CHENNAI | OOTY | COONOOR | COIMBATORE | CHENNAI
SILHOUETTED AGAINST THE SKY the blue mountains, or the Nilgiris, are an evocative sight. Their rolling slopes seem to dance to the rustle of eucalyptus trees that call out from valley to valley in joyous abandon. The towns were established by the British as summer getaways from the stifling heat of the lowlands and remain, suspended in time, reminders of a different era. As many as 18 different tribal people make their homes in these mountains, including the distinctive pastoral community of the Toda, from whom the British purchased what is Ooty today. The Nilgiris form the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats: To the west prowl the dense tropical forests of Kerala, enclosing the manprotected plantations spices, tea and rubber. To the east the landscape is dryer, harsher, the soil volcanic, much as it is in the greater part of the Deccan Plateau. This itinerary takes you from Chennai, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, that grew around Fort St. George, established in 1640 as the very first bastion of the British East India Company, to Ootacamund, popularly known as Ooty the ‘queen of hill stations’ in South India. A short distance away, surrounded by tea and coffee plantations is Coonoor, another outstandingly scenic town. The tour has an relaxed overall pace. Hotels used are a comfortable mix
of modern and heritage, while the journey up the blue mountains on a century-old train is a treat in itself.
ITINERARY - 07 NIGHTS/08 DAYS
DAY 01 ARRIVAL
Reception and welcome at Chennai airport followed by transfer to your hotel at Mahabalipuram.
DAY 02 MAHABALIPURAM
Morning is at leisure. Afternoon visit the Shore Temple and other rock structures at Mahabalipuram.
DAY 03 CHENNAI ~ OOTY
After a leisurely morning, visit the temple town of Kanchipuram and Kalakshetra in Chennai. Board the overnight Nilgiri Express to Mettupalayam in the evening.
DAY 04 OOTY
Arrive at Mettupalayam in the morning and change to the Toy Train that will take you up to Ooty. The day is yours to plan as you will.
DAY 05 OOTY ~ COONOOR
Drive to Coonoor in the morning, stopping at tribal settlements en route.
DAY 06 COONOOR
Visit a spice plantation in the morning. The rest of the day is at leisure.
DAY 07 COONOOR ~ COIMBATORE ~ CHENNAI
Drive to Coimbatore to take the flight to Chennai in the morning. Spend the afternoon touring the ancient temples, churches
and the fort under the watchful eye of larger-than-life representations of popular politicians.
DAY 08 DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.