Kotagiri which showers one of the best climate next to Switzerland is situated at a distance of about 28 km east of Ooty, at an altitude of 1950 m and it is one of the three hill stations of the Nilgiris.Kotagiri is surrounded by dense Shola forests and splendid green lush of tea estates.Kotagiri is a perfect holiday escape and is steeped in colonial nostalgia thus attracting a lot of tourists. In earlier days it used to be the summer resort of the British. Kotagiri is bestowed with a temperate climate. It happens to be one of the oldest and largest hill stations in southern India. It is also one of the important centre for tea industry next only to Coonoor.Kotagiri also takes the pride of being first place in the hills to which road was made from Sirumugai via Dena in the year 1819.
HISTORY:Kotagiri was earlier known as ‘Kota-Keri’ which literally means the street or lines of the house of the Kotas. Kotagiri is mainly accommodated by members of the Kota tribes who still follow their customs and live as artisans showcasing their talent in baking, terracotta and pottery. These houses were used by the British as a summer resort after which the kota tribes shifted their settlement to Aggal hamlet in 1911. Now the town is fast becoming commercial with the latest advent technologies.
ORIENTATION :The hill resort of Kotagiri is located in the famous Nilgiri Hills.Kotagiri is located at 11°26N 76°53E / 11.43°N 76.88°E.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:Kotagiri because of its mild temperature all round the year, it can be visited at any time.
FESTIVALS:There is a temple dedicated to Kamataraya deity and the annual festival which falls on Arudra Darshan day is of great importance to all the Kotas.Also the thaipoosam festival which falls in the month of February is celebrated with great pomp in the Elk Hill Murugan Temple.
|Summer||Max. 25°C, Min. 10°C|
|Winter||Max. 21°C, Min. 5°C|
|Best Season||April to June and September to November|
|Languages||Badaga, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, and English|
|Clothing||Heavy Woolen in winter/ Light Woolen in summer|
KODANAAD VIEW POINT:The Kodanaad View point is perched on the eastern most edge of the Nilgiri’s at a distance of about 18 km east of Kotagiri and at an altitude of about 6500ft.You can get a beautiful view of the green carpeted paddy fields of Tengumarahaada village lying below.Apart from this you get breathtaking views of the Moyar and Bhavani rivers and the Mysore Plateau. This place is also referred as the Terminus Country.
ELK FALLS:Elk Falls is situated close to the Uyilathi village at a distance of about 7 km from Kotagiri.Though this waterfall comes in full gush only in the rainy season it is worth visiting this place to get the view of the Echoing Valley of Kookal.The other attractions here include the first European house built in 1819 by collector Sullivan at the Kannerimukku village which now remains as ruins. You can also have a close look into the lives of the tribal people by exploring the Badaga settlement, on the road to the falls.
St.CATHERIAN’S FALLS:It is 8 km from kotagiri on the Mettupalyam road. This double-cascaded Falls is the second highest in the district (250 ft) and it waters from the upper stream of the kallar river crossed by the invisible Mettupalyam-Ooty road beyond the mountains in the south-west. From this point of view Dolphin’s Nose of Coonoor is also seen across the mighty gap in the hills. It presents a lovely view of the tea gardens and forests and woodlands.
LONGWOOD SHOLA:The Longwood shola is also otherwise known as the Dodda Shola by the local people of Kotagiri and is 3kms away from the town. Longwood shola is one of the major water resources in Kotagiri for more than 15 villages in the Aravenu area. In this area of the Western Ghats one can get to see the stunted evergreen vegetation or the shola forests and this plays a major role in Kotagiri’s microclimate. This is an ideal place for trekking and for bird watchers. Longwood Shola is also noted for Indian giant squirrel, bonnet macaque, barking deer, Nilgiri Marten and Indian bison.
BIKKAPATHI RESERVE:Bikkapathi Reserve about 10 kms from Kotagiri is under the control of the Forest Range Officer of Kattabettu at Kotagiri.This reserve is an ideal place to trek but only on prior permission.
RANGASWAMY PILLAR AND ROCK:Rangaswamy Pillar or the peak is considered very sacred by a particular tribal community named Irulas of Kotagiri and is at a distance of about 20kms from the same. The Rangaswamy roch which is about 400 metres high is literally a nightmare for the rock climbers. This is a very adventurous place which should never be missed in Kotagiri.
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