It was a train journey after forty years. On 27/06/2011. First time with my better half. And it was worth it.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway [NMR] – running from Ooty to Mettupalayam – is an unique UN heritage railway system built during the British time and with which two greatest Badaga Leaders [Known as Nakku Betta ‘Rajas’ during their time] Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder and Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder, were closely connected – Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder in fact built it [surprisingly no mention about them has been made in many references about NMR – either by default or deliberate design]. They had the great privilege of stopping the train by show of hands. See photos in the ‘rare photos’ page.
And guess what, this ‘toy train’ which is a must travel agenda in every tourist’s itinerary, is so cheap to travel from Ooty to Coonoor or vice versa, that you tend to think that there is some BIG MISTAKE. yes, it costs all of Rs.3. You heard me correct ONLY Rupees THREE. in second class. Fist class costs Rs.76/- But the reservation charges are much higher. By the way, the fare from Coonoor to Mettupalayam is Rs.4/-.See the pictures [click on them for enlargement].
Less than a cup of ‘chai’ in any roadside tea shop. Surely this must find a mention in Guinness World Records.
This train is the ‘lifeline’ for many students [living around Lovedale, Ketti, Aravankadu, Wellington and Coonoor] studying in Ooty Govt. Arts College and for those working in Ooty.
My memory goes back to the time when I was a regular of this train from Aravankadu to Ooty [when I did my pre university in Ooty College during 1964-65] and after my Engineering studies in 1971 when I was with the Ooty PWD.
And here are some snaps of the train and Coonoor railway station.