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Call it co-incidence or destiny, it took exactly 5 years to revisit Ooty since my last visit on 26 & 27th Dec 2003, when I was working in ABT Industries Coimbatore. But this time the visit was quite romantic - my honeymoon trip. No matter how much Ooty is exposed or commercialised, there lies an iner romantic beauty which attracts people towards it in hoardes. Why Ooty in December, especially this was the coldest winter in past 50 years? Once can enjoy Ooty's natural beauty with lesser crowd during the second season till mid January. Once I decided that Ooty is the place for my honey moon trip, I booked the tickets online via IRCTC and hotel bookings via Make My Trip. These plans made this trip quite breezier and relaxed to enjoy. But more than being a honeymoon trip, I enjoyed Ooty at its sizzling best. Welcome to my travelogue on Ooty this December.

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I had to cut a day in the trip because of the unexpected client visit on 26th Dec but I was glad because it is going to be my first big project. So the happiness with the trip got doubled. We landed in Ooty by 27th evening and checked into our hotel, named Hotel Preethi Classic Towers. Since it was late evening, I and Akila just strolled in the streets of Ooty. Since that place is familiar to me, we went to one old Irani Restaurant in the Commercial Road after having a bite of Bread Omlette in the road side Dhaba. And since we had decided not to participate in any of the tour packages, we had to make arrangements for our conveyence on our own. On investigation we came to know that one mechanic shop in the Botanical garden road gives out 2 wheelers for rent. He is Mr. Imran Khan (Mobile: +91-9994553757) and charges Rs. 350/- per day for Bajaj Pulsar. After meeting him, we decided to hire the vehicle next morning. Since it was freezing cold, we bought a couple of gloves, socks and wollen caps for us.

Since our check out time was for 12:00 noon, we thought of taking the vehicle by 12:00 noon next day, after visiting the botanical garden, so that we can retain the vehicle at our beck and call for the stay period. But the next morning we got paranoid and hired the vehicle by morning 9:30 a.m and headed towards Pykara. All the tour operators trake the tourists in the order of Seven Miles Lake, Shooting Spot, Kamaraj Sagar and then to Pykara. Since we wanted to avoid the tourist crowd, we took the reverse journey starting from Pykara and advanced towards the town by the evening.

{mosimage}Our first stop was the Kamaraj Sagar Dam. Since it is quite hidden with thick trees, it is not easily visible, so most of the tourists skip this side of the dam. However the other side of the dam is a new popular tourist spot. We visited that side of the dam also while returning from the Pykara Dam. More about that place in the return journey.

Pykara, which is 19 kms far from Ooty town, houses the Pykara Dam and Hydro Electric Project. For the tourists it offers a beautiful green meadow which is breath taking. When I went there last time in 2003, it had a good amount of water in the falls as well as the dam (the climax of Roja was shot here), but this time the water was sparse in the falls and dry in the dam. Fresh carrots are the best snacks for this place while walking into the falls from the Mudhumalai / Gudalur main road. Now they had started charging Rs 2/- per head for the tourists to enter into the falls. Thankfully the tourists crowd was trickling in by the time we stayed there considerably. Since it was a steep rise from the falls, I started gasping and had a nap there with my wife complaining about my sleeping habits. It was a nice sleep under the tree.

{mosimage}Our next stop was the shooting Medu (Filmy Chakkar for North India Tourists). While coming back I and Akila stopped over to take some photographs on the road. I often kept forgetting to remove my jerkins, resulting in the retakes... This road is the Mysore road, infact all the places like Boat Lake, Seven Miles Lake, Shooting Spot, Pykara, Mudumalai Forest lie in the same road, so the tourists have a good time in enjoying the locations rather than running among the spots. Since we were on the reverse trip, we didn't have much traffic disturbance to click in the road.

By the time we reached the Shooting Medu by around 2:00 p.m, there was enormous crowd of tourists there. Seems it was the backlash of the tourists on the way to Pykara. Also the sunlight was so harsh that we found it difficult to take photos. Since there is no tree/shadow on the dune, we kept walking towards the foot hills of the shooting dune. Literally there was none other than us in that place, we were ensured of needed privacy. The shadow and the breeze in that place was so romantic that we almost ended up making love until some sense prevailed. A really romantic place. We started walking to the top again by 3:00 p.m, and kept clicking photos while going on. I was bit upset that a lone tree in that spot that provided beautiful prop for photos had whithered and dry, almost to be fallen.

{mosimage}We spent time till 4:00 p.m there and were watching the horades of tourists around us. You can get a nice panoramic view of Ooty hills from that point, which makes that place hot spot for song picturisations. I really couldn't get enough of that place and wanted to comeback next day by late evening around 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. We then moved towards Seven miles lake with a intermittent stop at the Kamaraj Sagar Dam. We took some photos there, had some 'காரப்பொரி’ and then returned to Seven Miles Lake.

{mosimage}The final stop for that day was the Seven miles lake. I knew the private places around that area and we both slipped to that places to take some photos. We had a good time there by shooting the sunset, pine trees and playing some pranks. You can see the photos we shot there. By that time it stuck 6:00 p.m, the cold was getting severe that we couldn't survive without wollen gloves and caps. Also all the tourists had moved from that place giving it a deserted look. We started travelling to Ooty town via Boat House Lake taking a glimpse of it.

{mosimage}We had our dinner at a pathetic & cheating place called "Planters Paradaise", fuckers they are taking the tourist for a royal ride. We wished we should have stuck with vegetarian dinner at our hotel itself. Anyway no point in crying over the spilt milk, so we decided to tell to as much people to stay away from that shit hotel via this blog. But the hotel we stayed - Hotel Preethi Classic was very nice and they played a warm host. The rooms were nice and with beautiful views no matter which room you stayed. So we decided to come back to that hotel itself whenever we dediced to come to Ooty again.

Thats how the first half of our Ooty Trip ended... Rest in the next post covering the visit to Connoore, Doddabetta, Welington and the famous Boat Lake.

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