Given our keen interest in wildlife, Sujatha, our amazing host from Sinnadurai bungalow suggested that we visit O’land estate. And we did that on one of the long weekends. O’land is a 140 acre organic tea estate about 45 minutes away from Coonoor. The drive to the estate from Ooty passing through the many tea plantations was a gorgeous experience. As we parked the car and walked to the estate house, the breathtaking view of the Nilgiris was simply stunning. The next day morning we drove to the machan situated at the far end of the estate, sharing the borders with the reserve forest. We spent a couple of hours soaking in the spectacular views of the Nilgiris landscape before returning to the estate house for lunch.

View from the Machan at Oland Estate

Common Mynas

I tried my hand at some armchair bird photography sitting at the Hornbill house and noticed these common Mynas conveniently perched on the grazing cows. The following evening, Sajan, our friendly host, came by the Hornbill house to casually invite us to check out the wild Elephants that had strayed into the plantation. We walked about a hundred meters and were amazed to see a herd of Asiatic Elephants peacefully foraging at a distance.

Elephant herd grazing within the Tea Plantation

Nilgiris Landscape

The evening soft light made the landscape look special and we caught a glimpse of the landscape in the fading light, before heading back to the Hornbill house. The next evening after we returned from a drive through Nilgiris, we were having tea with our host Jamuna (Sajan’s spouse) when we noticed this massive bull Gaur stroll by at arm’s length. It was a spectacle to watch Jamuna, talk this wild Gaur into walking away from the estate house in an orderly fashion. It was like watching someone instruct their domestic dog to behave properly! Soon after the well behaved Gaur walked by, a herd of Gaurs descended on the plantation for their evening grazing.

Gaur grazing in the Tea Plantation