Kotagiri – The Hidden Gem of blue mountains
Kotagiri is a small hill station in Nilgiris, located about 29 kilometres east of Ooty and 19 kilometres northeast of Coonoor. The literal meaning of Kotagiri is “Mountain of Kotas”.
The region was first discovered by two civil servants of the Madras Government. John Sullivan, the then collector of Coimbatore was so impressed by this offbeat place that he built a home here.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kotagiri
Longwood Shola Reserve Forest
Longwood Shola Reserve Forest is a beautiful place (3 kilometres from town) offering tourists a spectrum of Kotagiri’s quintessential woodlands. The evergreen shoal forest in the midst of tea plantations is a quiet and peaceful retreat to visit. The forest inhabits rare animals such as the flying fox and Indian bison.
Bikkapathi Reserve is about 10 kilometres from Kotagiri and is under the control of the Forest Range Officer of Kattabettu at kotagiri. It is a perfect place for trekking provided you get prior permission.
Kodanad View Point
At a distance of 18 kilometres east of Kotagiri and at an altitude of about 6500 feet, is the Kodanad View Point. Tourists get to see the beautiful mountains and valley below. A panoramic view of tea estates nearby and the Moyar River makes the hike uphill worthwhile.
Catherine Falls is about 8 kilometres from Kotagiri. Located near Aravenu on the Kotagiri-Mettupalayam Road, this double cascaded Falls waters from the Kallar River. A lovely view of the Dolphin’s nose of Connoor and woodlands and tea estates around could be seen from here.
Elk Falls Provincial Park
Elk Falls placed below the Uyilathi Village is around 7 kilometres from Kotagiri. From this picturesque landscape, one could see the Echoing Valley of kookal famous for oranges.
Doddabeta Range is reputed as the second biggest peak of Nilgiris. You could trek or take a vehicle to reach the summit. The view from atop Doddabeta Range extends as far as Chamundi Hills and one could even spot Coimbatore and Mysore.
Rangaswamy Peak And Pillar
Rangaswamy peak and Pillar is known not just for its beauty but also for its religious beliefs. The peak has two temples – one of Lord Rangaswamy and the other of his consort. He treks to the peak is not as easy one but worth the effort owing to the beautiful sceneries on the way.
Things to do in Kotagiri
Kotagiri unlike Ooty, is a very secluded place where you can be at leisure and experience nature in all tranquility. Do make trekking and shopping for some real good tea a part of your vacation at Kotagiri.
Ideal time to visit Kotagiri
Kotagiri can be visited any time during the year as the temperature is always moderate.
How to reach Kotagiri
Kotagiri is well connected to all major places in Tamil Nadu by road. It is also connected to Ooty, Mettupalayam and Coonoor by regular buses. The nearest railway station is Coonoor. The nearest Airport is at Coimbatore (105 kilometres).