Trip to Pykara Lake and The Hot Aloo Parathas

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Monday, September 28, 2015

We are in the last week of Mega BM Buffet on the Table, and this week our team leader gave us a free choice to blog about anything we love to do, not  necessarily food. So, i choose to blog about our recent trip to Ooty, pykara lake in particular and the delicious lunch we had in a small shack there.
It is only recently, we started to travel during vacation. Last year we went to Thanjavur, in TamilNadu,  mainly to see The Big Temple, Brihadeseshwara Temple, an architecture marvel of India. It was mostly like a temple visit, we visited around 11 temples in a day, Thanks to Nalini suresh's dad, if not for him,  it wouldn't be possible. My elder one named that vacation as Pilgrimage, he said that me and his father took him on a pilgrimage in the name of vacation, to anyone who asked about it.
So,when we started to plan for this vacation, he strictly told, if it is going to be a temple visit, i m not coming. So, this vacation was out and out sight-seeing, nestling with nature and fun.
We planned Ooty and surroundings for a 4-day trip. It was a vacation, we will cherish for a life-time. The amazing view of the hills and that climate was totally awesome. The city sleeps by 7 in the night,oh yeah, all tourist spots, close by 6, and night falls very quickly, and by 7 it is pitch dark. It is so unusual for us,as we have daylight till 7:30 during summer here in Dubai, and we normally start out from house only after 8 in the night, the whole city comes to life in the night, most of the locations, even eateries are open till midnight. 
The hotel we stayed Meadows residency, had a good tourist car operations. We happened to get a good driver, who planned the trip so well. The day we reached Ooty, we went to Doddabetta, the highest peak in south-india. We could literally touch the clouds, blow out smoke from our mouth. Both my kiddo's loved doing that. The whole place was dotted with shops selling hot hot chana,charred corn and Tea and not to forget Fresh carrots, beets and radishes. Wherever we go, apart from the sight-seeing, we are so particular about food. Me and my hubby don't mind eating fresh veggies and have a hot tea as a meal. But with kids in tow, we cannot neglect the food part!! Since we returned to our hotel at 7, we found a good vegetarian hotel next to our place and we had nice meal. 
The whole night went in talking about Doddabetta. Next day we went to Pykara Lake, boat house. It is about 19 kms from Ooty, the whole journey was like we are walking on a green carpet. Clouds were ready to pour anytime. You can stop, anywhere in the middle to get a bite of fresh char-grilled corn rubbed with little lime and chili powder or to have some hot chana or to taste fresh carrots straight from the field.
Bala loves fresh fruits and veggies so he enjoyed the corn and carrots with us, but kuttu, would run a mile, if i ask him to taste a fresh carrot. After an awesome boat ride in the lake, we were terribly hungry. There was no proper place to eat near the boat house, so we travelled near pykara waterfalls.
There were numerous small shacks, selling food, but very few were vegetarian. 
Atlast we managed to enter a small gujarati eatery. It didn't have a great look, made out of asbestos/aluminum sheets, with neatly swept mud-floor and properly arranged chairs and table. We were the only customers inside, one of the waiters came and asked what we would like to have, we asked for the menu, he said they have aloo paratha and gobi paratha. We ordered one aloo paratha, to check the taste. 
We waited for about 10 minutes, came our aloo paratha, with jhol by the side. It was served straight from the stove, hot, hot ,hot!!! I took a bite and it was out of the world. The spice was right to our taste, we ordered another 3 without green chilies. It was served hot and it vanished it minutes. 
We ordered another 3 gobi paratha. This time, i asked whether, i can come and see their kitchen. They happily agreed, i was like a kid in a candy shop. Went into their small kitchen with my camera and clicked as they made parathas.
They had a small single burner stove, with a round tava, on which they cooked the parathas, two at a time. 
They had another big square tava, which can cook 6 parathas at time, which they use during peak season, where they will be more tourists. It is a small place, but kept pretty neat. 
Loved their parathas, and defintely would recommend to anybody travelling there. 
Looking at our interest, they gave their visiting card, and told about their restaurant in Ooty town, he even invited us for dinner that day, promising special attention.  We left the place, with happy faces and full tummy. 

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  1. wow Priya these pictures got me remembering our own trips to the place!..fantastic pics and as a true foodie, appreciate your clicks of the parathas..:)

  2. beautiful lake and amazing clicks!!! wow Priya!!!

  3. I never been to Ooty and reading your post I am tempted to go. I have to plan one during my next trip. The only thing is I always go to India in Winters and it might not be the best time to visit Ooty.

  4. It's reminds me our trip to that place.Nice write up.Beautiful clicks.

  5. I have loved traveling and Ooty also has some memories..I must have visited this at least thrice, at a interval of a decade , but I still remember the corn and the Channa...awesome ..beautiful post..and yes the Gobhi Parathas look great , this perhaps is a new addition to the eatery since we last visited.

  6. Lovely write up Priya. The feeling of touching the clouds is unbelievable, right? Loved all the pictures.

  7. Stunning photos Priya. Wish I can grab some of those hot parathas. I want to a mini vacation in India some time -- hopefully soon.

  8. Wow, ooty through your lens took an another dimension, looks absolutely stunning and lovely narration as well, that gobi parathas makes me drool.

  9. Wow awesome pics Priya.I ave been to ooty once and I did not remember visiting the lake.May be next time.The parathas looks super delicious.

  10. I completely understand your kid's predicament. That' s what happens to us when we plan our India vacations. Temple seems to be the central attraction of many tourist destinations. :)
    Loved your virtual tour.

  11. We went to Ooty on our honeymoon then twice again and you are right the place never stops stunning me.

  12. It was such a nice journey. I loved the way mentioned everything here in your blog. In fact, aloo parathas are my favorite and I would like to be in that food stop in my next vacation. Ooty is definitely in every traveler's check list. It holds that much of beauty that you wouldn't be satisfied seeing it only once. Though I have already traveled to this amazing place before several times, I wouldn't mind visiting once again. So many memories are there during the travel with my friends and family. From my experience, I would like to suggest guests to book their comfy accommodation prior to their visit.


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