“For everyman, the world is as it was at the first day, and is full of untold novelties for him who has the eyes to see them”; said Thomas Henry Huxley. But man has been incessantly trying to snatch away the novelties of nature. Yet, ‘Mother Nature’ offers bountiful boutiques to those who have the inner eyes to see the real ‘beauty’ of nature. Kotagiri,a frequently-visited hill station in the Nilgiri District in Tamil Nadu is one such attractive tourist spot.
Developed by the British government with tea and coffee plantations, Kotagiri has every source of enjoyment, pleasure and comfort, such as sight-seeing, adventure like rock climbing, trekking, solitary walking, amenable climate, friendly locals, luxurious hotels and tongue-watering cuisines. Those having interest in festive occasions may visit Kotagiri during May for have active participation in the festival Kotagiri Habba.
Kotagiri offers a number of trekking spots such as Longwood Shola, St Catherine Falls and Kodand. The bounty of nature can be best realized by viewing the pristine slopes and valleys, surrounded by thick vegetation, with small tracks for trekking. Many hotels and resorts are located on the topmost cliffs of the hill, few of which belong to the days of the British. One can enjoy the breath-taking view of nature through the windows of the living room.
Waterfalls are always the cynosure of visitors’ eyes. Catherine Falls, lying at a distance of 8 km from Kothagiri, is a double-cascaded water fall, with water falling from a height of 250 ft. Elk Falls is another beautiful waterfall falling on the same Mettupalayam road is 7 km away from Kotagiri and offers views of Kokkal valley with orange plantations, and European residences.
Viewing the lowest point, standing at the highest point gives pleasure by evoking the adrenalin of the body and exciting the sensual nerves. Kodanad View Point, also known as Terminus Country is one such spot for tourists, from which can be witnessed the panoramic views of the entire eastern slopes of the Nilgiri-Karnataka- Tamil Nadu border. The valley below holds thrilling views for the viewers.
Longwood Shola, the remains of the natural Shola forest is a part of the fragile eco-system of Nilgiris stretching over an area of 116 hectares. Banagudi Shola forest holds on its breast the mythical events of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is a haven for birds as they are protected and fostered by the Kotagiri Wildlife Association. The Rangy Samy Pillar has something unique to offer to the visitors.
Kothagiri is situated at an altitude of 5882 feet above sea level. Thus, its climatic conditions are soothing, pleasant and amenable throughout the year and can thus be visited at any time during the year. Due to heavy rain fail, it is not advisable to visit Kothagiri during June to September.
Nature begets everything for man, but man destroys nature for his own material prosperity. He forgets that, as per the Hindu philosophy of “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram”, beauty is as true and essential as one tries to find one of the trinity of God, Shiva. The eager eyes of a prudent visitor will find this truth of beauty at Kotagiri.