Thursday, April 19, 2012
A little ahead from the lake lies a deserted bungalow. A narrow winding path from here will take you to one of the most exciting viewpoints of Ooty. The view from here is absolutely spectacular. From the ranges much higher than where we stand to the deep valley down below, the contrast is quite striking. The color composition is also a distinct feature here. From the green magnificence of nature to the mighty brown ranges to the Azure blue of the sky dotted with the pristine white clouds - its nature at its best.
The winds here are so strong, you can hardly hear the person next to you talking. Apart from this there are (were) two mini architectural wonders here. One, a huge well big enough to swallow Bangalore’s Utility building and two, a cable car that starts here and takes you downhill. Both seem to be out-of-favour now with the authorities and are no longer in operation. The couple of hours we spent here was well worth the time and effort. This is the real Ooty if ever there was one.
Getting-there: Follow the signboards and ask for directions.
Must-Do: Find the deserted bungalow and get to the viewpoint. The Viewpoint is also accessible from the power plant.
Must-Don’t: Photography near the power plant.
My Rating: 6/10
Almost 3 years ago I swore to myself that I would never go back to Ooty. I had started then that Ooty is well past its sell-by date. The lack of proper transportation, the trash-littered streets and lakes and all the overcrowding in these tiny little pockets of hamlets has taken away the colonial charm of this once sleepy town. But when an offer was made to wander in the mystic meadows of the Scottish Trails I bit the bullet and succumbed to the temptation. The pictures and experiences portrayed in various blogs seemed to good to be true and had to be experienced. The bad memories of the previous visit had to be erased and a rosy picture to replace it. But alas, it was not to be so.
What started off as a Scottish Trail transformed into a location-hopping trip much like my previous trip. The downside of going location-hopping in Ooty is that too much time is wasted in just getting to the place, what with all the uphill/downhill drive along the winding Ghat roads stretching the travel time from point A to point B. To top it all, our timing wasn’t that great either. After crossing a rather misty Bandipur and Madhumalai Forest (coming from Bangalore) we stopped at the Indian Coffee House in Gudalur and had a sumptuous breakfast. A few enquiries later, we were headed to Pykara Lake or as the signboards say - Pykara Boat Houses. And thus begins the saga of catastrophic disappointments.
So Pykara Lake is where a tourist can take a few pictures of the locale and maybe go for a ride in one of the boats and then head to some place more interesting. There's nothing very spectacular about the view either that will prompt you to stay long than half an hour at this place. To add to our woes, with the approaching summer, there wasn't much of a green cover to make the view scenic.
Getting there: Pykara Boat House is about 11 kms from Ooty on the Ooty-Coimbatore Highway.
Must-Do: Avoid it if you boating is not your poison.
My Rating: 3/10