Coonoor, India

Photo: Titus John (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Titus John (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
India has awakened your senses. The vibrant colors, the rich scents, and the new flavors have shocked your senses—in a good way. But between the nonstop noise and the lack of personal space, this hasn’t been the most relaxing trip. You started in Mumbai. It was overwhelming. You moved to Goa. It’s no longer under-the-radar. Now you’re off to the Nilgiris to find one peaceful spot before you return home. The mountains must be calmer, right?

The Nilgiris District sits in northwestern Tamil Nadu in South India. The mountain range with the same name—which means the Blue Mountains—spreads across three states. The area is known for cooler weather and dense forests. Tea plantations have been sculpted into the hillsides. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, snakes through tunnels, over bridges, and around herds of wild elephants as it climbs the mountain. While hikers come to see rock formations, thundering waterfalls, and Doddabetta, the highest peak in the Nilgiri mountains.

Photo: Kurumba Village Resort
Photo: Kurumba Village Resort

You’ll be sipping tea, riding the narrow-gauge track, and climbing to Dolphin’s Nose in no time. But first, your hotel. Kurumba Village Resort is in Coonoor. To reach it, follow Upper Burliar, a switchback road between Ooty and Mettupalayam. Sturdy rosewoods, flowering jacarandas, and fruit-filled jackfruits (think huge figs) fill the property. An intoxicating mixture of clove and nutmeg fills the air. Plus the open-air buildings were created to reflect the ancient heritage of the Kurumba and Nilgiri peoples. You immediately feel at ease.

In your Kurumba Cottage, you finally find the silence you’ve been craving. Earth tones fill the pyramid-shaped room with a thatched roof. French doors lead to a large balcony lined with an ornamental, areca nut railing. There’s even a view of the hills from the bathroom. The pool and the restaurant, the treehouses and the perfectly placed hammocks are just as relaxing. You finally found peace in India.

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