Kotagiri, Coonoor

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Kotagiri, Ooty Overview

A town Panchayat city and a picturesque hill station in the Nilgiris in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kotagiri is famous for its sprawling tea plantations. It is located at an altitude of 1,985 m above sea level and is the third largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty and Coonoor. It is an ideal place for some trekking expeditions leading into the Nilgiris.

Schools are a significant contributor to the local economy of Kotagiri. The expensive residential schools are a feature of the Nilgiris and Coonoor. Modelled initially as British boarding schools, these have now become comprehensive schools based on the Indian schooling systems. With the development of infrastructure and roads, the importance of this gorgeous hill station declined; as before the Ghat Road was built, every traveller travelling to Ooty had to cross Kotagiri as well. This increased the tourist footfall in the area.

The lush green landscape of Kotagiri holds a lot of opportunities for activities like hiking, trekking and rock climbing. Since Kotagiri is surrounded by tea plantations, it is the perfect place to indulge in some leisurely strolls and bask in the surreal beauty of nature. You can also visit one of the huge tea factories present here to know more about how the plantations operate in this region. The picturesque beauty, lush green landscape and cool climate of Kotagiri make it an ideal place to visit.

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Attractions to Visit in Kotagiri

As Kotagiri is endowed with lush green tree plantations throughout, it offers great opportunities for trekking. The most popular tracks for trekking are the one lying near Kodanad, Catherine Falls and Longwood Shola. The trail that leads up to Kodanad passes through some gorgeous meadows, tea estates and the Moyar River.

Other attractions that lie in the proximity of Kotagiri are Catherine Falls, Elk Falls, Doddabeta Range and the Rangaswami Pillar. Along with trekking, Kodanad is famous for the panoramic views of the valleys and mountains around.

Travellers can also visit the Pomological Station in Coonoor, which is a research centre of the State Agricultural Department for persimmon, pomegranates, and apricot. Vaccination for rabies is also developed by this institute. The Government operates a Silk Farm, though this is mostly a research facility. Recently, Floriculture and strawberry cultivation have also taken root here. Visitors can choose among a wide range of accommodation options available here like lodges, resorts, villas and cottages. Majority of restaurants and eateries are located near Johnston Square and Donington Square.

History of Kotagiri

This quintessential plantation hill station is named after the Kota tribe, who has been residing in the Nilgiris. It was earlier known as Kotakeri and Kotagheri, which means 'streets of the Kotas'. In 1911, the Government acquired this region and shifted the tribe to Aggal Hamlet, which is about two km away. The town was initially discovered in the British Raj by two civil servants of the Madras Government. According to their reports, this region was spotted beyond the pass in the hills after the village of Kil Kotagiri with temperature similar to the European country. They chose to call it Kotacherry. The region was then visited by John Sullivan, the then collector of Coimbatore; who further became the first European to build a house in Kotagiri.

Best Time To Visit Kotagiri, Coonoor

The best time to visit Kotagiri is during October-December. The weather here during this time is much better than Ooty and Coonoor, and thus it attracts a lot of travellers. The climate of Kotagiri has been claimed to be one of the best in the entire world. Due to pleasant weather conditions throughout the year, you can plan a comfortable trip at any time.

Tips For Visiting Kotagiri, Coonoor

Be careful while taking strolls in the tea gardens, as there are a number of estate dogs present there.

How To Reach Kotagiri, Coonoor

Coonoor is well-connected by road with Ooty via NH 67. Mettupalayam is the nearest railhead which is 46 km away. Coimbatore Junction is about 75 km. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the oldest mountain railways in India and was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2005. This railway links Coonoor to the town of Mettupalayam at the foot of the hills and Ooty. The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport which has direct connections to Mumbai, Bangalore, Singapore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Sharjah and New Delhi. It lies at about 100 kms from Kotagiri.

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