Enchanted by Coonoor, The Nilgris, India

It was at the first light of dawn that we arrived in a quiet town surrounded by the “blue mountains”, 2000m above sea level, Coonoor.

Amidst the touch of winter in the wind, we checked into MGM Hill Worth Resorts – a gem of a find, set on a cliff overlooking the pale peaks of the Nilgiri in the farness. What we got was a grandeur room, a sit out verandah, and a private bonfire.

Our first halt, following a stealthy road-climb, was Lamb’s Rock. Here, the frequent wisps of mist uncovered, every now and then, a view of the panoramic tea estates below.

Nature, a magician in all honesty!

“That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.”

Next, we drove up to Dolphin’s Nose. In the sun illuminating the woods, we hiked to the summit through Shola Forest, only, yet again, to be stifled by beauty.

The sight of the endless undulating hills in the sky stir up a sense of eudaimonia in us, a happiness.

On our way down, we sniffed the scents of eucalyptus and winter green and could’nt resist purchasing their oils.

We also paid a visit to the lush, entrancing Highland Tea Garden. Acres of evergreen shrubbery glistening in the calm afternoon sun.

Dinner (read classic daiquiris!) was at the iconic Gateway Hotel, a charming colonial establishment tucked away in the hilly landscape.

As the morning dawned bright, we booked first class tickets on the Heritage Train from Coonoor to Ooty, and were off on what was a quixotic quest of sorts.

The train chugged through little stations between the endless arrays of trees whistling a lilting tune. The splashes of sunshine, the birds racing back and forth, the hued blossoms, the plentiful vistas, and just the tranquility of it all was an experience to cherish.

As we set foot in Ooty (locally known as Ootacamund), there was just enough time to do lunch at Earl’s Secret in King’s Cliff. Where its history fascinated us, their signature chocolate brownies almost held us hostage.

Our ride back to Coonoor and then home was sadly imminent but this was one of those that, incomprehensibly, left a lasting impact on us.

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