Coonoor is located at 11.35°N 76.82°E / 11.35; 76.82. It has an average elevation of 1850 metres (6070 feet) above sea level.It features a sub-tropical highland climate (Koppen;Cwb) due to high altitude. Here, frosts are very rare, unlike Ooty or Lovedale, which are at a higher altitude than Coonoor.
According to 2011 census, Coonoor had a population of 45,494 with a sex-ratio of 1,058 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 3,768 were under the age of six, constituting 1,871 males and 1,897 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 27.92% and 23% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 84.79%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 12384 households. There were a total of 17,421 workers, comprising 50 cultivators, 152 main agricultural labourers, 266 in household industries, 15,790 other workers, 1,163 marginal workers, 6 marginal cultivators, 66 marginal agricultural labourers, 31 marginal workers in household industries and 1,060 other marginal workers. The town is the second largest in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty, the district headquarters. Coonoor has 61.81% Hindus, 23.99% Christians, 13.01% Muslims, 0.04% Sikhs, 0.06% Buddhists, 0.95% Jains and 0.08% Others. 0.05% of the respondents follow no religion or did not state their religion.
Coonoor's economy relies on seasonal tourist traffic during the summer months, and on the tea industry year round. The local populace almost entirely depends on the tea trade. The massive private tea plantations that surround the hills produce fresh green tea leaves which are picked, processed and packaged in bulk in local factories, for sale at auction houses in Coonoor, Coimbatore and Cochin. Coonoor also houses the UPASI - the South Indian Tea Board which is involved in the research, commerce and auction of the Tea produced. It also houses Indian army establishments such as Madras regimental center (MRC) and Defence services staff college (DSSC).
Spread in an area of 12 ha, Sim's Park has a collection of over 1,000 plant species. The botanical garden is partly developed in the Japanese style and derived its name from J. D. Sim, the secretary of the Madras Club in 1874. The key attraction of the park is the annual fruit and vegetable show held in May.57th annual fruit show is to be held on 23 and 24 May 2015. Dolphin's Nose Viewpoint is 10 km from Coonoor and provides a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri Hills and Catherine Falls. Tourists can trek from Lady Canning's Seat to Dolphin's Nose. Lamb’s Rock, about 5½ km from Coonoor is another vantage point. Droog Fort is located a distance of 13 km from Coonoor and was once used by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Law's Falls is a waterfall located 5 km from Coonoor, on the way to Mettupalayam.
Pomological Station is a research center of the State Agricultural Department for persimmon, pomegranates and apricot. Pasteur Institute located near Sim’s park, was started in 1907. This institute develops vaccination for rabies. Central Silk Board has its silkworm breeding station (Satellite Silkworm Breeding Station of Central Sericultural Research & Training Institute-Mysuru) besides state government silk farm at Springfield.Recently, Floriculture and strawberry cultivation have taken root.
Schools are a significant contributor to the local economy. The expensive residential schools are a feature of the Nilgiris and Coonoor. Originally modelled as British boarding schools, these have now become comprehensive schools based on the Indian schooling systems.
Coonoor is well-connected by road with Ooty. The road that connects with Ooty is National Highway NH 181 is the busiest Nilgiri Ghat Road and is also one of the main access routes for the entire district.The distance from Ooty to Coonoor is about 18kms and the distance from Mysore to Coonoor is about 175kms.Alternatively, there is another route that links Coonoor to Kotagiri connecting with State Highway 15. Mettupalayam is the nearest railhead which is 33 km away. Coimbatore Junction is about 68 km. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the oldest mountain railways in India and was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2005. This railway links Coonoor to the town of Mettupalayam at the foot of the hills and Ooty. The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport which has direct connections to Mumbai, Bangalore, Singapore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Sharjah and New Delhi.
Coonoor is a Taluk headquarters, responsible for six Panchayat villages, namely, Bandishola, Bearhatty, Burliar, Hubbathalai, Melur and Yedapalli. The Coonoor block contains the revenue villages of Adigaratty, Burliar, Coonoor Town, Yedapalli, Hubbathalai, Hullickal, Ketti, Melur. Coonoor assembly constituency (SC) is part of Nilgiris (Lok Sabha constituency).