Written by wanderlust007 on 21 Nov, 2004
Ooty, queen of the hills, is the Scotland of India. Bestowed with numerous such sobriquets, though this region has fought hard over the last few years to keep up to its reputation, the growing commercialisation of the area, environmental pollution, and other such aspects have…Read More
Ooty, queen of the hills, is the Scotland of India. Bestowed with numerous such sobriquets, though this region has fought hard over the last few years to keep up to its reputation, the growing commercialisation of the area, environmental pollution, and other such aspects have been hard realities to deal with. So it came as a welcome and pleasant surprise to witness an effort that seeks to reclaim Ooty's past glory in a thoughtful and sincere manner.
Kings Cliff, a boutique hotel located on Havelock Road, rescues you just before you enter the hullabaloo of Ooty town! Started almost 20 months ago as a joint effort of a young and enterprising couple residing in Ooty, the hotel boasts of nine double bedrooms housed in an old colonial bungalow; complete with fireplaces and well-maintained wooden flooring. You could choose your room from a luxury four-poster Windsor, a cosy Prospero, or a Hamlet with an exclusive covered sit-out. Whichever Shakespearean character you opt for, you overlook the well-kept lawns and the healthy looking Ooty plants. You would find it difficult to resist sipping a hot cup of tea or leisurely reading your book sitting at the inviting wrought iron tables and chairs, with the garden umbrella offering you have just the right amount of winter sun! Or you might just want to sit and watch the clouds play games with the hills-now seen, now hidden.
In the evenings, you could venture out for a walk on the hill and settle down with your book by the fireplace with not a care in the world. With Earl's Secret, the restaurant at Kings Cliff, offering you a wide variety of well-prepared cuisines, you can sufficiently satisfy your hitherto unknown large appetite, blaming it all on the weather!
For those who prefer a more active holiday, Kings Cliff also offers you several options to exercise your senses and limbs: a jungle ride in nearby Masinagudi, a trek in the hills, a horse ride for the kids, or fishing-it depending on the season,
There is of course the traditional tourist run-the must-sees and must-do’s while in Ooty!! There is the Doddabetta Peak, which offers a breathtaking view of the entire Nilgiris region (provided of course it is a clear, cloudless day!!), the botanical gardens, and the lake. Those interested could also enquire if there is any Hindi film shooting in progress. The Fernhill palace hotel building is worth a visit. Ooty is also famous for its aromatic oils, tea, honey, and homemade chocolates (visit King Star on commercial road for the chocolates). The relatively less known fact of Ooty is that of the Toda Tribals-their history and culture also evident in the attractive shawls and silver jewellery. More information could be had from the Toda centre at Charing Cross, but don't get disappointed by visiting on a Sunday, when it remains closed.
So send that email or make a call and book your Iago or Verona at Kings Cliff to relive the old-world charm of Ooty and get thoroughly pampered in the hills. As Ruskin Bond puts it so aptly, "once you have lived with the mountains for any length of time, you belong to them . . . (you) must return again and again."