JS Field Trip to Coonoor

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As the children headed towards Kadamba, they whispered, “I think it is about the Coonoor trip” And they were right! A few days before the trip the students were given the exciting news that they were going on a longer than usual field trip! The next few days went in packing and preparing. Students created journals for their trip and were also assigned different responsibilities like loading, wind up etc. On the morning of 24th February, the children were like chirping birds, full of excitement as they got on the bus to visit the Ooty-Coonoor-Kotagiri.

The first day was refreshing to say the least. After a four hour journey, the first halt was at Sims Park in Coonoor. The children played to rejuvenate their cramped limbs, climbed trees and ran around. Soon after we reached our stay place, which was a warm cozy cottage.

“In Sims Park, there were so many different trees I hadn’t seen and it was well maintained. It was fun playing in the park” -Anirudh

The visit to Lambs rock and Dolphins nose after lunch provided the much needed exercise to spend all the excitement and energy. The trek to the top, the games and songs on the rock all added to the excitement which was augmented by the acrobatics of monkeys in these places.

As the day faded into the night, the temperatures plunged down, but the excitement went on unabated and a bon fire warmed us up. We tried roasting potatoes in the fire and had them with salt and butter. There was also hot chocolate and smores done on make shift skewers of wood.

A long drive the next day took us to Pykara Lake and after a quick ride on the motor boats, we had a nice lunch in one of the beautiful meadows

Our next halt, the Chocolate Museum, was a memorable place. We saw the different types of cocoa seeds and the processes that goes into making different kinds of chocolates. The freshly made twisters pulled out of a chocolate fountain added to the wonder and excitement of the visit.

“I was amazed to see the 40 kg cocoa bean that was made fully from chocolate” says Maya

On our way back, a quick visit to a craft store set the children shopping for various activity kits, needles, wool, crochet material and lots more

“I never knew how to stitch but now that I bought a kit, I can start picking it up”- Maya

On the third day, a trip to the Bee Museum in Ooty gave an expression to their creative side, where we got a quick lesson in Kurumba art by a tribal and we made some paintings with the natural colours used by them. We also got to learn a lot about bees and bee-keeping. Everyone also got to make their own candles from beeswax, which we carried as a souvenir.

“I enjoyed making the candle from beeswax. It looked so hard, but it was so simple.”- Vivegha

We also visited a small Thoda hamlet where we were exposed to their culture and heritage by a tribal. We even got to see a woman enjoying herself as she was doing embroidery on a Thoda shawl.

The botanical garden presented quite a few exotic flowers, hedges, plants and trees. But the excitement of rolling down the slopes of the lawns was an unparalleled excitement, which was cherished by all and took quite a few other visitors by surprise.

The fresh carrots and the chocolates they had individually chosen to buy was a treat for the exciting train ride from Ooty to Conoor, which also provided nice scenic views and tunnels that provided the background for the made-up games and noisy banter in the train.

“I liked it while we were waiting for the train to come and we ate the carrots” -Harini

The last day, we visited a tea factory where we learnt the process of tea making from leaf to dust. All the children even got to taste tea. A restaurant by the lake enroute provided a beautiful ambience for lunch, after which, we were lucky to witness a simple yet beautiful Baduga festival called “Jatasomi habba” which happens once a year. We participated in their traditional dance and also tasted their traditional sweet.

Finally the dreaded moment arrived! It was time to come back and no one could believe that 4 days had gone by. We were happy to go and we were happy to be come back!! It was a truly enriching experience!!!

“This was the best field trip I have been to in this school and I will never forget all the fun we had” – Praajita