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Old 13th January 2010, 22:44   #91
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We reached the Doddabetta (= Big Hill)
Quote:
by 8:30 PM.
Star,

How are you ?

hope the time is typing mistake ! Ooty can't be so bright at 8.30 pm:-), isn't it ?

Last edited by nandans2005 : 13th January 2010 at 22:45.
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Old 14th January 2010, 12:37   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nandans2005 View Post
We reached the Doddabetta (= Big Hill)

Star,

How are you ?

hope the time is typing mistake ! Ooty can't be so bright at 8.30 pm:-), isn't it ?
Oh my bad, thanks for pointing out the typo error, it means one thing, i was very sleepy yesterday night when i was typing the paragraph.
it is indeed 8:30 AM.

I am attaching more pictures of Doddabetta...
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Old 15th January 2010, 18:31   #93
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Default All that goes into a cup of Tea !

My Fragrant Cup of Tea
-----------------------

When I am tired of work or play,
And all my nerves are raw
With things I did, and the things I said,
And things I merely saw
I hasten home and donning mules
And flowing negligee,
Get out the sprit lamp and make
A fragrant cup of tea

I pour the steaming amber drink
In china thin and fine
Gold banded, bordered claintity
With wile rose flower and vine,
Add cream and Sugar or condensed,
And sipping slowly see
A film of far off scenes unroll,
The drama of the Tea

by Minna Irving, 1920

This is a poem on the back cover of the book titled "A handbook on Tea... All that goes into a Cup of Tea"

This boook worth RS 10/- was bought at the Tea Factory and Tea Museum, Ooty. This book explains Origins of tea in China, how tea migrated to Japan, then to Europe, How tea came into India, History of Indian Tea and Nilgiri Tea, How Tea is manufactured, Manufacturing process, Grading of Tea, Different types of Indian Tea, Tea Producing countries around the world, Different flavours of Nilgiri Tea.

I find this book worth the money. a collector's item.

I have some photographs and snaps from our visit to Tea factory.

I think, Laluks has covered the entire process of Tea manuafcturing in his SWIFTED: OOTY thread, Hence i will not try to re-invent the wheel.

Whenever we feel like re-visiting to Tea manufacturing, we would read this book and visit Laluks Ooty thread.

There is a board "Chocolate factory" behind the Tea factory.
There is no real factory there, only a shop. we also bought the different types of chocolates and took some "been here, saw this" photographs and exited the Tea factory. We might have spent just over an hour at this place.

I have posted some of the images for the sake of records, one can see some glimpses of Ooty as well.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 21:05   #94
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I was away for about a week on a foreign trip, Hence could not post any details here. In fact the writing of this story has been delayed since last 2 weeks due to preparation of this trip

I re-start this story by summerizing the description of the Botanical Garden which was our next stop after the visit to Tea Factory. This description was found on the wikipedia. I am not sure how much of this is actually true. but details are anecdotal and hopefully true.

Quote:

The Government Botanical Gardens at Ootacamund, Tamilnadu state, India, was laid out in 1847. The Gardens, divided into several sections, cover an area of around 22 hectares, and lie on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta peak. The garden has a terraced layout.

This botanical garden was created by John Sullivan, Collector of the district of Coimbatore in 1819. The Marquis of Tweedale prepared the initial layout during the late 1840s.

The Gardens have around 1000 species, both exotic and indigenous, of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, and herbal plants. In the centre of the Gardens lie a fossilized tree trunk estimated to be 20 million years old. The Gardens consist of several lawns, ponds with lilies, beds of flowers and ferns laid out in an Italian style, several plots of flowering plants, a variety of medicinal plants.

The present government Botanical garden started in 1845 and were established by subscription @ Rs 3/month amongst the European residents for the purpose of supplying vegetables at a reasonable cost. During the time that Ootacamund was under British military control, considerable cultivation of vegetable for the market was carried on by the so - called European settlers and others. Captain Molyneux of 2nd European Regiment managed vegetable cultivation. The site occupied was, so it had been ascertained, the present new garden- a section below the pond. The subscriber received the vegetables free of cost. But this arrangement did not work out and in early 1847; a fund was raised by means of donations and subscriptions with a view to form a horticultural society and a public garden. The Marquis of Tweeddale who was at the time, Governor of Madras took a special interest in the establishment of the Garden. In addition to become becoming a regular subscriber to it, he contributed a liberal donation of Rs 1000/= . Mr. Bell of the Bombay Civil services and Major Grant, the officer Commanding, Ootacamund appear to have been the moving spirit of the first committee. The inferiority of common vegetables than that of England and the almost total absence of fine flowers for the growth of which the climate is so admirably adapted, is also very justly complained of. There were very few horticulturists at that time. Seeds and sapling were not available but there were and are still today beautiful indigenous flowers in the jungles that surround them. To correct this, if possible, it is proposed to establish a public garden. For this purpose, a wood has been selected between Lushington Hall (the Present Hebron School) and General Sewell’s Property (The Present Governor’s House). Shortly after formation of the Society, the Committee preferred a request for state aid for providing a scientific and practical gardener and granting funds to meet his salary. This suggestion was accepted and Mr.W.G.McIvor from Royal Botanical Garden, Kew was sent to Ootacamund, He arrived in March 1848, converted the upper portion which was a forest and the lower portion which was a swamp into a beautiful garden. He took ten years to complete the layout of the Garden.
A conservatory was built on what is now the lawn below the band stand but later on it was removed. The ornamental pond on the terrace below the drive to Raj bhavan in 1867 by McIvor. At that time the Italian Prisoner of War of World War were shifted to India by the British and they were placed under the control of the Military station in Ootacamund. They were asked to work in creation of Garden. They were asked to make a garden of their choice. They made this part into Italian Garden – the present name for band stand. As soon as the Bandstand was completed, the military officers used to have their band play on the ground hence the name. Two cannons used by the British army were placed on the Band stand.

The Band stand or Italian Garden is the most attractive place in the Garden, Most of the annual flowers will be planted in their respective beds in the Band stand. Asters, ageratum, Balsam, begonia, petunia, pansy, phlox, cosmos, zinnia and perennial flowers like salvia, delphinium, larkspur, and dahlia are the main attraction during the season.

It covers an area of 22 hectares, ascending the slopes on the hill at an elevation of 2400-2500 metres M.S.L.The garden enjoys a warm temperate climate, with an average rainfall of 140 cms most of which is received during south-west monsoon, with frosty nights from November to February. The maximum and minimum temperatures are 28∙C and 0.C respectively.

The present Botanical Garden – named as Government Botanical Garden, is divided into 5 sections 1) Lower Garden, 2) New Garden, 3) Italian Garden, 4) Conservatory, %0 Fountain Terrace 6) Nurseries

LOWER GARDEN
------------------
The lower garden comprises the entrance and lower lawns and the new garden. The entrance of the garden leads into an extensive, undulating lush green lawn of Kikiyu grass (Pennisetum Clandestinum) which is unrivalled for its springy vigour by any other grass in the hills. A fern house with 127 species of ferns is situated on the left-hand side along the road leading to Raj Bhavan amidst another expanse of lawns. Historic gatehouses are reminders of the glorious past of this garden.
The prime attractions in this section are the carpet-bet design of the map of the Indian Union laid out with selective plants and the fossil trunk of 20 million years old, erected on a pedestal. The centenary flower festival pillar is being installed to commemorate the famous and historic event.
Tree species of botanical interest such as Hymnosporum flavum, Cordylline australlis, Cedrus deodara, Cupressus funebrils, Araucaria bidwillii, Cupressus macrocarpa, Cryptomeria japanic, Eucalyptus maculate, Eucalyputs citriodora, Salix babylonica, Salix heterophylla, Podocarpus taxifolia, Dracena lanuginosa, Pinus patula, Rhododendron arboretum, Quercus Montana, Q.cerris, Q.Serrata, Q.grilffithi, Q.illex, Magnolia grandiflora etc., can be seen alongside of the lawn leaving a beautiful open undulating lawn in the centre and mixed borders on the periphery.

NEW GARDEN
--------------
The New garden developed recently, comprises the are between the front garden and the crescent-shaped pond at the bandstand. This section consists of the following:
(a) A rose garden with three hundred varieties of hybrid, floribunda and Polyanthus rose varieties.
(b) Large number of flowerbeds designed to match the slopes and contour of this area.
(c) Carpet-bed emblems of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India.
(d) Natural ponds with aquatic plants.

Important tree species such as Taxodium mucronatum, Pieris ovalifolia, Juniperus virginiana, Eccalyptus eugenoides, Pinus wallichi, Photinia lindleyana, Pinus canaariensils, Ginkgo biloba, Araucaria cunninghammi and Cupressus lawsoniana sprinkled all over the section add to the panoramic view of the garden.

THE ITALIAN GARDEN
---------------------
The informal landscape garden from the entrance merge imperceptibly into the formal fashioned beds laid out in an Italian pattern, surrounding the centrally situated octagonal bandstand. This part of the garden present always a gorgeous look with several varieties of colourful annuals. In the foreground, is a crescent-shaped lily pond for growing several varieties of aquatic plant species. The tree species grown in this part of the garden are Prunus puddum, Saurauja nepaulensis, Grevillea hilliana, Aesculus punduana, Pinus sabineana, Cupressus torulosa, Syncarpia laurifolia, Pinus longifolia, Albizzia julibrissin etc

THE CONSERVATORY
----------------------
The public conservatory was constructed in 1912 with the object of grouping in an attractive manner, various gorgeously coloured flowering plants, throughout the year. Such colourful annuals and perennials like Cineraria, Schizanthus, Calceolaria, balsam, cyclamen, Gloxinia, tuberous begonia, coleus, geranium, chrysanthemum, primulas, Tydea, Achemenes, etc., find a place in this conservatory.
The bog garden lies towards the east of this conservatory and forms an adjunct to provide a good site for marsh loving plants such as the weeping willow, hedychium, arum, hydrangea etc.,

THE NURSERIES
----------------
The nurseries which are about 300 feet above the lower lawns, consist of eight glass-houses and a series of terraces for introduction and multiplication of exotic plants. The glass-houses are utilized for growing begonias, fern, cacti and succulents, orchids and bulbous plants for providing a continuous supply of potted plants to be grouped periodically in the conservatories. The terraces are utilised for growing plants for cut flowers, for seed and also for trial purposes.

FOSSIL TREE TRUNK
--------------------
The fossil tree trunk displayed is from 20 million years old rocks. Trees carried by rivers and deposited in inland lakes were transformed with replacement of the woody matter by silica to give rise to fossil tree trunks.

The fossil tree was presented by the Geological Survey of India, from the National Fossil Park, Tiruvakkarai, South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu.
I will post the images once i sort out all the images as I think we took maximum number of images in Botanical Garden. We also have videos which are much more descriptive than the images. Due to issues of converting the videos from a DV casset to digital, i will not be posting the same here.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 22:28   #95
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Default Botanical Garden Ooty : Enterance

Botanical Garden is bang in the center of Ooty, very near to the main Charring cross traffic island. There is a huge board opposite to the botanical garden gate which shows various points of interest around Ooty.

We also found some interesting wooden flowers being sold. But both mywife and me prefered the natural ones over the wooden ones as the natural ones have the freshness and the fragrance.

The huge enterance gate of the garden was welcoming us.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 22:52   #96
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Hey star, here you are back with the logs. I guess this year is tough in business :(

Those yellow flowers are very plasticky to touch, but they are real flowers. At the tribal museum, the officer plucked a lot of those flowers for my kids. The funny fact is that if water is sprinkled the flower curls inside and looks like a bud. We tried planting that in our garden, and like the officer mentioned it never grew :(
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Old 23rd January 2010, 23:11   #97
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Default Amazing shapes in Botanical Garden

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Hey star, here you are back with the logs. I guess this year is tough in business :(

Those yellow flowers are very plasticky to touch, but they are real flowers. At the tribal museum, the officer plucked a lot of those flowers for my kids. The funny fact is that if water is sprinkled the flower curls inside and looks like a bud. We tried planting that in our garden, and like the officer mentioned it never grew :(
Yes, I think, eventhough some sectors of the industry showing early recovery signs, the technology sector is yet to recover. the tough situation continues, but i think the worse is behind us hopefully.

the third image in my previous post is a real flower. .

Sorry to note that your plants did not grow, but i think you should not give up, try again, Gardening is like Parenting..it is tough, no short cuts.
But the satisfaction one gets from the result is immense. All the best.

I am not yet into gardening. May be when i reach the age of the famous founder of Mindtree, i might look at being a Gardener. Till such time, I would focus on parenting (apart from work). I would ofcourse aim not to cause any harm the trees, plants, flowers and just enjoy the view from the distance. This is the best i can do right now

Coming back to the story...

I have been to Ooty with my parents when i was a small boy. It must be some 25 years for sure since. One thing i remember vaguely is the animal shaped plants from the botanical garden. I was very eagerly waiting to see those shapes again. The creativity of the gardener never stops amazing me. A small tribute from me to those un-known mali chacha (=gardener uncle).
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Old 24th January 2010, 00:07   #98
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Default Botanical Garden Ooty : Pleasure of Gardening

Staying with the Gardening, here is the core message from the Botanical Garden. I feel that, planting atleast one plant and growing it to make it a tree should be a fundamental job of every human being.

In student days, i remember we used to celebrate Vana-Mahotsav (Garden/Jungle Festival) where we used to plant the trees symbolically and after the next day used to forget all about it till next year.

There are 7 Billion People in the world, 1.1 Bn in India, if we all grow one tree at least in our entire life, world would be a much better place to live.
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Old 24th January 2010, 00:46   #99
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Default The glass house and eco diversity at Botanical garden

There is a Glass House at the Botanical Garden. The diversity of plants and flowers displayed there is mind blowing. It would take days to catalog, study and understand the eco-diversity there. I would say it is a Harvard or Oxford for the Agricultrists.
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Old 24th January 2010, 01:06   #100
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Default God Made Flowers to Man made Flowers

Man made flowers = kids, really freaked out in the garden. But eventually they were tired of walking. One can see it on their face. It has been already a long day for them. Doddabetta, Tea Factory and now the walk inside the Botanical Garden had tired them out. But their sprit was amazing, be at trying to fire the cannon or trying to be a monkey on the tree.

I wish i had their energy and passion for having fun.
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Old 24th January 2010, 01:37   #101
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Default Botany & Adults

I did not like Botany much while i was studying, But now i am begining to like Botany a lot. I am sure most younger adults agree with me. They would agree with me if i tell that Botany would be more interesting if it is taught in a place like Ooty

We, adults had lot of fun at the graden, Everyone was staring at the two cowboys who were shooting at will, pictures ofcourse. The senior girls also had jolly good time, some of the pictures have been uploaded here, some of them have been sensored for obvious reasons.
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Old 24th January 2010, 02:39   #102
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Default Some views from Botanical Garden

It was lunch time, kids were feeling hungry, our legs were begining to say thet they need rest. So we slowly started moving towards the exit.

Suddenly my still camera battery died. it was also trying tell us that it is time we fill up our energeis again.

I think we eventually exited the garden some time around 1:15 PM.

i am attaching here some fantastic views from within the garden
i feel that we only say may be 50-60% of the Garden. For the rest, there is always next time.
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Old 24th January 2010, 09:33   #103
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Default Finding a place to eat and a bed to sleep

With all signals telling us to rest and re-energize, it was time to look for a place to eat. Suddenly we realized, that we do not have a bed to sleep today as we are yet to book it.

so we (including the ladies) ignored the Tibetian Market on the left side of the botanical garden and starting walking towards Charring Cross looking for a resturant. There were several of them on the way, but nothing apealed to us, Even at 1:30 PM there was not a single customer in those resturant which told us that it may not be that good place to eat.

Eventually we came across Hotel Charring Cross which had two resturants, one chinese another Indian, we chose Indian as there were already few people eating there. We quickly ordered Rice Plate (=pre-set vegetarian meal) along with some chicken for my friend's family. By the time we were fresh after a visit to rest rooms, food was served. As everyone was hungry, hands, elbows and mouth started working overtime. Quickly the food got over, tummy full. The Sofa was soothing, was trying to push us into sleep. But..we had rooms to find.

My friend asked the manager of the resturant, some recommendations for good place to stay. The Manager told that Hotel Charring Cross has rooms, which we can see after our lunch. So we went inspecting the rooms.

After couple of room "dekho" sessions, the ladies chose (from their mind) the so called Super Delux rooms. My Friend negotiated the price of RS 450 per night all inclusive. The rooms very basic with a large enough bed for two adults (+ 1 or 2 kids) to sleep, decent western toilet, a TV, a side sofa & chair, most importantly away from the noisy street.

We also saw a group of over 100 college students (= we learnt that they were from Mumbai) who were on a eduction trip (to Ooty ??) probably to learn Botany (=may be some prof or student rep thinking like me ?) or Photography ? Other than us all other rooms seems to be occupied by these kids.

Next job was to call Asifbhai so that bags can be shifted to the rooms. When we called him on his mobile, we heard a message that it is temporarily disconnected. So it was the job of the boys to walk back on a full tummy back to the botanical garden. After a few minutes search we could locate the vehicle, but Asifbhai was not around. after few minutes wait, he turned up, told that he had gone to get his mobile re-charged. It seems he had called his home from a public phone, and asked them to load the money. His folks seems to be very quick, when we tried
calling his phone, it was already ringing.

We drove to the Hotel, took the bags to the room, refreshed once again, relaxed for some time. My Friend wanted to check his e-mails.

So eventually we started again from the hotel at 3:45PM ... Objective ... Boating at Ooty Lake

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Old 24th January 2010, 11:16   #104
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Default Ooty Boat House and Around

We reached Ooty Lake within 10 minutes. We bought the tickets for the enterance as well as boat ride. The actual name is Ooty Boat House. We did not see and Boat houses there. But there were plent of boats. Actually three types viz Pedal boats, Row boats and Motor boats. We chose the Pedal boats and half an hour (4:00 to 4:30 PM) ride slot. Apart from the tickets, one needs to pay security deposit for the boats which will be refunded after completing the boat ride.

Apart from the boating, the boat house area has an amusement park for kids, a horse stable and riding facility, a mini train, a shopping area for house made chocolates, Niligiri products, Coffee/Tea, Clothes, Caps, Jackets etc.

There is a rickshaw stand from where one can hire rickshaw for the sight seeing around Ooty. The Rates for each destination is mentioned on a board. For the first time I am seeing a rickshaw stand displaying the fares in a tourist place.
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Old 24th January 2010, 11:45   #105
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On seeing the lake and the boats every one was excited. Each family boarded their respective allotted boats. At the hindsight i realize that we did not bother to wear the life jackets. My friend managed to put them on for the kids.

Actually we were boating for the first time as a family of three. myself and wife remembered our mis-adventure with boating when we were at Lakshadeep Island (= Agatti Island) on our honey moon trip. We had memorable 30 minutes ride in the boat with the girls choosing to do the hardwork and i choosing to relax on the back seat. I was often instructed to turn the rudder control in a specific direction by my daughter. I could see what would be my fate few years hence once she grows up and i would be demoted (or promoted ?) to rear seat on my car as well ??

30 minutes ended soon, no one wanted to alight the boats and wanted to continue. But time ended and we moved near the shore.

Soon kids saw the amusement park consisting of Dashing cars and Tora-Tora from the distance and jumped out of the boat. But Momma's declined the request to get into the dashing car, so the kids were bit un-happy which showed on the face.

One among them (guess who ?) tried to Patao (=politely convince) the (willing ?) dad to allow her to board the dashing car. But her mother overheard the conversation and the chapter was closed.
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Last edited by StarVegabond : 24th January 2010 at 11:48.
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