Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Ooty, India

Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:20am EDT
 
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By Ajay Kamalakaran

OOTY, India (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Ooty, a picturesque town of tea estates, forests and mist-shrouded hills in India's southern Nilgiri Hills?

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short stay in the hill station established by the British colonial rulers in the early 19th century.

SATURDAY

8 a.m. - Start off with pastries and breads at Hot Breads in the town's Charing Cross area. For a typical Indian breakfast, walk across the road to the Hotel Sanjay for generous servings of steamed idlis, dosas and vadas. Make sure you wash it all down with a warm 'cuppa' of the renowned Nilgiri tea.

9 a.m. - Head to the Doddabetta Viewpoint, which at 2,633 meters (8,638 ft) above sea level is the highest point in the Nilgiris. Enjoy views of the vast valleys and the surrounding hills including, Snowdown Hill, Club Hill and Elk Hill.

10.30 a.m. - Trek through hills, forests and tea plantations to a Toda tribal village. Shop for traditional Toda shawls at bargain prices and drink some delicious buffalo butter milk before heading back into town.

2 p.m. - Late lunch at the cozy Sidewalk Cafe, which has its own fireplace. The mushroom toast is popular as are the pastas. Round it all off with a cappuccino, that goes really well with the mouthwatering desserts.

3.30 p.m. - Hire a pedal boat and navigate the tranquil Ooty Lake in the late-afternoon sun. The artificial lake is surrounded by groves of eucalyptus trees and a short trail for pony rides.   Continued...

 
<p>A bungalow is seen at Singara Tea Estate June 30, 2009. Got 48 hours to explore Ooty, a picturesque town of tea estates, forests and mist-shrouded hills in India's southern Nilgiri Hills? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short stay in the hill station established by the British colonial rulers in the early 19th century. Drop in for tea at the Singara Tea Estate, just like ormer Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Bulganin did in the 1950s. Make sure you also take a short tour of the aromatic tea factory after having tea and cakes on the estate bungalow's lawn. REUTERS/Ajay Kamalakaran</p>