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My green valley

Beware of wild tuskers crossing the road, writes Rishad Saam Mehta on his drive to Coonoor.

The road to coonoor is the same till Mudumalai and Masinagudi. It is another 35 km to Udhagamandalam, better known as Ooty and 18 more to Coonoor. The drive beyond Masinagudi entails 35 hairpin bends and though these are very enjoyable drives, the trouble is, everyone else seems to think so too. Watch out therefore for maniacs coming tearing down from the opposite side. Masinagudi used to be an elephant corridor. So don’t be too surprised if you do see some wild tuskers on the road. Apart from the scenic beauty of the road, the drive through Masinagudi is charming in itself.

The road between Ooty and Coonoor is quit forested with hills looming in the distance. Again, there are blind turns and you have to be very careful around the corners. Coonoor town seems as crowded as Ooty but, a little distance away from the centre of the city peace descends again. Coonoor is more charming as it has many quaint houses, old churches and not too many visitors as compared to its more famous neighbouring city. Ooty and its rolling hills give way to snarling traffic in the centre of town which is thankfully bypassed for a smooth drive on the way to Coonoor.

More peaceful and a lot greener and immensely charming, the first impression you get in Coonoor is that the air smells funny. But then, to our smog – loaded olfactory senses, fresh air always smells funny. The second assault on your senses will be amount of green all aroung. There are more green here than on a Pantone shade card.

On the road to Coonoor . . . . . . .