabalipuram Nagappattinam Nagercoil Nagore Namakkal Nanguneri
Nilgiris Palani Poompuhar Pudukkottai Rajapalayam Ramanathapuram Rameshwaram
Salem Sivakasi Srirangam Thanjavur Tiruchirappalli Tirunelveli Tiruttani
Tuticorin Udhagamandalam Velankanni Vellore Yercaud    
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