Ooty or Udhagamandalam Called the Queen of Hill Stations.Ooty or Udhagamandalam as it is now officially known was founded by the British in the mid -19th centuary. Located at an altitude of 2,240 meter above sea level, Udhagamandalam has salubrious weather all around the year. It’s no wonder then that thousands of tourist flock here, year after year. Picturesque, green Udhagamandalam better known, as Ooty is the most popular hill station in the South. Located in the Western ghats at a height of 2240m, Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district where the two ghats ranges meet. Nature has been generous with this region, which is by far the most beautiful in the state. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like confiers, eucalptus, pine and wattle dot the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its encirons. Summer temperature is rarely higher than 25°c with a minimum of 10°c and winter is are distinctly cooler with a high of 21°c and a low 5°c. Curiously enough, this slice of paradise remained unknown to the great southern dynasties and it took the British to discover it in the early 1800s. They were, however, not the first inhabitants of this land as a tribe called Todas had been living there long before the British came, claiming that the Nilgiris had been their home since time immemorial. But the credit for modernising Udhagamandalam and making it accessible goes to the British who constructed the first railway line in the area and made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.
Ooty with smaller hill stations of Coonoor - 19 kms and Kothagiri 31 kms from Ooty are the other hill stations of this district. Nilgiri is India's first biosphere. It has been declared as one of the 14 'hotspots' of the world because of its unique bio-diversity. Nilgiri presents a truly breath taking kaleidoscope of visual treats and soul stirring experience.
One of the most travelled hill stations of Tamil Nadu is the picturesque Ootyr. Along with its breathtaking and flamboyant attractions, the place also boats of a healthy and pleasing weather. Winters are the best time to plan a trip to Ooty
|Summers||March to May||22°C - 37°C|
|Monsoon||June to September||20°C - 22°C|
|Winter||December to March||10°C - 20°C|
The nearest airport is Coimbatore (104kms) You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Bangalore, Mumbai Kozikhode and Chennai. There are easy availability of taxis and buses going towards Coonoor.
Coonoor is a major rail stop for Nilgiri Mountain railway (still relying on steam engine), between Ooty and Metupalaiyam
There are sufficient number bus services available to Coonoor from all nearby cities and places. Some of the nearby places to Coonoor are Ooty-19km, Mettupalayam-35km, Bangalore-286km and Coimbatore-81km
Government Botanical Garden, Ooty This garden was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale, the then Governor of Madras and is spread over 22 heactares ascending the slopes on the hill at an elevation of 2400 - 2500 metres above M.S.L.
Lush green well maintained lawns, rare tree species (like the cork tree which is probably the only such tree in India, the paper bark tree and the monkey puzzle tree - monkeys cannot climb this tree), a 20 million year old fossilized tree (presented by the Geological Survey of India, from the National Fossil Park, Tiruvakkarai, South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu) an Italian - style garden bordering a clear pool, a vast variety of flowering bushes and plants in myriad hues (exotic and ornamental), fern house with vast range of ferns and orchids, are some of the many highlights of this garden. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in the month of May at this Garden. This garden is maintained by Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department.
To commemorate the Centenary Flower festival, the Rose Park was established at Vijayanagaram in Udhagamandalam covering an area of 4 hectares in five terraces. The Rose Garden is situated in the lower slopes of the Elk Hill and on the North - Western side, facing the Udhagamandalam town. It is about a kilometer from Udhagamandalam Railway Station and Bus stand and has easy access with motorable roads from two sides.The rose varieties planted in this park were assembled from different sources. Initially, 17,256 rose plants from 1919 varieties have been planted. Lated on some more varieties are added marking the total as 20,000 with 2241 varieties. The Nila Maadam is located in a spot from where viewers can see the entire rose garden. This garden is maintained by Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department.
The Lake Park is situated on the banks of the Ooty lake. It is very near to the Bus stand and opposite to the Ooty Railway Station. The reclaimed area of Lake was formed as a garden in the year 1977 under Hill Area Development Programme funds by Tourism Department. Ever since the formation of the garden it is well appreciated by all. As an entertainment both for tourists and local public this garden it is well appreciated by all. As an entertainment both for tourists and local public this garden was formed so as to enable them to enjoy natural beauty with illumination during dark hours. To add attraction to the garden a fibreglass dome was constructed in the year 1978.
The Ooty Lake is the pride of the Blue Hills. It is Central and strategic attraction. Mr.John Sullivan formed this artificial lake in the year 1824 the then Collector of Coimbatore. The Ooty lake which extends to an area of 65 acres. Earlier the entire lake was used for fishing as a major activity. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake for pleasure boating facilities in the year 1973. Another added attraction of the Ooty lake is the Mini Train.
The Ooty Deer Park is a unique wilderness situated on the fringes of the Ooty Lake. It is one of the high altitude animal park in India. The park is a beautiful place and offers a unique opportunity to observe and study wildlife in near natural habitat. It was inaugurated in the year 1986. The total area of the Deer Park is 22 acres out of which an area of 6 acres has been developed and is open to public. This park is maintained by Tamilnadu Forest Department.
The Government Museum situated in Ooty - Mysore Road has items of tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu.
It is situated about 2 kms. From Udhagamandalam in the main Mysore road. It has various collections of contemporary paintings and sculptures all over from India.
It is highest peak (2634 metres) in the Nilgiris and is about 10 kms. from Ooty bus stand. The name Doddabetta literally means 'big mountain' which is so in reality. It lies at the junction of Western & Eastern Ghats and offer beautiful vistas of the Nilgiri Hill ranges. It is surrounded by dense sholas. One can have a magnificent panoramic view of the landscape and the whole of the district and even beyond through the Telescope House run by T.T.D.C., which is an added attraction
Situated at an altitude of 2000 ft and only 17 kms from Udhagamandalam, this is the first of the hill stations. Coonoor is a small town with an equable climate that has made it popular as a hill resort in its own right. The main attraction is the Sim's Park, which is a small well-maintained botanical garden that has several varieties of plants not to be found in the other hill stations. Viewpoints and picnic spots around Coonoor include Lambs Rock, Lady Canning's Seat, Dolphin's Nose, St Catherine Falls, Law's Falls, Ralliah Dam and Droog.
Sims Park: This garden was laid out in 1874 Mr.J.D. Sim, the then Secretary to Government and Major Murray, acting Superintendent of the Nilgiris forest and the park was named after the former. Though this was started as a pleasure resort for the residents and visitors, the park has now developed into Garden. M.S.L.The Park cum botanical garden contains many species of trees and shrubs not found in Ooty. Annual Fruit and Vegetables show is held every year in May here attracts tourists in large numbers. Pomological research station located near Sim's park can also be seen which do research on nursery plants and fruits. The Pasteur Institute may also be seen just across Sim's Park which produces anti-rabi Vaccine, DTP, DT, and TT.
Dolphins Nose: Ideally visited in the morning, this view point is located about 12 kms from Coonoor near Tiger Hill. Amidst dense Sholas Criss-Crossed by winding road, you can get a beautiful view of the Catherine falls from here.
Lamb's Rock: This view point is within a reserve forest about 8 kms from the Coonoor Bus Stand. Overlooked a sheer precipice of several hundred metres with a phenomenal view of vast stretches of forests all the way to the Coimbatore plains. Between January and March, the trees become extremely colourful.To be one with nature in the Nilgiris, you have to get into the wilderness and trek. The Grasslands and Sholas of the Nilgiris form a unique eco-system and a wonderful terrain to trek through. Endemic species like the rare Nilgiris Marten (dog like arboric animal) the Nilgiris Black Buck, the Mouse Deer, the Nilgiris Tahr amongst others and a wealth of bird life like the Nilgiris Pippet, etc make Nilgiris a dream destination for nature lovers. Explore the wealth of this land revel in the experience. Best time to visit through out the year expect when the sanctuary and National Park are closed normally between Mid-January and Mid-April.
Lady Canning's Seat: Lady Canning's seat is about 8 kms. from Coonoor bus stand and further along the same road as that to Lamb's Rock. It is perhaps the loveliest point in the heart of the woods. Lady Canning, the wife of the Viceroy, was found of this spot which commands a panoramic view of the numerous tea estates, Lamb's Rock, the Droog, the Lampton's Peak all could be seen one above the other and even Mettupalayam is visible at a distance.
Law's fall: 7kms from Coonoor, set inside the Coonoor forest range with vast stretches of undisturbed sholas, the Laws falls is a paradise for naturalists. The water fall is very wild and rocky.
The Droog: 17 kms from Coonoor. One has to go up to Nonsuch Estate and trek down for about 4 kms. In this spot a dilapidated fort is there which was said that Tippu Sultan used this fort as outpost. The peak stands at an elevation of about 2000metres and directly overlooks the plans.
Kotagiri: It is 31 kms, From Udhagamandalam. The climate is very salubrious which 6503 feet above sea level is. Kotagiri is shielded by the Doddabetta ranges which receive much of its rain from north west monsoon. One can enjoy a pleasure ride on road flanked by green tea beds on either side.
Needle Rock: It is 8 km. on the way to Ooty Gudalur road, this view point gives you a 360 degree view. The sunset from here on clear days is guaranteed to take your breath away. A panaromic view of the Mudumalai Wild life Sanctuary and Gudalur town far below is a visual treat from this view point.
It is situated about 21 kms. On the Ooty - Mysore road of well protected fenced shoals, toda settlement, undisturbed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, the reservoir, waterfalls and the Boat House attracts many tourists.
It is located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13 kms. from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam - Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. The height of the water falls is about 100 ft. Kalhatty - Masinagudi slopes is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds.
It is about 20 kms from Parsons Valley. It contains Rolling Grassy downs interspersed with temperate sholas occupying depressions and valleys. The landscape is extremely picturesque and should be Zealously protected and preserved to maintain primevial beauty and grandeur of tract.
Upper Bhavani is about 10 kms from Korakundah and about 20 kms from Avalanche. This is a naturalist's paradise. Some of the best sholas like sholas lie enroute. The area is a rich and undisturbed wildlife habitat. From Bangithapal via Sispara one can trek to the silent valley. Permission from the Forest Department is necessary.
Located at a distance of 28 kms from Ooty, A beautiful lake surrounded by a thick shola where even sunlight cannot penetrate the thick foliage and the forests have an abundant with a wide variety of avifauna and it is a nature lover's paradise.
In the olden days there were quite a number of sambars in this area and the earliest Europen arrivals on the hills used to call these animals as 'Elks'. The hill is about 500 ft. above the town and is less than an hour's walk from the Chating Cross and one gets a panoramic view of Udhagamandalam and its environs.
This is the first Sanctuary to be set up in India and forms part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Park. It is located 36 kms from Ooty via Kalhatty and 67 kms via Gudalur. From Mysore it is 91 kms away. This Sanctuary extends over an area of 321 sq. kms in the junction of the three states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It is at an elevation of 1,140 mtrs. A variety of habitat ranging from tropical evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, moist teak forest, dry teak forest, secondary grasslands swamps are found here.It is rich in wildlife, like Elephants, Gaur, Tiger, Panthere, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Barking Deer,wild boar, Porcupine etc., birds like-Minivets,Hornbill,fairy blue birds, jungle fowls etc., and reptiles like python, monitor lizards flying lizards etc. You can take a ride into the jungle on the elephant back or take a vehicle ride along designated visitor's route inside the jungle. The elephant rides have to be booked at Body.The Mayor River and the life around it is an experience by itself. The Theppakadu elephant camp is a popular tourist attraction.
Both fly fishing and spinning methods could prove and adventure to fish hunters. Trout fishing is available in Avalanche lake with prior permission from the Fisheries Department, located near the Ooty Bus stand.
Snooker was invented in the Nilgiris at the Ooty Club. Today, apart from the Ooty Club, Coonoor Club, gymkhana Club, the Lawely Institute and the bigger hotles, there are quite a few snooker parlours in town offering good entertainment.
The Ooty Golf Course is unique and playing on it is an exceptional experience. It is an 18 whole natural golf course located at a height of 1,400 ft above MSL and is spread over an area of 193 acres. It is said that if you can play to a single digit handicap on this course, you and play under par anywhere in the world.
A very popular sport during the summer months of April, May and June. You can see the thoroughbreads in action here. The race course, located in the heart of Ooty, is about 2.4 km long and is one of the best courses in India.
Planning a tour to Ooty? Any visit to this charming hill station will not be complete unless you indulge in some leisurely Shopping in Ooty. Stop by at some of the unique stores and shopping malls of Ooty for those perfect gifts for your loved ones back home. Great shopping in Ooty will just make every vacation all the more fun.
Nilgiri Honey, Cinchona products, a large variety of Coffee and Tea are some other good buys while shopping in Ooty.