I notice that all the advice that comes out here refers to the more northern areas; there is a hell of a lot more to the country than that well-trodden tourist part.
Those same Nilgiri Hills where I spent some questionable school years, hostage to Christian fundamentalist teachers, is a magical area all of its own. I remember spending a short school holiday in a tea plantation courtesy of a fellow boarderīs father - an experience that makes you think a little about the current craze for teabags: only the dust (and thereīs lots of it) after the good, packaged tea is taken away probably ends up in those little paper packets...a waste not want not, I suppose, with maximisation of profit from those who know no better.
Those Nilgiris go up to 8000 ft; the train up from the plains starts at Metapalayam (if memory serves and the name has not been changed and I can still remember how to spell it) on a three-track system, the central track being a cog system that helps with the climb and descent. It is narrow and passes through beautiful countryside in its climb. Up through the plantations, to the end of the line in Ooty and there you are: England in India; or rather, rural England as was, in India as was.
No snow; it rains quite a bit as you get the edges of both monsoons, the north- eastern one and the south-western one.
Ooty Club was where they invented snooker, or was it billiards? St Stephenīs church had a wonderful old cemetery where you could pick up on the names of those from far away who spent their lives there, never wishing to leave for the grimmer world back west (even then). Dodabetta, the highest peak, where there used to be an old wooden refuge/hut (the Sheiling?) reachable by passing through a Toda village, peoples unique to that tiny little part of the world and famous for their buffalo... why the over-travelled north?
Yes, it does ring in the nostalgia for me but memory is now better than reality - possibly an age thing?
Which, in the end, brings us to photography. I think there is something somewhat suspect in the lure for photographers; I see no harm in shooting architectural motifs, but I do regret that western photographers and probably far-eastern ones too, have this thing about street photography, the Ganges and all the rest of the baggage that, in the end, comes down to little more than a case of Wow! Look how much better off we are than they are! Your motives might not be that at all, but I wonder if you would have the same appetite for wandering around Watts, Detroit, Harlem, Liberty City or even deepest Glasgow, Birmingham (either) or Paris, picking up on all the charming local customs and qualities of life...
Cheers, and enjoy the trip.