Believe it or not, now you can travel from Malappuram to Ooty for just Rs 174. This is the unbelievable fare of the super-fast bus that leaves the Malappuram KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) depot for Ooty at 11am. The bus trip would provide an entirely different experience to travellers who are used to go on bikes and in cars to the popular hill station in Tamil Nadu.
A nip in the air will greet you as you reach Nilambur after touching Manjeri and Edavanna after boarding the bus from the hot and humid plains of Malappuram. The journey will get into a ‘trip mode’ as the bus winds its way up through the Nadukani ghat road. You could climb the mountain roads and enjoy the beauty of wilderness by listening to some soothing songs being played on the music system of the bus. The bus will break the journey for a while for the passenger to have lunch.
After savouring the charm of bamboo forest, cascades and bare hills, you will be welcomed by the expansive tea estates of Tamil Nadu. You will reach Nadukani Junction after a while and on the way there are many hotels that have signboards in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi taking into consideration the diversity of people visiting the region. From Nadukani Junction, the vast tea plantations with greenery all around are a treat for the eyes.
There will be a short break at Gudalur for the travellers to stretch their legs. And now you have the entered the final lap of your journey to the mesmerizing Ooty. The coldness in the air will bite you hard as you go past the eucalyptus garden and the Casuarina trees (commonly known as Kattadi trees). The carrot fields and vegetable farming on the valley will signal that Ooty is not far away.
The bus will reach the Ooty bus stand at 4pm. The sought-after Botanical Gardens and the boat house can be reached on foot from the bus station. If you could reserve a room for a night, you can visit all the places of interest in Ooty and return the next day. The KSRTC bus will start its return journey at 4.40pm and will reach Malappuram around 10pm.
And if you are planning a one-day trip, then that’s also possible. A bus that starts the trip from Malappuram at 4am will reach Gudalur at 7am and will return to Malappuram at 10am. And this bus heads to Ooty at 11am. So if you can board the 4am bus to Gudalur and proceed to Ooty from Gudalur on some other bus, you can return the same day by hopping on to the 4.40pm KSRTC bus to Malappuram. It is worth noting that there is a WhatsApp group of the tourists who had travelled on the Malappuram-Ooty KSRTC bus.
KSRTC-SWIFT tour to Ooty
The Malappuram KSRTC recently launched a picnic tour for those in love with Ooty. The trip will start from Malappuram at 4am and will return from Ooty by midnight. The two-way ticket along with entry fees of various tourist centres along the way will cost Rs 750. Currently, the service is planned only on holidays and for reservations call +91 9995726885.
Moreover, two KSRTC-SWIFT bus services going via Perunthalmanna will carry tourists from the Malappuram district to Ooty. These buses start their trips from Thiruvananthapuram and will reach Perunthalmanna at 2.10am and 3.55am. The return trips from Ooty are at 8.30pm and 9.30pm.