Set amidst sprawling tea estates in gentle, calm and serene settings, Coonoor is the place where folklore and fragrant tea combine with colonial homes and a gracious lifestyle to give you a taste of the Nilgiris. As you leave the heaving, hot and feverish plains behind and drive up the mountains, the weariness and stress drops off almost immediately. Trees, shrubs and monkeys wave you along, while birds provide the background music.
From Shrub to Cup
Stay at a charming property nestled amidst tea gardens. While sitting and staring into the distance is an attractive proposition here, there’s plenty else that beckons. Undertake a journey of tea - from shrub to cup. Your host, a tea planter himself, will share the history of Nilgiri tea, Coonoor and its people and their culture with you. Savour the many flavors and bouquets of some of the finest tea in the world, and learn how each one is brewed and served.
Todas: The pastoral tribe
Along with the world of dainty tea services, cucumber sandwiches and golf co-exists another world, that of the oldest known inhabitants of the Nilgiris, the Todas. Visit their unique homes, get to know their history and admire their distinctive embroidery.
Engaging in eco-development
Since 1993, the Keystone Foundation has been working in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) with indigenous communities on improving their lives, livelihoods, and maintaining their unique cultures. Last Forest is incubated by Keystone Foundation, and has close links with its sister organisations Aadhimalai and Nilgiri Natural History Society. The honey they produce has been sustainably harvested for thousands of years from honey cliffs and bee-nesting trees during April to July each year.
A Cheese Vacation
Your hosts will be the Khans there who have turned cheese making into a fine art. From Gruyere, Gouda, Cheddar, Parmesan and Camembert, to the delectable soft flavoured cheeses, sample their lip smacking creations, watch them being made, learn how to make them.
A slice of colonial history
Explore the old world charm with colonial homes, clubs, a golf course and a wonderful park which is a botanist’s delight. Nearby is Wellington which holds a wealth of history. Bond with locals, tea estate owners, army folk, retired uncles and a host of bridge and golf enthusiasts at the local Coonoor Club – where the colonial culture is pretty much intact.
Breakaway offers you the opportunity to meet people, old and new, and to take back with you learnings for a lifetime.