Tea Gardens of Coonoor
Coonoor, the second highest hill station in the Nilgiris is home to some of the largest and most mesmerising tea gardens in India. You have probably heard of the tea garden tours in Ooty, but Coonoor has equally fascinating tours if not more. Additionally, they are less crowded since Coonoor is still a relatively unexplored destination. Tea plantations take up a significant part of the town's land and provide employment to a large number of people. The terrace plantations that run for acres together is a sight not to be missed. There are also many treks that pass through tea gardens and lead to various waterfalls and viewing points in this area.
The Green Valley
Located in the heart of the Nilgiris, Coonoor is also known as the green valley because of the large forested areas that are green throughout the year. This region also receives a lot of rainfall that helps to maintain the abundant plant and animal life of this region. Sim's park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in this city and is a botanical garden built in Japanese style. Today, it has more than 1,000 species of flowering and non-flowering plants. In May each year, at the peak of the tourist season there is a fruit and vegetable show that is a major attraction.
Flora and Fauna
Coonoor is an all-time favourite of those who love the sight of lush green nature around themselves. The presence of Nilgiri mountain range means a wide range of biodiversity native to the region.
Tea plantations are a sight as common as the blue sky, offering a picturesque combination of bright blue and lush, widespread green. Apart from the tea plantations, the famous Sim’s Park has introduced many rare and exotic tree & plant varieties to Coonoor including Eucalyptus, Acacia, Pinus, Cinnamomum, Rudraksha, Araucaria, Quercus, Phoenix, Magnolia, Pine, Turpentine, Tree ferns, and Camellia. Fauna
A favourite pastime in Coonoor is bird watching which gives a fair idea of a sheer variety of the avian creatures flying around here. Cormorants, Pipits, Thrushes, Parakeets, Skylarks, and Nilgiri
verditer are commonly found here. Gaur ( a relative of the Bison) is endemic to the region of Coonoor and the Nilgiri hills and their population has seen a tremendous increase in recent years. They can be seen grazing in the tea plantations. Wild Elephants are also sighted in nearby areas.
Annual festivals in Coonoor are held to promote the wide variety of tea, fruits and vegetables grown in the area.
Coonoor is popular as the younger cousin of Ooty because of its tea gardens and an annual Tea Festival is just the right way to celebrate the lush plantations of this tea garden town. The Tea and Tourism festival is held in January every year and brings in tea connoisseurs from all around the world. A huge variety of teas is kept on display for both tasting and sale. Local dance and music form part of the event which takes place over a span of three days.
The arrival of summer is beckoned with the annual Fruit and Vegetable festivals which is a two-day event held in May. The venue is the astonishingly beautiful Sim’s Park which is spread over 30 Acres and houses the rare Rudraksha tree along with a vividly coloured spread of lovely flowers. Exhibitors from various districts in the State make this annual journey to showcase their varied and bountiful produce of fruits and vegetables.