Thrilling ride to Ooty : A Road Trip to Nilgiris

Thrilling ride to Ooty : A Road Trip to Nilgiris

The drive from Masinagudi to Ooty was the most thrilling experience I ever had, anyone who had driven to Nandi Hills and Chamundi Hills may not find it so difficult. This route has a well-paved road, with safety measures covered with safety railings at steep edges and mirrors on every hairpin bends. Don’t forget to switch on your car lights; it helps the incoming traffic to spot your vehicle in mirror. The entire route was mostly covered with thick fog even during afternoon and was slightly raining too, so couldn’t enjoy the view of the valley below. Masinagudi to Ooty route elevates through Kalhatty Ghats from about 900m to over 2200m above sea level (ASL) crossing 36 hairpin bends.

At half way we stopped at a tea shop and had hot chocolate tea, it was a wonderful experience in the chilling weather.
After about an hour of journey from Masinagudi, we came across a bridge at Kalhatty Falls and stopped for a while to enjoy the view with thick fog and crispy barbeque chips. 
Waterfalls at Kalhatty ghat on the Ooty road
Waterfalls at Kalhatty ghat on the Ooty road, as seen from the bridge
At this point, it had started to rain heavily and with very less visibility ahead we started to drive slowly.

First on our plan was the Ooty Botanical gardens, this was my third visit; my earlier visits were in 2009 and 2012. Compared to my previous visits I found the garden was losing its charm, with declining species of flowers. Was also disappointed to see the glass house was locked, in my earlier visits it was allowed for the public. It takes about an hour to explore the lower and upper gardens. Don’t forget to enjoy the hot soup in the chilling weather.
Toda tribal house model ooty
Toda tribal house model near the entrance of the park
Ooty Botanical Garden - Lower gardens
The Lower gardens
Ooty Botanical Garden - Upper gardens
Upper gardens have lost its earlier beauty
Do note that there is a parking facility exactly in front of the garden, so if someone forces you to park your vehicle in any other place, ignore them. As we didn’t know and parked in some private parking space about 400m away from the park entrance and were charged a hefty 60Rs.
Doddabetta hills as seen from the Kothagiri Highway
Doddabetta hills as seen from the Kothagiri Highway, on our way to Highland Accord Hotel
We continued our drive through the city and shopped for some homemade chocolates at Modern stores located near Charring cross. It was getting dark and we started to drive to the highest hotel in south India, Accord Highland Hotel, which is at an altitude of 2,430m ASL. It was freezing when we came out from our car, with hardly some visibility due to heavy fog and drizzle. The hotel serves delicious Indian, European and Continental foods.

The next day was supposed to be more thrilling where we had planned to drive out of the town and away from the crowds.