Ooty is noted for its unadulterated beauty where people come to relax away from their busy lives. It used to be a common getaway for the Britishers during the colonial times. An important attraction for the tourists is the mountain train journey on a ratchet and pinion track which begins from Kallar, near Mettupalayam and travels through curves and tunnels along deep ravines and ea gardens and streams.
Location of Ooty
The ‘Queen of hill stations’ Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam is the capital of the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. Located at a distance of 105km from Coimbatore, Ooty is a popular picnic spot replete with fresh vegetation and picturesque scenic beauty. The height of the hills here varies from 2280 to 2290 meters. Situated at a height of 2,240 m above sea level, Ooty with its lush green valley, the green and fertile hills, pristine natural beauty attracts hundreds of tourists each year to Ooty.
What to see in Ooty?
Botanical Gardens: A visit to Ooty is incomplete without a visit to the Botanical Gardens. Spread over 55 acres, the Botanical Garden was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale. The well maintained lush green lawns hosts a 20 million year old fossilized tree, an Italian-style garden bordering a clear pool, flowering bushes and plants in myriad hues in exotic colours, orchids and ferns. It also has the rare species- the cork tree, the paper bark tree and the monkey puzzle tree. A Summer Festival is held every year in May with a grand flower show.
Ooty Lake: Ooty lake is another major attraction in Ooty. The artificial lake of 21/2-km long was constructed by John Sullivan, the first Collector and virtual founder of Ooty
Doddabetta Peak: The Doddabetta Peak, the highest point in the district is at a height of 2,623 meters. It is a great vantage point from where you can get a grand view of Ooty and click wonderful pictures of the valley below. You can go for boating or for fishing with prior permission from the authorities.
Lamb’s Rock: 9kms from Ooty, Lamb’s Rock is another vantage point in Ooty from where you can click some amazing pictures.
Mini Garden: You can visit the mini garden on your way to the Boathouse. The TamilNadu Tourism Development Corporation maintains the park garden along with a children’s amusement park.
Hindustan Photo Film: A public sector enterprise, Hindustan Photo Film is one of the major industrial units of the district, Inaugurated by the Indira Gandhi in 1967, this unit currently produces Indu roll films for photographs; Indu X-ray films, one of the best in the world; Indu bromide paper on which photographs are printed; and Induaerographic for geological and defence mapping among other photo type setting papers.
Pykara Falls: 19km from Ooty, you must make an attempt to visit Pykara Falls for its breathtaking beauty. A boathouse and a dam are added attractions here. It is best season to visit this place in July.
Excursions from Ooty
Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary which lies at an elevation of1140 mts is 67kms from Ooty. The Sanctuary boasts of many interesting and rare species of flora and fauna. Panther, Sambar,spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild boar,Porcupine and Hornbills, Fairy Blue Birds, Jungle Fowls are found in this sanctuary.
Kotagiri: About 30kms from Ooty Kotagiri is the oldest of the three hill stations in the Nilgiris. Though it is not as popular as Ooty and Coonoor, it is still a wonderful place to visit especially because of its climate.
Coonoor: Coonoor is the second largest hill station of the Nilgiris, it stands on a lower ridge of the plateau at an altitude of 1858 mts. Avalanche: This beautiful lake at a distance of 18kms from Ooty is surrounded by a thick shola where even sunlight cannot penetrate. It is also proud to be the home of a wide variety of avifauna.
Accomodation selection in Ooty
Ooty caters to a variety of tourists- both domestic and international. Some of the famous hotels are Taj Savoy Hotel Ooty, The Hotel Sinclairs, The Holiday Inn Gem Park Hotel, Fortune Resort Sullivan Court Hotel. Budget Hotels include Hotel Charring Cross Ooty, The Nilgiri Woodlands, The Queens Residency and Hotel Hillock.
Best season to visit Ooty
March to May is the best time to visit Ooty, but you can visit Ooty any time of the year.
How to reach Ooty
By Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore and a taxi would cost you around Rs. 1300.
By Rail: The nearest broad gauge station is Coimbatore while the meter gauge station is Udhgamandalam. The Ooty station is 2kms from the City centre.
By Road: Ooty is well connected by good roads.
Chennai – 535km
Coimbatore – 89 km
Mysore – 155 km
Calicut – 187 km
Kochi – 281 km