Coonoor is like a drop of high tea from a bygone British era of dainty bungalow parties, carriage rides, church tolls, flowering gardens and leafy walks. Apart from the town center which is a conspicuous bustle, the rest of Coonoor is calm and composed - an intriguing combination of Indian and British culture; in the streets, in the houses, in the neighborhoods, in the people and their habits. Its leafy lanes with bougainvillea drooling on to the road, large houses hidden by foliage, flowery incense in the air, accompanied by a neatness from colonial times.
Lamb’s Rock; named after Captain Lamb of the British Army is a rugged cliff that lords over the expansive valley of the Coonoor River and the Hulikal Ravine presenting spectacular views. Law’s Falls and Lady Canning’s Seat are other scenic spots that have interesting stories to go along with them.
Sim’s Park is a botanical garden inaugurated in 1874 and serves as a scenic spot as well as a learning centre for botanists. An annual fruit and vegetable show is held here.
The livelihood of most people here comes from the tea plantations and fruit orchards. In the morning you will see people heading to the fields, sometimes lugging baskets on their back. The aroma of filter coffee and tea is especially predominant at this crisp time of the day.
Tourism has brought in many cafés to go along with the traditional chai shops. The highlight would be fresh fruit creams and ice-creams made from the local produce.
Treks and hikes through the hills and forests around are common and a delight.
We suggest you stay at an old colonial bungalow or a cottage in a tea plantation and walk down the slopes to the busy city market and sample some flavorful dosas, idlis and fruit bowls.
UcL Tip: The tea that is traded and supplied to the vast export business is grown here. Why not buy it at the source?