Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I belong here
These hills were once densely covered with oak, eucalyptus, pine and conifer trees. Today, only clusters remain! One can see more buildings and fields than trees. It does not take an expert on global warming to infer that the rapidly changing temperatures in Ooty are as a result of massive deforestation.
The spot from where this picture was taken (on December 26, 2004) once housed a shelter that served as a viewpoint for passing trekkers and tourists. It was pulled down many years ago. Apart from a few holiday homes and a small dam, the surroundings of this place remain largely untouched.
Immediately below, on the right, is a small untended tea estate. The long road, far below, on the left hand side is the National Highway (NH) 67, which connects Ooty to Coonoor, Coimbatore and beyond.
The large piece of vacant land (appearing mildly brown and barren), far ahead, which forms a 'C' shaped curve on the right is the Race Course of Ooty which serves as a venue for the yearly horse-racing event. Back in the 80s and the early 90s, part of it was used as a helipad for visiting dignitaries.
Far ahead, among the blue mountains is the Mukurthi Peak, (not clearly visible) which is situated at an elevation of 2554 meters (8346 ft). I scaled this peak during a trek to the Mukurthi park in January 2004.