Saturday, 12 May 2012

Nilgiri Express... UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you want to add a dash of Bollywood in your Ooty trip, don't forget to embark on the famous "Chaiya Chaiya" track from Dil Se. Let me confirm your guess, yes... it is the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site... Nilgiri Express.

Nilgiri Express waiting at Ooty station


We heard a lot about this train and the track. So when we planned for Ooty, we purposefully included Coonoor... just for a ride on this train. The desire was so strong, it made us procrastinate our Ooty trip because we didn't get tickets of this train. So, for this trip, my wife made advance booking around 2 months back. The reason is, the train has only three reserved compartments and they get sold out like hot-cake. Although, unreserved tickets are available on the very day, but there is a mad rush for a proper seat.

  We booked two first class tickets in Uam Onr Passr (56139) which leaves Ooty(Udagamandalam)  at 9:15 am. Consider yourself lucky if you get a seat on the right side of the train while going from Ooty to Coonoor and exactly opposite on the way back. This is because most of the scenic valleys show up on this side of the train.


  There are a total of 4 stations between Ooty and Coonoor, though the train won't be halting for  long in these stations. All these stations are like small toy stations. 


  The train passes through several tunnels, beautiful lush green valleys, eucalyptus forests, tea plantations. It goes very slow, just like any other toy trains, so that you can enjoy all of these, take snaps, store them in your memory for eternity.


  Here are the snaps, though we strongly believe that its merely 1% of what meets the eyes:




On the way to school

Passing through the woods

One of the several turns

Lovedale

Through the eucalyptus forest

Coonoor station

Passing over a bridge

Scenic track

Settlement in the valley

Valley

Tea plantation

Open greenary

Valley downhill


One small tunnel

Nilgiri chai


    It's nice to see that the government has preserved this track so well. 


    Some pointers to help you in your planning:


    First Class fare: Rs. 255/person
    Train name/number(Ooty->Coonoor): Uam Onr Passr (56139) (train back to Ooty is also there)
    Schedule departure: 9:15 am (other successive timing are also there)
    Time to reach Coonoor: 1 hr 15 min (approx)
    Time of our visit: Early November, 2011
    
Bon voyage.
    










26 comments:

  1. This is one wonderful joy ride! Love the green landscapes and the fact that the train moves slow gives us so much more time to soak it all in, in our own way. Beautifully captured :)

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  2. Would love to do this! Thank you for the lovely pics and tips!

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    Replies
    1. We're glad that you liked the photographs.

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  3. Thanks for this lovely piece.
    I studied at Lovedale for six years (1966 to 1972) and it looks like Lovedale Station is still the same.
    A very appealing blog. Keep it up.
    Regards
    Vikram Karve
    Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

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    Replies
    1. Lovedale station is indeed very soothing. Thanks for stopping by Vikram.

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  4. Great to read your post & So beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We're glad you liked the photographs Rupam.

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  5. Hi Soma,

    Brilliant pictures. I am tempted to travel by this train, now that I've read your post. However, I've been on the toy train from Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri. I guess this is another sweet memory waiting to get registered.
    Thanks for sharing the pics. :)

    Regards

    Jay
    My Blog | My Entry to Indiblogger Get Published

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    Replies
    1. We're sure you'll love the ride Jay. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Ah! Nostalgic.
    My very first train ride a long, long time ago was on one of these trains and it was a joyride up to Coonoor. :) Then a couple of years later, we went all the way to Mettupalayam.
    Lovely post.
    The train in the first picture looks a little too swanky. :)

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    Replies
    1. Nice to know that our post made you feel good.
      Thanks for your compliment.

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  7. Very interesting post, and thanks for taking me through a few nostalgic moments myself. I think that you should consider watermarking your posts, considering all the plagurism involved on the net.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the compliment. Will sure look into this watermarking idea.

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  8. good photographs beautifully captured the beauty of nature

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  9. Beautiful landscapes and your photos too. Now I also wish to travel by that train, that will be a wonderful experience!
    Thank you for sharing these information and pictures.

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    1. Thank you so much Abhinav. We're sure that you'll have a memorable experience.

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  10. Just love such narrow gauge trains... your pix are beautiful!
    looking forward for this in coming May... :)

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    1. Thank you very much Anunoy. We're glad that you liked the photographs.

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  11. Heard and read so much about this place, I hope I will be able to see it in real some day. Thanks for these lovely pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the place is really beautiful.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Thank you so much for the detailed post on the visit and the lovely pictures. Looking for holiday season.

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    Replies
    1. We're glad that you liked the post Fayaz. You'll surely enjoy your trip there.

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  13. Glad I got to read about this train from Ooty to Coonoor...I am sure to travel on it the next time!

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