Live in a Wild West themed farm or hike to the top of the third highest waterfall in the country
Destiny, Ooty - picture perfect pastoral1/2photos
The majestic Thaliyar Falls2/2photos
A farm resort The views of the Queen of the Hills without the crowd of mesmerised visitors to her court make Destiny, a ranch-sized property, an excellent adventure for young families visiting Ooty. The farm inside the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, 25km from Ooty proper, has horses, cats, rabbits, rams, guinea pigs, geese and also a Moo House. The food is surprisingly lavish, with homegrown exotic vegetables. You could go camping, fishing by the natural reservoir, trekking to a picnic by the Avalanchi lake — if you manage to tear yourself away from the views out of your living room. There is no liquor licence, so BYOB; but there is a spa menu. Accommodation options here are an endearing mix of Wild West and ethnic motifs. Note that you cannot drive there; you will need a pick up by Shaktiman, so don't turn up unannounced. Doubles from Rs 4,975 with breakfast; littlearth.in
Also called the Rat Tail Falls The 975-ft plunge in the Palani Hills near Kodaikanal, the Thaliyar Falls, also called the Rat Tail, is the tallest in the state and third in the whole country. To feel the spray on your face, you will need to trek 4km to the top and it is deemed extremely dangerous (read: people have died), but there are lovely — and challenging enough — hiking trails to the base too that start at the Manjalar Dam and take in the local mango orchards and potato fields, skirting the reservoir to arrive at the Kamakshi shrine. For those who restrict themselves to the well-trodden road, the tower at Dum Dum Rock is the favoured viewpoint. Best to go after September, because the summer shrinks the rat’s tail to a trickle in the cleft until the monsoon renews its splendour.
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