Embedded in the Nilgiri District, Kotagiri will draw you closer to nature and make you forget about your worries. Situated at an elevation of 6,060 ft, this breathtaking destination is the third highest hill station in the Nilgiri range. It has beautiful European-style houses, breezy tea plantations, and mist-covered mountains that complement the lush landscape of Kotagiri. Sounds exciting, right? If you’re looking for places to visit in this town, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Read our article on some of the best places to visit in Kotagiri for a wonderful vacation to know more.
One can find Longwood Shola, a small but prominent tropical rainforest, situated in the heart of Kotagiri. If you’re looking for easy treks, this location will be the most ideal since the terrain is easy, not very rocky, and less marshy as well. It covers a distance of approximately 115 hectares, and you can complete the trek in around 2 hours. So, you won’t have to worry about carrying heavy trekking essentials.
While you’re trekking Longwood Shola, you’ll feel as if you’re entering a sea of green! You’ll also get hints about which path to take, all thanks to the various trekking routes cut out by frequent trekkers. Along the way, you’ll come across different species of plants such as orchids, wild jasmines, and Centella Asiatica - a medicinal herb that’s used to treat skin conditions and heal wounds.
But, don’t allow the green beauty around to enchant you too much because this rainforest is home to various species of wildlife as well. You’ll find remains of gaurs, leopard footprints, and flying fox droppings along the trail. So, be on guard and better take a guide along to avoid stepping into leopard territory. In all, what makes trekking Longwood Shola so captivating is that it’s educative, pleasurable, and adventurous. This also makes it one of the best places to visit in Kotagiri.
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Whenever one visits Kotagiri, Catherine Falls is one location they have to visit. If you travel along the Kotagiri-Mettupalayam road, you’ll get an enhanced view of the double-cascade waterfalls gushing down the Nilgiri range. Make sure to get your cameras and smartphones ready and click a few Instagram-worthy photos to upload to your feed.
What makes Catherine Falls one of the best places to visit in Kotagiri is its expanse and humongous nature, making the location visually appealing and sound. Located at a height of 250-ft, this aesthetic waterfall is the second-highest tucked in the Nilgiri Mountains. It’s so high that it can be viewed from Dolphin’s Nose (Coonoor) too. However, you should know that Catherine Falls consists of an upper and lower fall, of which the upper one is the second-highest in the Nilgiri region.
For our history buffs, there’s a pretty interesting tale that revolves around the christening of these falls. Legend says that these waterfalls were named after the wife of M.D. Cockburn, a Scottish coffee planter who introduced coffee plantations in Kotagiri. The couple was some of the first settlers of Kotagiri and you can find their graves placed side by side in this quaint town.
If you’re not done chasing waterfalls, then you should visit Elk Falls on your way to Kotagiri. Located at a mere distance of 7 km from the main town of Kotagiri, this scenic waterfall is known for its beautiful landscape views of the Nilgiri mountains. It’s a good destination to halt at, especially if you want to take a breather from your drive to Kotagiri. You can take a break at this serene location and inhale some of that chill mountain air that comes along with it.
When you visit Elk Falls during the monsoon, the location looks even more lush and prettier than before. However, during other seasons, you’ll find this destination does not have that gush and flow that a healthy waterfall has, but you’ll at least get breathtaking views of the valley of Kukkal. So, regardless of which season you choose to visit Kotagiri, Elk Falls will not disappoint.
If you travel along the Kotagiri-Kannerimukku road, you’ll come across a historic European establishment, which is now converted as a memorial for John Sullivan. To feed the minds of our history buffs, John Sullivan was the Collector of Coimbatore who brought about various developments in the Nilgiri region. It was he who cultivated vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees in the Nilgiri hills and introduced tea plantations as well.
Also known as the Pethakal bungalow, this two-story memorial is a little nugget of history. It holds various artifacts of Suvillan and his family, how the British developed the Nilgiri area, and memorabilia of various local tribes. You’ll go back in time and recognize how life in the hills was back then. The caretaker of the place will show you exciting exhibits such as the different hunting tools used by local tribes, a bugiri - a cane flute used by the tribes of the Nilgiri hills, and old photographs depicting the daily lifestyle of an average tribesman. There are many more things but we’ll leave that for you to explore.
The journey to the memorial will be one of the most memorable drives you have ever taken. You’ll traverse winding roads, busy tea factories, and tiled houses, complementing the serene nature of the ambiance. Keeping all these elements in mind, the John Sullivan Memorial hands-down becomes one of the best places to visit in Kotagiri for a wonderful vacation.
Kotagiri is a pretty small town in general, but many landmarks are just a drive away from it. One such famous landmark is the Kodanad Viewpoint, which is approximately 18 km from the beautiful town of Kotagiri.
Situated at an altitude of 6,500 ft, this serene landmark will grant you breathtaking views of the Gajalahatti pass. Along with that, you’ll get to notice the Moyar River, the Bhavani Sagar Dam, and Thengumarahada, which is just overlooking the Mysore plateau. Putting the cherry on the top, you have the lush tea estates surrounding the location. Indeed, this viewpoint is going to be a feast for your eyes.
Preferably, visit the Kodanad Viewpoint during the day when it’s nice and bright. You’ll get even more enchanting views of the landscape as opposed to visiting the point in the evening. If you want to have a detailed look into the beautiful scenery surrounding the viewpoint, the location has a telescope that can be used for a small fee. There are tiny tea stalls around the viewpoint as well, so you can indulge in some chai while you take a glance at the vast tea estates around the landmark.
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Located at a distance of 20 km from Kotagiri, one can find the Rangaswamy Peak sitting highly. With its elevation of 5,885 ft, this peak holds a deep spiritual significance to the Irula tribe. Legend has it that the peak was home to the deity Rangaswamy and that’s why there’s a temple dedicated to this deity at the peak. If you’re confused about how to reach here, know that this landmark is just on the way to Kodanad Viewpoint. So you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding the place.
Plus, if you’re in for some adventure, this trail is great for hiking and it’s very popular among amateur trekkers. When you embark on this trek, you’ll be covered in a canopy of green all around, making it a magical experience altogether. Added to that, you’ll get an enhanced view of the tea estates from the peak, which in a way is a reward for all your physical efforts.
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These are some of the best places to visit in Kotagiri for a wonderful vacation. If you’ve been craving a getaway, don’t hesitate to leave all your work aside, throw your deadlines out of the window, and lose yourself in this calm and unexplored hill station. Happy packing and safe travels for your trip!
What Is Kotagiri Famous For?
Kotagiri is known for its rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, beautiful tea estates, and less-crowded environment. Also, its hills offer some of the best trekking trails surrounded by rumbling rivers, preserved wildlife, and calming meadows.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Kotagiri?
The winter season (October - February) is the best time to visit this beautiful town. Although that’s the time when the tourist season is at its peak, the destination is less crowded as compared to nearby hill stations like Ooty and Coonoor. The climate during the winters in this hill station is pleasant and doesn’t go lower than 11°C. Just carry some cozy woolen clothes to combat the cold, and you’ll be fine.
What Is The Altitude Of Kotagiri?
Kotagiri is situated at an elevation of 6,060 ft, making it the third-largest hill station in the Nilgiri range.
How Can I Go To Kotagiri?
If you’re traveling by air, the nearest airport is in Coimbatore, which is approximately 100 km from Kotagiri. From the Coimbatore Airport, you can take a bus, taxi, or rent a car to travel to Kotagiri. By rail, the nearest railway station is at Coimbatore as well, which is roughly 21 km from Kotagiri. Buses and taxis from the Coimbatore Railway Station are easily available to make the trip to the hill station.
Which State Is Kotagiri In?
Kotagiri is located in the flourishing state of Tamil Nadu.
How far is Kotagiri from Ooty?
The distance from Ooty to Kotagiri is 31 km.
What is the climate in Kotagiri?
The weather usually depends on the season, in monsoon, it is cloudy and humid, summer it is hot and humid as well.
Is kotagiri worth visiting?
Kotagiri is definitely nature's paradise, it is worth visiting the place because of its calmness and pleasant ambiance.