The mystique of a non-touristy destination

In these times when social media platforms are dominated by travel related content, marketers place great importance on this industry.

While this is great for the organizations propagating it, an over-crowded destination works adversely for communities residing there and for people vacationing with a purpose of seeking recluse from the hustle bustle of daily life. Considering these challenges, a concept called sustainable tourism has been initiated and is frequently discussed in recent times, with a strong focus of preserving the cultural, social and environmental authenticity of a tourist destination. 

Sustainable tourism is a matter I have started to care deeply about after this trip and hence, this preamble was something I wanted to provide before plunging into a description of my wonderful personal experience at Connoor this Monday. Within sustainable tourism, an aspect of contained tourism also needs to be focused on. This creates avenues for newer tourist locations and additionally, it enables tourists to truly enjoy a peaceful getaway. 

And a peaceful gateway was exactly what we got in Connoor, Tamil Nadu. A town close to, but not as commercial as, Ooty, Connor is beautiful beyond words.

A lush green landscape that spreads over hills way beyond the horizon, the entire place emanates a sense of serenity and calm. I honestly believe that words and pictures can do only so much  to describe the true beauty of a place, but then that’s all we have at our disposal in this realm of communication.

One of the beautiful things about hill stations is the way it makes you feel. The sweet scent of trees and a soothing chill that settles all around you creates a surreal ambience. The regal scenery is often captured on camera these days, but how can you capture the feeling of awe that is sure to grip you when you look up and see a gigantic mountain towering over you? It’s really something that can only be appreciated once you experience it.

Amidst all the stately scenery that lay before me and my friends on our way to Connoor, we were also fascinated by the little houses that formed the periphery of the picturesque scenes.

If the view was mesmerizing, the food that we had at a charming place in Ketti Valley was simply out of the world. Set in the town of Ketti between Connoor and Ooty, an amazing restaurant by the name of Culinarium catches a traveller’s eye instantly. Their European cuisine is simply lip-smacking, a term I am not very fond of but there is nothing better to describe that food. Truly! To say that the pot pies and ganache were mouth-watering would be a criminal understatement. And their desserts were sinful to the point that they’d dissolve instantly in your mouth. As sumptuous as the meal was, the decor added a classical charm to the place which befitted the lovely landscape.

While I was always a believer of sustainable tourism as a concept, this trip really inspired me to take active measures in preserving and appreciating the cultural and environmental heritage of a tourist destination.

To my small circle of readers, I pledge before you all that from this day on, I will be a more responsible and cognizant traveller, so that many others can enjoy a blissful non-commercial experience like I did in Connoor.

Photo credits: Prathima Narayan

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