The beautiful Kotagiri is a hill station located in the lap of the Nilgiri hills. Snuggled at the towering height of 1985 m above sea level, it is a pleasant mountain getaway. The name Kotagiri translates to 'mountains of the Kotas'. The Nilgiri hills have been the traditional home of the Kota tribe.
The oldest and grandest hill station in Nilgiris, Kotagiri is spectacular. Verdant tea plantations dot the landscape. Leisurely workers pluck tea leaves in the early hours of the day. The weather is enjoyable throughout the year. The hills are a good spot to carry out trekking expeditions. Quite a lot of the trails take to pristine beauty that lie in the heart of the mountains. The hill getaway is made of wonderful holidays as you savor the bliss of the unexploited hills.
Kotagiri was discovered during the British Raj. The Madras government had two officials in pursuit of outlaws. They stumbled across this hill station. The officials returned and reported that there is a region beyond the pass in the hills after the village of Kil Kotagiri. The hills have a salubrious climate similar to a European country. They called the region ‘Kotacherry’.
The then collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan visited Kotagiri. The pristine beauty and the pleasant weather was so tempting that he built a home here. He has the first European to reside in the serene hill station of Nilgiris.
Festivals in Kotagiri
Arudra Darshan Festival
The annual festival is held in the temple dedicated to deity Kamataraya. The festival holds great significance to all Kotas in the Nilgiris district. The festivals celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva and is celebrated on the day of Tiruvadirai star in Marghazi month.
Tourist Attractions in Kotagiri
The Pethakal Bungalow is one of the first European settlements in the Nilgiris. The red colored bungalow was built during the stay of John Sullivan. The British administrator has left an unforgettable mark on the Nilgiris. Currently the house has celebrated its 197th year as it was built in 1819.
Start your trip here to get well oriented with the town. An extensive collection of keepsakes is spread over the two wood-lined floors. Explore the memorabilia as it takes you through the journey. Trace how the hills have evolved from the pre-colonial tribal era right up till British occupation. This bungalow also houses a museum and the Nilgiri Documentation centre.
Kodanad View Point
Snuggled in the easternmost ridges of the Blue Mountains, Kodanad View point offers mesmerizing views. From this point, the lush country lies spread out. As far as the eye can see watch sparkling hills, the enchanting valley embracing the historic Gajalahatti pass glancing at the green carpeted paddy fields of Thengumarahaada. Everything is shaded in mystic silver sunshine.
Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall. Cascading down from 250 ft, the waters are fed by the Kallar River. The waterfall gets its name from the wife of M.D. Cockburn, the forerunner of planters of Kotagiri. The native name of this waterfall is GEddhehaada Halla meaning "Foothills Dale River". Trek up to the falls to enjoy a lovely view of the forests and woodlands, waylaid by tea gardens. One can also view the glittering Dolphin's Nose of Coonoor from here. It is a pictorial beauty geological formation of the Blue Mountains.
Rangaswamy Peak is a conical peak which is one of the must visit attractions of Kotagiri. The mountain lookout opens to an exhilarating view of the wild yet harmonious environs. Snuggled at the height of 1785 m, the site is significantly sacred to the Irulas. Located near this peak there is a huge detached pillar of rock rising abruptly on all sides to a height of about 400 ft. The unclimbable rock is one of the most photographed locale in the hill station.
Banagudi Shola, the Scared Forest is the best place to explore the natural beauty of Nilgiris. Go for nature walks or guided tours, it is worth every second. Spot several varieties of birds, reptiles, and other wildlife. Explore the tribal settlements of the region. The Kurumba tribe thrives in its forested expanse.
Elk falls is a serene locale of Kotagiri. Situated above Uyilathi village. The road passes through serenely laid out Badaga habitations. Though the waterfalls is in its full might only in the wet months, the site is always worth a visit. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Echoing Valley of Kookal and a vista of exquisite surroundings.
Kamatraya temple is sacred to the Kota tribe. They worship theie deity at this temple every month. There is an annual festival on the Arudra Darshan day, which is an important day for the tribe.
Naragiri is a small village near John Sullivan’s bungalow. There are a few tea plantations nearby and the panoramic view is simply beautiful.
Kookalthorai is a plateau from which the view of the surrounding valleys are magnificent.
Bikkapathi forest reserve is about 10 kilometers from Kotagiri. The call of birds, the melodies of nature and the peace draws you to the place. Embark on a wonderful trekking trail in the reserve forest. Permission to go trekking through this forest has to be availed from the District Forest Officer.
Adventure activities in Kotagiri
There are many scenic and thrilling trails crisscrossing the Blue Mountains of Nilgiris. The most popular trekking trails in Kotagiri are towards Kodanad, Catherine Falls and Longwood Shola. The trail leading to Kodanad goes through a meadow, tea estates and the Moyar River. The trekking adventure is a great fun for even the first timers. Adventure enthusiasts ought to visit Kotagiri for trekking. Permission is to be taken form the District Forest Officer.
Capture the peaks and the tough heights of the mountains in Kotagiri. Trainer guides are here to assist you. Equipment and guidance helps you climb the tough rocks.
Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Kotagiri is not limited to any particular season or month. The salubrious weather lasts throughout the year. The oldest of the hill stations in Nilgiris is sheltered in the lap of Dodbetta mountain ranges. The hills have created a weather which certainly is one of the best in India. Temperature during summer ranges from 10° C to 25° C. Winter temperatures range between 0° C to 21° C. Monsoon is magical as the rains bless the environs with lush beauty/ The
How to reach
The nearest airport to reach Kotagiri is Coimbatore International Airport. The air terminal is at a distance of 100 km and is well connected to cities in India and all over the world.
The nearest railway station to Kotagiri is in Coimbatore. 21 km from the hill station of the Nilgiris, Coimbatore Railway station is the best option. There are recurrent trains from all parts of the State.
Kotagiri is well linked with the other important places in Tamil Nadu through road transport. There are regular buses to Ooty, Mettupalayam and Coonoor. Air-conditioned, luxury coaches and state owned buses ply on this route.