Kotagiri is a small hill town, near Coonor, nestled at a height of 5,883 feet. Lately it has become a popular hill retreat in the Nilgiri Hills. It appeals to those who want to spend some time with the pristine nature. Along with the natural beauty, Kotagiri also offers salubrious climate which soothes the jaded souls living in the plains. The major activities in this town are walking and trekking. Situated in the shadow of Dodda Betta Peak, Kotagiri’s hilly terrain is profusely covered with tea plantations. It was in 1843 that Kotagiri saw its first plantations by a British. Initially it was coffee, but eventually tea took over. This town has many resorts and retreats, along with a few budget hotels.
Places to Visit in Kotagiri
This double-cascaded waterfall falls from a height of 250 feet. Catherine is 8 km from Kotagiri on the road to Mettupalayam. You can also get a glimpse of this fall from Coonor. Locally known as Geddhehada Halla, this fall is the second highest in the Nilgiris. And is also one of the most popular attractions in Kotagiri and its surroundings. Hence, do expect a score of beholders around you. But walk further to get some solitude and cherish the sight of the water falling from such a height. It is obvious that the fall would be voluminous during and just after monsoon.
Kodanad View Point
If you are in Kotagiri, you can’t miss doing an excursion to Kodanad View Point. The drive to Kotagiri is as much enjoyable as the place itself. Situated 18 km north of Kotagiri, this point offers splendid views of the valley below. From here you can also spot the popular Rangasamy Peak and Bhavanisagar Reservoir. This point is situated in a verdant area. Hence, you can spend some time ambling around if you like being with nature.
This small fall becomes lively in monsoon. But you can visit it even in other seasons if you are looking for an opportunity to trek. It is about 7 km out of the town and en route you can enjoy the beautiful views. The fall is nestled in the Uyilathi village near Kookal valley. During monsoon the orchards of Kookal valley glow with the oranges.
John Sullivan Memorial
John Sullivan, a writer and the collector of Coimbatore, had established the first British settlement in the Nilgiri Hills. This small building is an endeavour to portray the history of Nilgiris through paintings and photographs. This building was originally a bungalow built by John Sullivan in 1819. He used it as his summer retreat until 1823. Now in its renovated avatar, it is set amidst a lush green village called Kannerimukku. It is about 3 km uphill from Kotagiri and the path is unpaved.
Note: A caretaker runs the museum. If you find it closed, phone the person with the number mentioned outside.
Shola forests are endemic to the Nilgiri Hills in Western Ghats. These are in fact patches of stunted tropical montane forests. Longwood Shola encloses a shola forest covering an expanse of 116 hectares. A trekking path traverses through this beautiful forest. This forest forms the core of the fragile ecosystem of Kotagiri, hence it is essential that we do not pollute or litter the place. The residents of this forest include flying fox and Indian Bison.
This is the beautifully shaped peak you get to see from Kodanad View Point. You can access this peak. For that you need to take a detour on Kotagiri-Kodanad road to reach the base of the hill. From there it is an hour long trek to reach to the Rangaswamy Peak. The path passes through tea plantations. And all along the way you can cherish soothing vistas. From the top, the views are even more splendid. Also there is a temple at the top which is open during some festivities.
Note: To do this trek, you need a permission from the forest department. You can seek help from your hotel or resort.
When to Visit?
During the monsoon months of June to September, you can expect moderate to heavy rainfall in Kotagiri. The atmosphere is very soothing and the air is crisp during winter which is from November to February. The summer months of April to June are warm, the temperature can go up to 30 degrees celcius.
How to Reach Kotagiri?
Rail: Coonor, a narrow gauge railway station. is 24 km from Kotagiri. From there you can only board the Mettupalayam-O0ty toy train. The nearest major railhead is Coimbatore, 64 km south.
Air: Coimbatore is the nearest airport.
Road: Kotagiri is 154 km south of Mysuru and 64 km north of Coimbatore.