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Coonoor PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 30 July 2012 14:24

Coonoor (About this sound pronunciation) is a town and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil NaduIndia. It is known for its production of Nilgiri tea.

Coonoor is located at an altitude of 1,850 m above sea level, and is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills. It is an ideal base for a number of trekking expeditions leading into the Nilgiris.



Coonoor is located at 11.35°N 76.82°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 1850 metres (6070 feet) above sea level.


As of 2001 India census,[2] Coonoor had a population of 50,079. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Coonoor has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86% and, female literacy is 78%. In Coonoor, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The town is the second largest in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty, the district headquarters. Coonoor has a healthy mix of religions, languages and cultures probably due to its being home to the regimental headquarters of the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army, the presence of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in neighboring Wellington Cantonment, the local boarding schools and a significant tourist population.


Local Economy

Coonoor's economy relies on seasonal tourist traffic during the summer months, and on the tea industry year round.


The local populace almost entirely depends on the tea trade. The massive private tea plantations that surround the hills produce fresh green tea leaves which are picked, processed and packaged in bulk in local factories, for sale at auction houses in Coonoor, Coimbatore and Cochin.

Coonoor also houses the UPASI - the South Indian Tea Board which is involved in the research, commerce and auction of the Tea produced.



Coonoor is connected by a metre gauge railway line in the world famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) between Mettupalayam (28 km) and Ooty (17 km).

The main attraction within the town is Sim's Park, a small well maintained botanical garden that has several varieties of plants. It is spread over 12 hectares. It is about 19 km on road to the south of Ooty and is accessible by both train and road. It also hosts an annual “Fruit Show” in summer.

There are trekking trails leading out from the town. One of the popular trekking trails leads Tourists to Lamb’s Rock that is 9 km from Coonoor. Lamb’s Rock overlooks the Coimbatore plains, providing a spectacular view of the tea and coffee plantations. A little ahead of Lamb’s Rock is located the Lady Canning’s Seat that offers a panoramic view of the Nilgiris.

Tourist can trek from Lady Canning’s Seat to Dolphin’s Seat, which is located 12 km from Coonoor. Nearby is Law’s Falls, which is located 5 km from Coonoor. It is possible to trek from the falls to Droog that is located at a distance of 13 km from Coonoor.Droog is also known as Pakkasuran Kottai. The ruins of a 16th century fort can be seen in Droog. The fort is located at a height of 750 m.



Sim's Park

The Sim's Park is an important place to visit in Coonoor. Spread in an area of 12 ha, the park has a collection of over 1,000 plant species, including magnolia, pines, tree ferns, and camellia. The botanical garden is partly developed in the Japanese style and derived its name from J. D. Sim, the secretary of the Madras Club in 1874. The key attraction of the park is the annual fruit and vegetable show held in May.

Pomological Station

The institute is a research centre of the State Agricultural Department for persimmon, pomegranates, and apricot.

Dolphin's Nose Viewpoint

The Dolphin's Nose Viewpoint is 10 km from Coonoor . It not only provides a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri Hills but also of Catherine Falls.

Lamb’s Rock

Lamb's Rock On the way to Dolphin's Nose, about 5½ km from Coonoor, lies Lamb's Rock, another vantage point to view the fantastic landscape and the tea and coffee plantations.

Droog Fort

At a distance of 13 km from Coonoor, the Droog takes one into the past, with the ruins of a fort, which was once used by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century.

Law's Falls

The majestic falls are 5 km from Coonoor, on the way to Mettupalayam.


The hill station of Ooty, also known as the Queen of Hill Stations is 19 km northwest of Coonoor. Ooty is an immensely popular tourist destination. Like Coonoor, Ooty is also set amongst the green setting of the Nilgiri hills and has many lakes, gardens, and buildings featuring colonial architecture.

Katary Falls

The main place of attraction is the power station which supplies a power of 1000KW near Selas.

Pasteur Institute:

Tourists require a special permission to visit this institute. This institute is located near Sim’s park. It was started in 1907. This institute develops vaccination for rabies (dog bite disease) and Triple Vaccine (DPT, DT & TT).In earlier days, it played a vital role in the research of Influenza vaccine. Now it produces Tissue Culture Anti Rabies Vaccine (TCARV) and the DPT group of vaccines.


Other industries

Coonoor has some Sericulture. The Government operates a Silk Farm, though this is largely a research facility. Recently, Floriculture and strawberry cultivation have taken root.


Schools are a significant contributor to the local economy. The expensive boarding (residential) schools have for nearly a century now been a feature of the Nilgiris and Coonoor. Gen. Thimayyaattended St. Joseph's College, an institution run by Irish brothers in the years following World War I. Originally modelled as British boarding schools, these have now become comprehensive Kindergarten - Higher Secondary (K-12) schools based on the Indian (Central or State) schooling systems.

Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Coonoor was established by Thomas Stanes, a businessman and Philanthropist.The motto of the school 'Nisi Dominus Frustra' is taken from Psalm 127:1 - "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain". The school is run on Christian principles and has lived up to its motto during the past 150 years[citation needed].

Many of these schools are owned and operated by Catholic religious orders.


List of Colleges

  • Providence College for Women, Bandishola Spring Field, Coonoor.
  • Riga College of Hotel Management, Coonoor.
  • M R S Technical Institute, Coonoor.
  • List of schools

    • St.Joseph's College, Coonoor
    • St.Joseph's Convent Anglo Indian Girl's Higher Secondary School, Coonoor
    • St.Antony's Matric Higher Secondary School
    • Army Public School
    • Kendriya Vidyalaya, Wellington
    • Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Coonoor
    • Notable people

      Coonoor has been home to several well known personalities . Colonel Rocheroft, of the famous Hennesey brand lived a retired life on a palatial mansion overlooking Wellington. The Maharajas of Cochin had their summer palace "Springfield" on the Kotagiri Road as did the Maharajas of Vizainagaram, whose palace was known as "Elk Hill House". The Vijianagaram Palace was on Tiger Hill Road. The consort of the Maharaja of Cochin, Parukutty Neithyaramma, lived at Homedale on Tiger Hill Road as did her son, retired Chief Engineer of Cochin State, V. K. Aravindaksha Menon. Retired chief of army staff, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw lived in Coonoor. General Thimmayya had a house in Coonoor. The Raja of Chettinad lived near the famous Sims Park. Tata Executive Director Gopalakrishnan summers in Brooklands in Coonoor. Banker and writer Raghu Palat spent his childhood in Coonoor. The prolific writer under the pen name of "An Obscure Hindu"-S.R.Narayana Ayyar lived in Coonoor at Devinilayam.Shivam Arora's birthplace is Coonoor.

      Transportation Links


      Coonoor is well-connected by road with Ooty, Coimbatore, Mysore and Bangalore. The road that connects with Ooty is National Highway 67 is the busiest Nilgiri Ghat Road, and is also one of the main access routes for the entire district. Alternatively, there is another route that links Coonoor to Kotagiri via Bandishola and Betatti Tollgate, this road connects with State Highway 15 (SH15) that leads to Kotagiri from Ooty.

      There are regular buses from OotyBangaloreMysoreCoimbatoreErodeCalicutKanyakumariTirupatiTrichySalem and Cochin.


      Nilgiri Mountain Railway

      Mettupalayam is the nearest railhead, which is 46 km away. The major railway junction is at Coimbatore (80 km).

      The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the oldest mountain railways in India. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2005. This railway links Coonoor to the town of Mettupalayam at the foot of the hills. The Nilagiri Passenger train provides a convenient connection to the Nilgiri Express train to the state capital, Chennai via Coimbatore. Coonoor was the original termination point of the NMR in the hills, before the line was extended to Ooty.

      The arduous task of constructing the mountain railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty, was undertaken by Rao Bahadhur Bellie Gowder, the then local community leader and a Badaga, who hailed from the Hubbathalai Village. He was awarded the title of "Rao Bahadhur" and "Rao Sahib" from the British Raj. He was also known as the uncrowned king of the Nilgiris.



      Local government

      Coonoor is a Taluk head quarters, responsible for six Panchayat villages.

      The Coonoor Block also contains the following eight Revenue Villages (some of which are also mentioned above):

      Adigaratty, Burliar, Coonoor Town, Yedapalli, Hubbathalai, HullickalKetti, Melur



      Coonoor assembly constituency (SC) is part of Nilgiris (Lok Sabha constituency).[3]

      Business Directory the leading business directory in Ooty, Coonoor, Kotagiri ( The Nilgiris ).
Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 17:06
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