nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 160 km away. You can catch
a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore
and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi-Kochi via Mumbai
it was a good 45 years later in 1899 that the first train chugged
up this track. This railway
is widely regarded as a marvel
of engineering. The train itself is a charming blue and cream with wooden
coaches and large windows. It is hauled uphill by steam engines,
desgined and built by
the Swiss Locomotive Works. Twelve of such locomotive engines survive even
broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam (46 kms). Major
broadgauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected
with all major cities. Mettupalayam to Ooty, is connected
by a Mountain Railway which is 4 hours journey.
At a height of 2,600m stands Udhagamandalam (Ooty) the
Queen of Hill Stations. The 'Nilgiri toy train' connects
Ooty to Mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris.
The constructions of this line was a big challenge as the terrain is rather
tricky. It was in 1854 that the first plans were drawn to built a mountain
railway from Mettupalayam to the Nilgiri Hills.
The train covers the 46 km to Udhagamandalam in four - and - half hours.
There are five stations between Mettupalayam and Coonoor - Kallar, Adderley,
Runnymede and Kateri - and, at one time, there were five between Coonoor
and Ooty too. Though Wellington, Aruvakadu, Ketti, and Lovedale are still
Fern Hill, the last one, was closed down a few years ago.
Extensive rice fields surround the 7 km stretch between Mettupalayam and
Kallar. Soon after is an impressive 21 km section through truly rocky terrain.
passes over 26 viaducts, and twists and bends through 13 tunnels. After
a steep climb, the train enters Coonoor, the little hill station known
for its tea plantations.
From here, the track is uphill till you reach Fern Hill at a height of
2,218m, the highest point on the railroad. Shortly before Ooty, the line
If you enjoy taking pictures, keep your camera ready for a few shots of
the viaduct between Kallar and Adderley.
This ride is sure to turn the most hardened rail critic into an avid fan.
You'll delight in the edge - of -the - seat twists and turns as the train
tall grider briodges, and over green hills before gently meandering through
rolling tea estates. The exhaust beat of the loco never falters, maintaining
staccato which can be heard for miles around. Truly a journey to remember.
is well connected by good roads.
There is a regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari,
Tanjavur, Tirupati and Cochin. Kotagiri, Coonoor and Doddabeta. Buses ply regularly
to Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.