Kotagiri is the oldest and the third largest hill stations in the Nilgiris just 16 km away from Ooty. Looming over and above all the surrounding hills in the North-eastern escarpments, its climate is claimed to be one of the best in the World.
Kotagiri literally means the lines of the house of the Kotas. Kotagiri is quietly tucked away in the Nilgiris and used to be the summer resort of the British. Till date the beauty of hill resort of Kotagiri attracts tourists and the sun scorched souls from far and wide. Unlike Ooty and Coonoor, Kotagiri is situated in an ‘open-terrace’ massif. At an elevation of 1985 m. the town has developed around numerous knolls and valleys. The Kotagiri weather is more bracing than that of Coonoor and balmier than that of Ooty.
There are innumerous trekking spots that are available in the area. Some of the most popular are the Longwood Shola, St Catherine Falls and Kodanad. Apart from these there are many smaller trekking spots that are less crowded. The view point at Kotagiri gives visitors an outstanding view of the pristine slopes and valleys that are covered with dense green vegetation. There is a small jungle path near the view point that can be used for trekking as well.
Kotagiri experiences pleasant and comfortable weather all through the year. Thus you may plan your trip to Kotagiri any time of the year
How to reach KOTAGIRI
By Air: Kotagiri does not have railway station or airport. The nearest airport is located at Coimbatore and it is located around 100 km from the hill station. Coimbatore Airport is well connected to places such as Chennai, Cochin and Bangalore. Travelers who are arriving by air can arrange for pick up services from the airport. There are taxis available from the Coimbatore airport as well. They cost around Rs 1400 for the 100 km trip.
Road : Kotagiri is well linked with the other important places in Tamil Nadu through road transport. There are regular buses to Ooty, Mettupalayam and Coonoor
Accommodation is easily available in Kotagiri. There are several tourist lodges, guesthouses, hotels.
KOTAGIRI Sight Seeing:
The Hill Station of Kotagiri has several tourist attractions.
Kodanad View Point
It is 18 kms away from Kotagiri on the easternmost ridges of the Blue Mountains and hence the name meaning Terminus Country.From this point, the country lies spread out before the eye sparkling hills row after as though bathed in the mystic silver sunshine. The enchanting valley dips down to embrace the historic gajalahatti pass glancing at the green corpeted paddy fields of Thengumarahaada and watced over from its eyrie by the habitat of Hallimoyar.While the River Moyar scurries along to join her pal Bhanvani round the corner, across the valley of Talamalai ranges of the Eastern Ghats cuddle upto Mysore Plateau, westerly strides of which again adjoin the Kodanaadu stairs in the north, over the deeptrenched Mysore Ditch.
St. Catherine’s Falls: It is 8 km from kotagiri on the Mettupalyam road branching off at Aravenu. This double-cascaded Falls is the second highest in the district(250 ft) and it waters from the upper stream of the kallar river crossed by the invisible Mettupalyam-Ooty road beyond the mountains in the south-west.
It is named after the wife of M.D. Cockburn, the pioneer-planter of Kotagiri. The native name of the Falls is GEddhehaada Halla meaning “Foothills Dale River”.
It presents a lovely view of the sweeps of forests and woodlands, waylaid by tea gardens and yet running to meet the plains in the south-western moorings.The glittering Dolphin’s Nose of Coonoor is also seen across the mighty gap in the hills-one of the three great systems of faults in the geological formation of the Blue Mountains.
John Sullivan Bungalow
Another attraction is the John Sullivan’s bungalow, which was built during his stay. This has just been renovated and is presently open to the public. Located in Kannerimukku it is about 20 minutes from the main town.
The Longwood Forest
The Longwood Forest which is located within Kotagiri town is an immaculate tropical evergreen forest. It serves as a sheltered refuge for anyone seeking peace and quiet and is also home to the flying fox (a large arboreal squirrel) that is a delightful scene for the zoologists. Also a resident family of about 20 bison can be seen in the evenings just outside the forest on Milidhane road, grazing.
The Nehru Park
The Nehru Park can be found in the town and is a big complex housing a temple of the Kotas. The Gandhi maidanam which serves as the public playground, congregation centre and the flood shelter which is used in normal times for indoor games can also be seen here. A private park which is around 3 km from the town on coonoor road specializes in oses and is a must see in March to June.
Elk Falls: It is 7 km from Kotagiri and situate above Uyilathi village. The road passes through serenely laid out Badaga habitations.
‘Enroute’ at the Kannerimukku village is found the first European house in the Nilgiris built by collector Sullivan in the year 1819. The two-storeyed house is now in a sad-state or ruins.
Though the water is fully only in the wet months, the site is always worth a visit. It commands towards the north, a spectacular view of the Echoing Valley of Kookal and a vista of exquisite surroundings.
A very primeval tract of wild enclave, the Shola provides a grand opportunity for bird-withers and a perfect rendezevous for serenity – seekers.
Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar: It is 20 kms from Kotagiri via Kil-Kotagiri. The conical peak exudes an exhilarating view of the wild yet harmonious semblance of the country lying around.
Topping 1785 m above MSL, the site is crucially sacred to the Irulas. North by West to the peak is a huge detached pillar of rock rising abruptly on all sides to a height of about 400 ft and is unclimable
Further ahead from Kotagiri you may move to the other renowned hill resorts of Ooty and Coonor. There are several tea plantations and estates that wrap Kotagiri.