Cairn Hill: Reminiscence of the British Era
The forests of Cairn Hill are spread over 168 hectares and have a few of the original surviving cypress plantations from the British era.
The sprawling forest of Cairn Hill is located about five kilometres from Ooty, on the road leading to Avalanche. It is a place where you can be with nature, away from the unsettling demands of the city.
The word ‘cairn’ means a heap of stones piled up together to form a memorial. It is said that the Todas and the Kurumbas used to build such cairns. However, the site is popular because of its serene, natural beauty. The woods are spread over an area of 168 hectares. The towering pines with their dense canopy of branches on top, stand like silent sentinels. Moss and turf cover the area to give it a silken sheen. It looks particularly gorgeous in the early morning dew.
The reserve is also believed to have the oldest cypress plantations of the Nilgiris that date back to 1868. Cairn Hill is also home to a cheerful range of birds and animals. Gaur, sambars, leopards, Nilgiri langurs, barking deer, tiny sunbirds, laughing thrushes, babblers and many others keep the woods alive with their sounds and chirps.
Cairn Hill is like a safe fortress that doesn’t let the sounds of the outside world in. All one can hear is nature. It is best to explore this forest at one’s own pace. In the hustle and bustle of modern day world, Cairn Hill moves to its own rhythm.
Good to Know :
Location: 3 km from the Sterling Ooty - Elk Hill resort, 2 km from the Sterling Ooty - Fern Hill resort
On Toda Trail - Glimpses of the Earliest Inhabitants of the Nilgiris.3hrs
The Todas, an ethnic group who used to live in the Nilgiris, migrated here more than 2000 years ago. Anthropologists believe that they evolved in seclusion.
Mudumalai National Park- Step Into The Wilderness3hrs
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a recognised tiger reserve. Nestled in the Nilgiris, it is home to many endangered species and is rich in flora and fauna.
The Blue Mountain Express: The Steepest Track in Asia3hrs
The charming old world steam coaches, huffing and puffing against the blue and emerald hills of the Nilgiris, are a magnificent sight. Its thrilling to ride in one.
Mukurthi Trek: Nature's Balancing Act3hrs
Discover the treasures of the Shola Forest in Mukurthi National Park. Trek up to a stunning view of the peaks in the Nilgiris.
The Stone House and the Oak Tree: John Sullivan's Legacy3hrs
John Sullivan, the man who designed Ooty, built this picture-perfect bungalow for himself. This charming building, about 150 years old, also has an oak tree of the same age for its companion.
To Shoot a Mocking Bird: A Must Feat for Birdwatchers3hrs
The Nilgiri’s bird Laughingthrush is an artful dodger. Its mocking laughter challenges those in the vicinity. Though it is audible, it isn't easily visible.
St. Stephen 's Church: A Reminder of Colonial Heritage3hrs
Made from wood stripped from Tipu’s Palace at Srirangapatna, St Stephen’s Church follows the Gothic style of architecture and has beautiful stained glass windows.
Rose Garden: A Wonderland of Roses3hrs
The Rose Garden of Ooty is India’s most renowned garden, sprawling across 10 acres on the slopes of Elk Hill, housing more than 20,000 varieties of roses.
Jain Mandir: Soul and Solace3hrs
The Nasiyan Jain Temple, greatly revered by the Digambara sect of Jains, is dedicated to the first of the 24 Tirthankaras, Lord Rishabhdev.
History Trails of Ooty: Colonial Era and Beyond3hrs
John Sullivan, the then district collector of Coimbatore is credited to have discovered this beautiful hill town nestled in the Nilgiris. A drive on the old Mysore road is a journey through the history of Ooty.