The mountains almost always seem like a little haven, specially when we speak of small towns tucked away among a large umbrella of trees. There is one such place, among others in India, that truly lives upto every word you’ve ever heard of it- Coonoor. Hidden within the lush Nilgiris or “Blue Mountains” of South India, Tamil Nadu to be precise, this town is nothing short of a dream.

While one must nave come across quite a few articles regarding the beauty of this green, tea- growing town, not many know of the essentials that make Coonoor the place it is. Here’s a little tid-bit on a few off-beat things to-do and what you need to keep an eye out for.

A less-known fact, Coonoor is actually made up of several tribal communities and not just a tamilians in general. This variation of people is quite visible to the naked eye, as each tribe has it’s own unique attire. If you spend a little time around the town, you’ll see folks of the two major tribes in Coonoor- the Todas and Badagas. They each have a distinct set of traditional attire they don, which is hard to miss. While the ‘Badagas’ are clad in all-white, from the turban to the ‘lungi’, the Todas on the other hand wrap themselves with a colorful shawl that mainly has the colors red, black and white. If you’re lucky you can catch them all in a procession when they’re on their way to places of worship. You can catch a sight of this when you’re at the old market in Coonoor, where you need to keep a lookout for small push-carts selling mouth-watering soya kebabs.

Toda Tribe

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Although Coonoor is known for the endless, as-far-as-the-eye-can-see tea plantations, don’t forget to watch out for massive Bisons that roam around these plantations.during the mornings and evenings. If you’re on your way to view points like Lamb’s Rock and Dolphin’s Nose, you may just find these enormous animals walking along the road. Be aware to stop when you spot one and maintain a safe distance to avoid them attacking you. The Bisons are known to be hidden during the summers because of the heat, and are also known to cause damage to property of the locals, especially the ones living at the edge the forests.

Bison and Coonoor

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The beautiful town in the ‘Blue Mountains’ is also known for exotic fruits and essential oils. The most popular fruits, you just cannot miss are the tree tomatoes and the passion fruit, with an addition of plums. Available mainly in Coonoor, the passion fruit is something almost every local living in Coonoor grows in their garden. Also available almost as commonly as tea, are the essential oils like Almond oil, Clove Oil, Camphor oil and the likes, with Eucalyptus being the most popular owing to thousands of trees in the Nilgiris.

Next time you’re in Coonoor or if you plan to visit it the first time, you should break away from the monotony of visiting popular tourist spots and wander away in places like Attadi which just tea plantations and deep beautiful woods that are untouched by modern world.

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