Drove down from Bengaluru to Chamraj Tea Estate in the Nilgiris, a distance of 350 kms.
Once you cross Mysuru (Mysore) it becomes more scenic, especially when you go past the Bandipur National Park and the Madumalai National Park.
Chamraj is famous for their “Chamraj Golden Tip”, an extra special quality of Nilgiris tea leaf always fetching a record price. Specially hand plucked Chamraj Golden Tips come from the Chamraj Estate, just west of Conoor, a property belonging to The United Nilgiri Tea Estate Ltd.
If Chamraj was at the southwest end of Nilgiris “Kotercherry” or Kotagherry was at the north eastern end, now known as Kotagiri. The place is simply beautiful.
It was the first table land to be reached by the Europeans when Wish and Kindersly ‘discovered’ the cool of the jungle heights in 1819 while pursuing a band of smugglers. It was their ‘discovery’ that led John Sullivan to establish a home in Kotagiri. Of those Europeans who followed Sullivan and opened the Nilgiris, it was said, “If you live in Conoor, you live till 80, if you live in Ooty you will live till 90, but in Kotagiri you will have to be shot!” He wasn’t shot but, John Erskine lived till he was 100 after he arrived in Kotagiri.
The tea gardens are lush with tea leaves. On a clear sky you get to see the lovely sunrise and sun set
Spotted some coffee plants too here.
If you have the patience you are likely to spot different species of birds
I saw one land crab who was in two minds about staying put and carry on with his feeding (see video)
We had those “Chamraj Golden Tip” in one of the tea stalls where it was freshly prepared for us
and some tasty “parippu wada” after a long time.
The military establishments in this area are well maintained.
On the way back, while passing through the Madumalai National Park, there was this tusker who gave us a threatening charge as we slowed down (can be seen in the video) He was probably trying to protect this little one in the herd.