An offbeat guide to Ketti Valley(near Ooty) in South India

ketti_valley_picture

“Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded!”

Who would have known 20kms ahead of the touristy Ooty awaits the breathtaking views of India’s 2nd largest inhabited valley- Ketti Valley. My love for off-beat places and less traveled paths has always made me witness magic in the name of nature, and this time wasn’t going to be any different. Also, it was the first time I tried an Air BnB stay. So, the whole experience thrilled me to bones!

Starting up from Lovedale to my stay, I witnessed every possible change with each mile. The winds grew stronger, the path became steeper, there was a nip in the air(perfect to apricate, i tell you! Only if getting sun burnt hadn’t come easy) , and the astounding views of the valley and beyond lay in front of my eyes. Words can’t do justice to describe the sight my eyes beheld.

Our BnB was at a perfect location with a view to die for.

ketti_valley_view           Imagine waking up to such views and leading a stress free life amidst the Nilgiris, bliss eh?

There is not much to explore in the valley. So, surrender yourself to the place and roam in the neighborhood! Blend in, ALWAYS, to get the most out of a place! That’s exactly how I spent a day and half leisurely absorbing the vibe and shivering.

Pro Tip: Never underestimate the hill stations of South India, they are capable enough to make your teeth chatter. Pack wisely, clearly not like I did! 😀

Here’s the rough 2-day itinerary to Ketti Valley. This is how I spent my time here making it one of my most memorable trip.

Day 1

  • Please your eyes with the beauty all around!

To be honest, a day or two would not be enough for the valley even if you mean to soak in the views. The valley is too vast to be covered in 2 days. However, you can start by exploring the neighborhood areas. I leisurely spent my afternoon staring at the fascinating gorge and sipping in hot coffee(much needed, everyday!) I wouldn’t have budged from the spot if it wasn’t for my stomach constantly growling. Owing to the hunger pangs, i decided to roam around in the evening and satiate my buds at one of the coziest cafe in Ketti.

ketti_valley_view                                No less than any European countryside- Forever carved in my heart!!

 

  • Eat your heart out

I would not be bragging if I say I am an expert at finding the best places to eat, no matter where! And finding The Culinarium was the highlight of the trip. A cute little cafe with views to die for and scrumptious food to hog on, what else would you ask? Oh well, yes everything in budget.

culinarium_cafe                        White decor has to be my weakness, with a view? – Drooling already!!!

Travelling to remote places and taking off-beat paths, mostly, in my travels I was convinced i would never stumble upon a cafe/restaurant of my dreams. Hey, you never say never, remember? So, here i was standing in the middle of a European style cafe overlooking the green meadows as far as the eyes stretched. Bright and colorful decor with a bar, bakery and a pony store to buy quirky gifts from, it was everything my Sundays would demand(with a book, of course!).

 

  • Enjoy the eye-some sunset

There is no better way to end your day with a sunset unless you devoured on some lava cake, which I didn’t so i made peace with the hues of sunset spread across the valley. Oh, did I mention again I shivered to death roaming around with the fierce winds and biting cold? 😀

ketti_sunset          If there could be anything more heart warming than a sunset? – Sunrise it is! 😀

 

  • Roam in the famous Ooty city market

Just 5 kms into the descent from my stay was the bustling city market with restaurants/cafes lining up the streets and various shops attracting tourists. If you’re someone who would be thrilled at such a set up then you can consider booking a room in the area. For those you prefer solitude, go a little further 🙂 The famous handmade chocolates can be bought from the market or you can shop a variety of souvenir to take back home. I had a late night dinner in the market and headed up for my stay in the dark, shivering again. The roads in the valley might not be well lit, carrying a torch could be helpful if you are on foot.

 

  • Surrender under the starry sky

Less pollution, no contemporary lifestyle and pitch dark atmosphere would take you through a sky full of stars, literally though! Setting up a tent could be a great idea here. For me, craning my neck sitting on a chair was exciting enough to collect that moment all to myself. No camera, no bonfire! Just you sitting in the dark looking at how, figuratively, you’re just a speck of dust in this universe. Total bliss!!

 

Day 2

  • Witness the soulful sunrise

Being on the western side of the country I rarely got the opportunity to witness a sunrise and a visit to Ketti happened to be one of the reasons.

ketti_sunrise                                                 A shot worth all the efforts and shivering! 

 

  • Procure every sight of the valley

I must have said a million times and would not hesitate to reiterate – You can never get enough of these views! Explore the near by areas on foot. Take an early toy train to Coonoor from Lovedale and behold the journey in your heart. The toy train starting from Ooty, crossing Lovedale and Ketti reaches Coonoor. So, if you are staying in the mainland Ooty you can still experience the beauty of the valley while on the train to Coonoor.

nilgiri_view                                      A gush of freshness early in the morning? Yes, count me in!

I walked through the lanes of valley, stumbled over the abandoned railway tracks(now used a few times a day for the train to traverse), watched a group of ladies soaking in the sun near the tracks involved in their giggles and knits. Peeked through the adorable houses which i could see from a distance till a day before.

 

  • Set off to explore the famous sister lakes- Avalanche & Emerald

40kms from main city Ooty lies the pristine water bodies, the famous Avalanche Lake and the not-so-famous Emerald lake. The lake used to be a unit of water body when an earthquake in early 1800 divided the source of water into two. Avalanche lake is maintained by the Forest Department and regular tours are conducted through the nearby woods covering the lake. On the other hand, Emerald is tucked away near a small village and mostly used by farmers for agricultural purposes. And where did i end up? No points on guessing though!

emerald_lake_view                      Emerald Lake got its name because of the clear turquoise blue water present!

I rode all through the gorgeous parts of valley and the creepy forest to reach Forest Department outstation for Avalanche, only to be disappointed by the swarms of crowd and the odd timing. The whole tour sounded too touristy for my liking and thus, happened the ever so beautiful Emerald Lake. Not a single soul in sight, I had the whole place to myself.

nilgiris_village_view                                     This is what the villages in Nilgiris had in store- Sheer Beauty!!

 

I used to dislike Ooty for all the hype and for being the most touristy place. But now I know, the beauty of the place is beyond the scope of articulation. I have always despised mainstream travel for accentuating a few known places, the crowd following the footsteps and before we even know, the place has already been stamped with tourists. But it is when we take a step further and push our limits, we find the unaltered pieces of nature hidden somewhere. That’s how I found Ketti and I will forever be grateful!

 

Have you ever been to Ketti? Which is your best found place till date? Share in comments below! 😀

 

 

Fascinated enough by the places? Planning a trip somewhere soon? Drop in your details here and let me help you sketch an awesome itinerary absolutely free! 😀

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55 Comment

  1. great pictures! Still waiting for your thoughts on my trip to Orissa!

    1. Thanks Tsvia! 😀 Already on it!! 🙂

  2. Amazing Article! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank your for the kind words, Divya! Really grateful 🙂

  3. Laudable article..mesmerizing stills!! Even I went to Ketty Valley last year..can relate to your elation and ofcourse the shivering 😅

    1. I am sure you had a great time there! 😉 Thank you!

  4. All these views are inviting me to visit such a place blessed by nature.I like the sunrise and sunset views too.I am sure you had a great time!

    1. Thanks, Amila! I had the most memorable time there 🙂 And, I strongly urge you to take a weekend off amidst such unaltered beauty. 😀

  5. LOvely pictures and some great clicks !!! I love the sunset photos in particular !! The shop in ooty is just so cute, just a small place in the greenery !!!

    1. Hey, Ankana- Thanks a ton! I am partial towards sunrise and sunset pics too 😛 And that’s a restaurant, it had a pony store too 😀

  6. Everyone is traveling!!! I’m depressed and have no desire to leave my city.

    1. Hey, Danielle! Even I am not traveling at the moment and I feel you totally, dude 😀 But I am utilizing this time reminiscing over my travels and writing about them. Hope you find a constructive way to channelize your energy, too 🙂

  7. wow! i love the sunset and sunrise photos! im now based in a city and i rarely see beautiful sunsets and sunrise! i used to see them daily when i was back in my hometown! wish im there now…especially on a monday! http://www.crayonized.com

    1. Aye! Mondays do make us wish we were some place else, Patricia 😀 I am glad you liked the photos. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets are, indeed, a rare sight in big cities and that’s what gives us an excuse to travel off far, right? 🙂

  8. When I think of India, I think of Taj Mahal. This city is so beautiful and has lots to offer.

    1. I can’t blame you, most people connect India with Taj Mahal or the slums :/ but that’s not what India has to offer! It’s a surreal amalgamation of nature, wildlife, beaches and all things beautiful(cue: the above post 😉 )

  9. The valley looks so pretty! so colorful and with so many different things to see! Glad that you had a great time and for putting this place on the map for me!

    1. Thank you so much! 😀 The valley was indeed pretty. I am happy you learned about this hidden place through the article

  10. The views are breathtaking! It looks like a great place to unplug and reconnect with earth. 😁

    1. I second you, Esse! 😀

  11. Beautiful pictures! This post just makes me want to visit Ketti Valley even more because of the amazing scenery.

  12. I’m definitely a nature-lover, so needless to say I’m in love with those sister lakes! They look gorgeous! What stunning sunset/sunrises, too!

  13. Cameron Whitlock says: Reply

    Great photos! I’ve never been to Ketti, but it looks lovely. The lakes certainly look pristine!

  14. Internationalcaty says: Reply

    I’ve so many wonderful things about India that I am itching to visit. Your blog has giving me to desire to go soon rather than later.

  15. I have always wanted to see India. These photos are just so beautiful. I had no idea the landscape was so stunning.

  16. I had never heard of Ooty before. Ketti Valley looks like an absolutely amazing place to visit!

  17. Oh my word! What a fantastic trip. And what incredible beauty. I really enjoyed reading your post and viewing all of your wonderful images – they inspire wanderlust!

  18. I love your pictures, they are so beautiful. Also, your tips are a great guide to introduce this beautiful area. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I’ve never visited the Ketti Valley, but boy would I love to visit Emerald Lake. It looks so beautiful and serene! I’m always one to underestimate how hilly places are, so thanks for the tips!

  20. The place looks calm and peaceful. Ideal for relaxing away from the city. Thanks for sharing.

  21. It seems beautiful and culture rich! Definitely worth to look at when I visit India.

  22. Lovely pictures that sunset is amazing

  23. Oo!! This place looks awesome! Love the pretty view. Sounds like you found the hidden gem of Ketti Valley..

  24. How amazingly beautiful Ketti Valley is! Just another reason why I need to visit India ASAP. Those sunrises and sunsets are just incredible, and the views! What a great place to go to get out of the city and meditate. I bet the silence and nature were just serene. Would totally go there just to camp. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  25. That is nothing short of breathtaking! The water in Emerald Lake?! Amazing!!!

  26. Very beautiful and makes me want to take a trip now. Great job!

  27. Sue Tanya McHorgh says: Reply

    All these pictures makes me what to visit. I really loved this post. I am sure you had a great time.

  28. Emerald Lake alone would be enough to draw me into the beauty of the Ketti Valley! I would love to be able to visit here one day. So amazingly beautiful!

  29. Just breathtaking. I’ve never heard of Ooty before but it looks beautiful. The photos were an amazing addition, it really sold me on the location.

  30. Great picture!! The water in Emerald Lake is so amazing. and to be a witness the soulful of sunset is such a great opportunity. Such an amazing experience you had.
    Hope someday I also go there if I have a chance.

  31. Oh wow, this would be so stunning to visit. I’m like you, I have a total weakness for white interior decor!

  32. what a beautiful places and super detailed post!!

  33. Oh wow, those are some seriously gorgeous views!!

  34. So many beautiful places to see. My eyes would be so happy soaking up all the sites in Ketti Valley. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures.

  35. Great photos! The views are amazing!

  36. This place looks like a perfect getaway to unplug from the rest of the world and spend some good time with a mother nature! Your pictures speak for itself how surreal this destination is!

  37. Love the idea of blending in and just losing yourself in a place, especially one as beautiful as this.

  38. Sometimes off beat paths are the best ones! 🙂

  39. I am planning a trip to India for next summer so this can be very helpful.

  40. Wow! Just wow! You’ve captured South India so beautifully. I hope to be lucky enough to see that place in my lifetime.

  41. This looks like paradise on earth! it’s now on my bucket list of places to go to.

  42. That hotel room is beautiful. I would have a hard time leaving it. But the views all over are great. I would go in a heart beat. XO Via Bella blog

  43. The hotel is look lovely and I really love the trip it looks much fun.

  44. This Kettti Valley deserves a visit well! Those views are amazing!

  45. Have been to ooty twice but never heard of Ketty Valley. Looks unspoilt and offbeat. I would love to spend a weekend exploring this natural beauty

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