This offbeat village in Ooty is the coolest getaway this summer
Ooty is a popular tourist spot in India. Everyone is very much aware of what to see and what to do there. It is also crowded throughout the year. Hence I decided a getaway into Ullatti, a village in Ooty. I opted Ullatti as there is an economic house for night stay - Nazar cottage. For those who want three star facilities there is Glyngarth resort.
I took the drive on Mavoor-Nilambur route. Since certain maintenance works were going on at Nadukani and because of light showers, the journey took more time than expected. As the ‘Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary’ closes at night, I stayed at Gudalur.
Next day morning I reached Theppakadu via Mudumalai. There is an elephant protection centre there. After visiting there, I arrived at Kallatti ghat road through Masinagudi from where I bought rice, grocery and a kilogram of chicken. The Kallatti ghat pass is a dangerous uphill with 36 hairpin curves. Since all the curves are very close and steep, vehicles are not allowed in downhill direction. After Masinagudi, I spotted two elephants. Large number of deer and peacocks were also seen.
Nazar had told me to take the left when I see the board of Glyngarth resort. That is the way to Ullatti. From Ooty there are bus services to Ullatti in morning and evening. A little onto the route, the tarred road made way for off-road surrounded by farmlands. Those who owns bore well are indulged in small scale farming here. Mostly vegetables are cultivated.
I reached the cottage. It is a small, calm and quiet place. There is a small forest in front which houses a stream. There are tea plantations and farms nearby. After elephants destroyed the farmlands, it is left barren. Apart from the cottage, two tent houses are under construction here. I cooked and ate the kitchen inside the cottage and took rest for a while.
In the evening, I took a tour through the village. The natives speak a language called Badaga and Tamil. Everyone was friendly. The village centre has a post office, school, library, a small shop, community hall and an area for the bus to halt and turn.
When asked for vegetables at the shop, I was surprised by the answer. “Sorry, no one here buys vegetables”. Everyone cultivates vegetables at home and farmlands.
After returning I had a sound sleep. It was raining in the night. The cool climate helped me sleep well. Early morning, I was woken up by the cries of birds. There were many. I felt bad as I had forgotten my binoculars.
After having tea, Nazar invited me for a trek. We climbed up a hill. One side of the valley was like sea of milk from snow. The other side was thick forest. “Deer and wild buffaloes are widely seen here. Today, because of the rain, not sure if we will spot many,” Nazar said. From here, the Kallatti ghat pass and Kallatti waterfalls can be seen.
Suddenly we noticed certain movements in the forest. It was a group of wild buffaloes. Seeing us, they went deep inside the forest. Near the stream we could see the paw marks of a tiger, which is usually seen here. They were also elephant dung.
Rajan chettan’s Eucalyptus distillation centre was nearby. It was hut made of eucalyptus leaves. He has converted it to his home. He collects leaves from the forest, convert it to oil and sell. He has been in the business for around 37 years. I went inside the hut and saw how the oil is made.
While returning, I went to Ooty. It was through another small ghat road. Ooty is in the preparations for ‘Pushpotsavam’. Until May last, the place will be fully crowded and congested. When compared to the rushes of the city, the quietness of the village is far better.
Ullatti is situated at 154 km from Kozhikode. Mavoor-Nilambur-Nadukani-Gudalur-Muthumala-Theppakkad-Masinagudi. Essential items should be bought from here. Then from here go straight and you can see board of Glyngarth resort. Then take left and the cottage can be seen on left.
If you are going on bus, go to Ooty. Then from there take bus to Ullatti. There are only two bus services to Ullatti, in the morning and evening. If not bus, take a taxi from Ooty.
Phone number to be contacted: 7868920019