To be on a vacation is so exciting, simply because one can be away from the routine of life. The routine on a vacation is anything we want it to be. Get up early; get up late. There is no cooking, no getting the kids ready for school, no getting them to do homework – ah nothing to do can be so much fun :).

Food for the eyes

Cabbage plants
Potato plants
Carrot plants

So, after a lot of planning amid threats of younger son’s conjunctivitis passing on to other members of the family and Cauvery agitation threatening to spoil our journey, we took off to the “Queen of Hills” – Ooty. Yes, this is the first time I was going to Ooty. Pretty strange considering we live in Bangalore but so it was. Luckily, we left very early in the morning to avoid any dharnas on the highway. The roads are good, and the weather was great. We caught breakfast at a Mandya darshini. I just love the steaming idlis and vadas that you get in these places. My absolute favorite for breakfast. The climb up Ooty’s mountains is one of the steepest that I have seen and feels very dangerous too. Once up there and in the resort with a lovely view of the carrot, potato and cabbage fields, it was bliss.

The fabulous trees at Botanical Gardens
The most relaxing part of the vacation was no internet. Seriously, have you thought about how many hours we spend browsing everyday either on social networking sites, emailing, blogging or blog hopping? And, when you don’t have that, you have so many hours on hand to go out and explore :). Ooty has the best Botanical Gardens that I’ve seen, really well maintained, peaceful and so vast. We loved it so much; we went there two consecutive days. And, we bought loads of seeds, plants and bulbs. Keeping fingers crossed that they blossom. Ooty also has some wonderful international schools – Good Shepherd, Lawley and Lawrence School. The kids were having a break and so the place was buzzing with parents. There were many foreigners too – either visiting their kids at school or as tourists. 
Nilgiri Mountain train
We loved taking the famous Nilgiri Mountain Train. The kids were really excited to go in it. Boat ride was fun too though the water was really dirty. And, the boatman spoke fluent English. He was a grandfather to six grandkids and was fluent in six languages. Ooty is very commercialized, so the beauty of the lush hills is marred by a number of houses built. We loved shopping for home-made chocolates from the oldest chocolatier in Ooty that had featured on the TLC. It was fun speaking to the guy whose grandfather had setup this quaint little shop in the times of the British. One thing that I noticed was that everyone was fluent in Hindi. Considering this is Tamil territory, this was surprising to me. We were prepared to use Kannada and Telugu if English and Hindi did not work but did not need to :). People are friendly and helpful.
The boatman
A charming five-day break and a great holiday. The journey back had its hitches too. Our car’s front tire actually went off the cliff when we were on our way back. A bunch of men from an auto jumped down and came to our rescue. They helped get the wheel back on to the road. The ride down was really scary. Mountain roads are steep and narrow. Hubby really did well in maneuvering them comfortably. And, then we were caught in the dharna between Mandya and Maddur too.  Overall, loved the lush green route and the greenery in Ooty. It was a nice, relaxing vacation. And the resort had some great holiday activities planned for kids. That helped a lot in keeping them engaged :).

A view of the hills from the resort



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85 Thoughts on “A nice vacation!

  1. Good you had a relaxing time and enjoyed it. Great photographs Rachna, I liked the vegetables pictures very much!

    • Thank you Pattu! This was the first time I saw potato plants. And if you look closely, you will see some carrot heads visible in the carrot fields. Carrot plantation is on a huge scale. We bought some wonderful seeds, plants and bulbs. Hope they grow well.

  2. This sure looks like a lovely vacation!!
    Yes, internet takes up a lot of time. After I quit playing FV, I realized that I had SO MUCH of free time to do SO MUCH!!
    Oops, a tyre off the cliff… must be scary!!
    Driving in the mountains is a bit scary but have seen that the road discipline is very high!

    • It was fun. Yeah, pretty scary. It was the first time this happened to us but luckily help was close at hand. Road discipline is high because I guess they have no choice. Both sides will be stuck if they don’t adjust :).

  3. Wow, lovely landscape and photographs Rachna 🙂



  4. Rachna this sounds heavenly! And much deserved as well for your whole family! Thank you so much for writing about this place, I have probably mentioned but traveling to India one day is a dream of mine and so I am so interested in posts like this and tuck the knowledge of one more incredible place to see away in my heart for future use! (I hope!!:) So nice to hear you relaxed and I feel just the same when it comes to the break from being online! have a lovely weekend at home my friend!

  5. A break from the internet coupled with a stay in such lovely environs is really rejuvenating! Beautiful pictures.

  6. ahhhh!!! I want one too! You one lucky girl! tsk tsk, theres a giveaway on Mommygyan you might actually like 😉

  7. Ooty is simply one of the most lovable destinations with verdant beauty!Welcome back to the world of blogs after a nice break, Rachna:)Your pic in FB was very nice!

  8. I am happy for you, and if it means anything, I have never been to Ooty! Those are fine photographs. For great looking clouds, do consider using a CPL (Circular Polarising Filter), preferably by Hoya -should set you back by Rs.1,500/- or so for a 52mm size.

    • That’s okay, Umashankar, for a Mumbaikar. For a Bangalore, Ooty is a natural hop over for vacation, that is why people find it strange that we still have not been to Ooty. Thanks for the info about the lens. Will pass it on to hubby.

  9. Yes Rachna holidays are so relaxing & getting away from 24/7 connectivity does allow us lots of spare time to do as we please.I must visit Ooty one day!

  10. holiday,,these can change our mind set..

  11. Sadly, Ooty has lost some of the charm it used to have when we lived there (in Wellington). But nothing can take away from the beauty of the hills and tea gardens. I’m so glad you all had a good vacation – a well-deserved rest after all the illness you’ve had recently.

    • You are right, Corinne. There is so much construction, and it is dirtier than other hill stations in the South. Thanks, really we needed this break. Hope your vacation goes well too.

  12. Rachna,

    Vacations are VACATIONS, and if it is place to heart it is SONE PE SUHAAGAA. I have visited a lot of hill stations, Ooty was in 1968 like a fresh experience. The lake had so clear water that one could see fish in it at a depth. Thanks for photographs refreshing memories.

    Take care

  13. Glad you had a good vacation. Thanks for showing us potato and carrot plants..:) ooty and Kerala had been in my list for so long..should make it there one day. Isn’t it season for the flowers? I don’t see any flowers in your posts? I know, how much time we spend on the net every day..:)

  14. Great post with nice pictures you make me want to visit the place again.But in most resorts they provide internet facility near the reception lounge for checking mails and browsing.To be denied totally is a pain.

  15. Very beautiful place and equally beautifully described thru photos & words.

    Why only one photo has your copyright mark?

  16. Thanks Rachna, for the wonderful travelogue.Indeed, a holiday in Ooty is refreshing; the sere and silent Nilgiri Hills recharge the mental-batteries almost instantly. I’ve been there once many many years back..I hear, it’s no more the same.
    Nice read! Liked the pics.

    • Thank you Panchali! I am sure it is not the same. There is so much construction taking place; it is horrible :(. And one sees a lot of waste being dumped as well.

  17. WOW beautiful! Ooty looks so lush and picturesque, Rachna! This is one place I so have been craving to visit for a long long time and now after reading your beautiful description I am yearning even more so :). Someday maybe!

    Wonderful to know you had a great and a relaxing time there…that too without any interference from the internet 😀

  18. I understood that u were on vacation as you were not to be seen 🙂
    Ooty is our favorite as we had been on our honeymoon there. Have some fond memories 🙂 The weather there is beautiful isn’t it. Ooty and Kodai are my favorites.
    I like my vacations internet free. Coming back is enjoyable then 😛

    • I know, I admire you for your internet free vacation. Mine are not total because I still check emails because of my professional work. But, at least the other browsing can be left behind :). So, Ooty is definitely special for you ;P.

  19. Oh, the sight of lush greenery is so rejuvenating, isn’t it! Loved your description of the place. And we do waste a whole lot of time with the internet, which can add up to so many hours lost in a lifetime, I think

  20. Ooty is a nice place; especially the heritage mountain train. I was surprised to hear that people were friendly. They fleeced us. Though we spoke Tamil so fluently; yet they fleeced us all the way. Its for that reason I dont feel like going back.

    • Really? That’s so horrible. We went at the peak of the Cauvery thing happening with KA number plate but faced no antagonism whatsoever. The mountain train was really very nice.

  21. Nice one. The drive to Ooty is very nice. Looks like you took the short cut, so it is steep but breathtaking scenery. I remember I had parked my Safari on the edge and was sitting on the rock to soak the scenery. A few guys came and asked my permission to click with my Safari and the scenery. Then I remembered to click images. 🙂 There are many places off Ooty as well.

    • You are right! The scenery is breathtaking and so is the scenic route through the forest. Till the mountain the drive was enchanting but it got scary once we started climbing. It was even worse coming down the same route — really very steep. No one told us about a better route. Perhaps, we will research more if we wish to go again :).

  22. ooty is a lovely place ! I just love the train … lovely post along with lovely pics …

  23. Loved your photos and all the details about your vacation, Rachna. Ooty is, indeed, a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings to you!

  24. I have never been to Ooty but the plantations look very similar to those of Munnar.
    It is great at times to get away from the internet, relax, sip some coffee and read a book.

    • Absolutely did all of those and munched on some great home-made chocolates too. So at least there is a Bangalorean who has not been to Ooty :). I am planning a visit to Munnar too.

  25. Sounds wonderful! I just love posts on little vacations. We have been planning on going to Ooty for a while. May be I’ll show this to my father and coax him even harder. Great pics 🙂

  26. wow..Ooty is my favourite hill stations…which is the best place you liked there?

  27. Though we have been to most hill stations around Delhi, we haven’t been to Ooty or the others in the south. The older one and his wife did go but not the rest of us. Did the kids see the rack rails? I am sure Gautam must have had his cute queries if you had shown that to them. 🙂

    The tire off the cliff was scary. That a major mishap was averted was by God’s grace. I love vacations but become grumpier by the minute as we near home 🙂

    • And, we haven’t been to many around Delhi except when we went in our childhood. Just last year we went to Nainital, and it is so amazing! I actually love Yercaud more than Ooty. Then Chikmagalur is nice too. We have heard that Kodai and Munnar are great as well. So many places to see :). Yes, Gautam spoke non stop. He tires us out and then we just keep quiet and nod our heads :).

      That incident was so scary. We were petrified. But the folks were so good. They got us back on the road in a jiffy. We were rattled for quite a while into the journey after that :). I was more worried about picking up Coco and the piling work that I had to attack from Saturday itself :).

  28. i can understand the many joys of taking a break free from all the chores and of course the net 😛 and yes ooty is still on my to-go list. looks like u had a whole lotta fun rachna

  29. Lovely snaps. I haven’t been to Ooty. In South many auto wallahs/ vendors speak fluent English just like your boatman.

  30. Ooty is indeed awesome..had visited 2 decades ago..good post rachna and fotos..

  31. Rachna, you were so close! Atleast you are in Bangalore but I am in Chennai and haven’t visited Ooty till date. This post reminds me to plan a trip there before I shift to another state.

    Looks like you had a fab time. I wish you many more blissful vacations and lovely times with your family.

    Joy always,

  32. Lovely pictures!
    I have never been to Ooty. I guess a break from the routine to a beautiful place like this must have been quite relaxing.
    The tyre going off the cliff was very scary. I am glad you got help in time 🙂

  33. Relaxing vacation… the pictures are also very nice… I have never been to Ooty but some of my relatives have and they keep telling me to visit.

    • It is one of the oldest hill stations and has a charm about it. But old timers say that it has become too commercialized and is not the same any more. It is still worth a visit.

  34. beautiful pictures Rachna.

    i was in bangalore once .. although ooty was on the list but we somehow skipped it and went to mysore .. so ooty is still on the list ..

    good to know that you had such a nice time in Ooty 🙂

    • Thank you so much Rahul! It happens when we do planned trips. We try to follow the places along a set route. Everyone who comes to Bangalore goes to Mysore :).

  35. Beautiful pics! I was meant to go to coorg last year(so called garibo ka ooty), but Ooty looks fascinating too. I actually heard that Ooty is very crowded, but these pics look magnificent. Esp those cabbage, carrot and potato fields. Getting back bulbs and seeds, great for organic farming in the house!

    Tyre came off the road! Gosh that surely was a scare.

    Which resort did you stay while there?

    • Yes Jenny, Ooty is crowded! But our resort was a bit distance from the city. It was Sterling Fern Hill. The location is amazing and very pristine situated as it is amid lush vegetable fields and greenery. Yes, we have planted all of them. Now waiting for them to grow. We also plan to visit Coorg someday.

  36. Grand vacation ,it was.
    Ooty has special place for me…we had gone there so many years back on our honeymoon.

  37. Thank god we have such corners of heaven on Earth. The mad urban life needs such breaks. I can see how revived you must be 🙂

    • Thanks Sangeeta! So true that we have such places but must say that it is sad seeing all that plastic and garbage and so much unauthorized construction marring the beauty of the hills.

  38. I think I’ve been to Ooty… honestly I am not sure. Your photos are really beautiful.

  39. Wow Rachana… that seems to be a fabulous vacation. Am glad you all had such a wonderful time in Ooty. Strange that having lived in Pondicherry, I haven’t been to Ooty yet. But now after reading your lovely experiences, I have more urge to go there soon. Steaming idlis and vadas are my favorites too. We can only realize the joy and happiness that is there to be absorbed and soaked in outside the idiot box (TV) and its smaller version (laptop) in those days when we don’t have any connection with the internet. And I was really surprised the first time that happened and such days give me a lot of memories to remember. Am glad you had a great vacation and the pictures are lovely!

    • Your comments are always so interesting, Raj. And every word you say is so true. I know just sitting in natural beauty and perhaps reading a book makes one feel so refreshed and energized.

  40. I have not been to ooty but would love to be there someday and the wheel off the cliff Oh that is scary ..

    those are beautiful pictures ..

    you had a good time then 🙂


  41. Never been to Ooty though my parents have! I agree that being unplugged for a few days is a great idea!! We think that our kids won’t be able to take it but it is pleasantly surprising how readily they take to other activities if there is no online option!

  42. @Bikram Yes a great time :). Thanks for liking the post.

  43. yes!!…ooty is too commercialized ….went there on a work trip and did not like ti much…prefered driving through the unknown roads of the nilgiris..those views were awesome..and mudumalai national park was awesome…apotted wild bison, elephant and deers on the road!!

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