The Queen of Hills, The Nilgiris in South India.
The name Nilgiris translated to English means Blue Mountains. This mountain range is a part of Western Ghats recently brought under the UN Heritage sites to be preserved. The location of the range is almost in the midst or rather borders 3 south Indian states namely Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh is not very far from these mountain ranges as well.
It is one of the most enchanting places for those who are after pure natural beauty. The most scenic places are breath taking in its sheer panorama, views of reserved forests [Preserved as 50 years ago is the claim of the officials] Human habitation in these natural habitat of Tribal’s along with animals, birds and the rivulets with waterfalls, lakes etc, has been encroached by other communities from the plains for business and loot of all the abundant natural wood cover and other valuable produces, the reason for degradation,cannot be denied, and the place is showing strains of men animal conflict which has become more direct these days, as the animals has been encroaching nearby villages and roads in search of water and food.It was a result of men first grabbed their land for plantations etc.
I have spent almost 5 years at Coonoor, first time during the mid Nineties and second time from last year. The crossing of wild animals earlier was a rare sight though, is becoming more and more regular these days, with herds of elephants and other wild animals on or crossing the roads have become more frequent these days. But don’t worry I have been driving up and down to these hill tops almost 2500 meters above mean sea level, regularly at least twice weekly and have realized, if you don’t bother them with honking of horns, in most cases they majestically walk away not hurting us. But it is scary also at times.My suggestion is to avoid night travels as you can not enjoy the sight in darkness anyway.
There are so many places of interests such as Ooty,Coonoor,Kotagiri,Mudumalai and so many other places of natures abundance which, has to be experienced or you are missing something in this world. These are the places notified as ‘must see destinations’ in almost all tourist guidebooks and National Geographic channels etc.
For a person with love for nature, it is like the heavens though; growing population has resulted in deterioration of the forest cover. In fact, these places are used by outlaws and other looters taking the cover of the forests to hide from the law enforcement agencies like Forests officials, State police and other agencies.The climate though has been very pleasant decades back, now has become unpredictable with lack of rain or flooding, drought and at times too chilly and some sunny days too hot. The booming townships are reason for the decaying of the pure tropical forest cover and god knows what it will be like in a couple of decades from now.
For vacationers the nearest Airport is Coimbatore and a mountain railway which is more than a century old is still taking tourists up and down daily. You may go to Kerala, Karnataka as per your wish after seeing the places of interests full of history and natures wonder called the Nilgiris, where one gets lost by the sheer thrilling experiences of being in the midst of wild forest and beautiful valleys and mountain ranges along with nice and friendly people who are very innocent.