Ooty Indulgences

Most of us in South India have visited Ooty so many times that yet another botanical garden, lake or a view point on the itinerary isn’t as exciting! So for those of you who wish to dwell into what more the the queen of hill stations has to offer, check out these eight not very typical touristy affairs– The Culinarium This place has some of best deserts ever! - melt in the mouth cheesecakes, pastries and variety of flavorful breads. With a small space that displays wonderful souvenirs by the side, the restaurant has an airy ambiance with a gaping view of the gorgeous green mountains. Ensure you make a reservation if you are heading here for lunch because their continental pot pies are worth it. After your meal, head to the pony craft store right below the restaurant. Pony needles, India’s first online needle craft supplier, has a range of interesting DIY craft products and accessories on display for sale. Address – Ooty Coonor main road, Ketti.Phone – 0423 2517293​ Moddys ChocolatesAbout 600 meters from Botanical gardens, you’ll find a tall store called Modern Stores. This place offers some of the finest chocolates in the country! If you have a sweet tooth, you will definitely fall in love with their freshly baked cakes and cookies. I also found their fudges and chocolates absolutely exceptional.Address – 114, Garden road, Opp Lawley Institute, Nilgiris, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001. ​​Phone – 0423 2444035 Wellington Gymkhana Club​​​​​​ Home to one of India’s best golf course surrounded by tea estates, the club serves aromatic freshly brewed English breakfast tea. I loved sitting in the lobby outside the restaurant (which serves great food), sipping tea after breakfast with a good book and a serene view of the tea estate. What a way to start the day! The club also houses a collection of vintage arms and ammunition.​Address - Barracks Post, Tamil Nadu 643231Phone - 0423 224 4030 St George’s Garrison Church and St Stephen’s Church (19th Century)There are numerous churches that are over a century old build by the British. Admire the sturdy architecture and silence around these places. Acres Wild Cheesmaking Farmstay​​Experience the world of making distinct types of cheese in a two days cheesemaking course. If you haven’t the time for it, you could just visit to watch the process (call to check and confirm timing), and pick up some tasty organic cheese from their unique collection of cheese types you didn’t even know existed! Learn more about the duration of stay and advance booking here. Ooty 8th Flea Market On the 8th of every month, Aravankadu comes to life with the very many traders bringing in export quality fabrics manufactured for brands such as H&M, Vero Moda, Tommy Hilfiger, Primark and so on. Popularly known as "aat market" among the locals, you'll find exquisitely soft "wear at home" outfits and a lovely collection of curtains. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (UNESCO World heritage site)This toy train is one of the very few locomotives that still runs on steam engine! The train operates between Udagamandalam and Mettupalayam (Coimbatore). During the journey, it stops over for water at an old and charming station called HillGrove where the passengers usually get off to take pictures, sip tea at the small bakery or just enjoy the scenic view around the foggy mountains. At 10mph, it takes you through 16 tunnels (I loved shouting like a kid just to hear echoes). Starting point - Udagamandalam Railway Station Upper BhavaniIf you like serene and calm, and if you’ve already been to Avalanche, this place is perfect. Located about 60km from Ooty, the view of the valley-like damn is stunning. If you could pack lunch (considering it a day long affar), it could be a nice picnic near a wild life sanctuary. Speaking of which, you’ll need to have prior permission from the Forest Department to get here.

Author:Chaitra Hareesh

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