To start off, the trip from Bangalore is really relaxing. I drove, and the Bangalore Mysore highway is good. I did a 100 almost all the way to Mysore. Leaving Mysore, the roads are still good, except for a short stretch of about 20 or so kilometers, where I was barely doing 50. Once you approach the forest areas of Bandipur on the Karnataka side of the border and Mudumalai on the tamil Nadu side, the roads get wider and very very good.
The approach to Ooty and then Coonoor is good. The roads are wide and winding, though it does narrow down a bit on the ghat section.
Ooty was a bit of a disappointment, with surging crowds of disorderly tourists almost every where. Reminded me of Nainital. But once I crossed Ooty town, the scene changed dramatocally. There were wide open spaces with beautiful hills and tea gardens.
Oh, and I need to say this. There are large signs posted everywhere says that the place is plastic free... Plastic bags are banned in the Nilgiris, and littering is not encouraged at all!!!
Coonoor is a quaint old town, with that wonderful narrow gauge railways that we see in movies, with propah steam engines and little diesels, all exquisitely maintained.
Just 18 kilometers from Coonoor , is the Devashola mango tree Guest house, owned and operated by Devashola tea Estate. One of the largest and most awarded tea estates in the region. The grounds of the estate Guest house is excellently designed and maintained. The guest house is surrounded on all sides by tea gardens. The experience is called Devashola Stays.
The staff are very friendly. The multi-role chef and caretaker is commendable. He can cook up a storm at very short notice. You name it and he can probably cook it. Me, I chose the ethnic Indian cuisine throughout, and he out did himself. Delicious vegetarian food and I must say that I will probably award the chef a high 8 out of 10...!
Eco trails or eco-tours as might be your preference, is what you can enjoy best here. You can just pull on your favorite shoes and head out in the morning, and any direction you take from the guest house, will take you along delightful paths on the hillsides. The view will constantly surprise you. The hills are always green and weather permitting, you will always find yourself in the clouds, literally. The clouds just roll in so silently, it is a wonderful experience.