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Hill stations in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is also home to many beautiful hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Coonoor, Topslip, Yercaud, Valparai, Yelagiri and Manjolai. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills, Kolli Hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife.
Coimbatore (95 km), hill resort, toy train route from Mettupalayam to Ooty is in world heritage centre list : 16 tunels, 31 bridges, 326 m to 2193 m , 1899 AD, 46 km in 4.5 hour. Botanical garden, fossil tree trunk (20 million year old), lake, rose garden, Dodebetta peak (2636 m, 10 km), tea plantation, Government museum, Deer park, Pykara (21 km) : Toda settlement, trekking, Kotagiri hill station (40 km); Coonoor hill station (20 km) : Dolphin's nose (26 km) to view Catherine falls, Lamb's rock : View of Coimbatore plains, Sim's park, botanical gardens; MUDUMALAI Wild life sanctuary (30 km).
The serene hill station of Coonoor lies in the arms of the Nilgiri Hills. In fact Coonoor is located at an altitude of 1800 m. Geographically speaking, Coonoor lies at the head of Hulikal ravine.This picturesque retreat is covered by grassy meadows, tea bushes, a profusion of sunflowers, marigolds and rhododendrons, all growing wild. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year.
Links with the world Coonoor does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is in Coimbatore. Coonoor is on the toy-train line between Mettupalayam (28 km) and Ooty. The toy train leaves Mettupalayam for Ooty at 7:45 am and arrives at Ooty at noon. The total time taken on the return trip back to Mettupalayam is about 3½ hours. However, this train service is often disrupted during the heavy monsoon season. Coonoor is well connected by bus with Ooty, Coimbatore, and Kotagiri.
In the serene setting of the Nilgiri Hills and just an hour's drive from Udhagamandalam, Kotagiri is a small resort set among the lush tea estates. Retaining the essence of hill magic and charm, the resort offers year round sylvan charm. Trips to Kodanad View Point, St. Catharine Falls and Rangaswamy Pillar and Peak are worthwhile.Kotagiri is a hiker's paradise, with endless trails and sufficient 'off beat ness'. It is the third largest and the oldest hill station in the Nilgiri's. Like all hill stations in India, this also has had strong presence of the British Raj. The town is fast becoming commercial, with many banks and shopping facilities coming up. It has a Kota temple in the middle of the town, even though the Kota tribes have long moved out, giving it an exotic tribal feel. Kotagiri has one of the best climates in the world. It is more temperate than Ooty, attributed to its altitude of 1984 metres above sea level.
KODAIKANAL (2100 m)
Hill station 120 km from Madurai, lake, Solar Physics observatory, Shenbegannur museum of orchids, Pillar rocks (120 m), Byrant park (trees and shrubs).