Ooty queen of Nilgiri hills is a beautiful hill resort in the state of Tamil Nadu. Ooty, explores the beauty of Southern India. The name derived from Ooctamund which literally means the house of mountains. It is located approx. 7500 feet above sea level in the Nilgiri Mountain Range. It attracts thousands of tourists everyday. The weather here is pleasant enough to swing the mood positively of tourists. The temperature ranges between 15-20°C and during winter it drops to 0°C.
The mountains covered with dense vegetation, tea garden and eucalyptus trees make the surroundings very soothing and scenic. Other than Ooty the towns nearby that are worth travelling are Coonoor and Kotagiri they are just an hour away from the city.
Ooty Botanical Gardens
Laid out in 1847, spread in a whooping area of 22 hectares, Ooty Botanical Garden is maintained by Horticulture Department of Tamil Nadu. This garden showcases more than 650 species of plants and trees. It also includes a fossil that is said to be around 20 million years old. In the month of May you can be a part of summer festival, that includes flower shows and other cultural programs where the local talent and the renowned artists perform.
The peak is situated at an altitude of approx. 2600 meters making it the highest point in the entire district. It is 10 km away from Ooty and one can capture the breathtaking view of the valley. Plains of Coimbatore and flat highlands of Mysore are also visible from the peak. Its better to go with your own conveyance as it requires lot of walking and public transport is not available everywhere.
Pykara lake is located at a distance of 21 km from the city. The beautiful village of Pykara which has a enthusiastic river flowing through on which a dam is built. With the presence of dam, the water at the dam is enriched with a lake called the Pykara Lake. The lake is a beautiful picnic spot with lush green and amazing sights which attract people from different corners of the world. People can go for enjoying boat ride in the lake in the mid of beauty of nature and peace.
A landslide that occurred in 1823 named it avalanche lake. An attraction and paradise for nature lovers. This place is best suited for the ones who love to spend time in peace and nature. The lush green surrounding and serenity is a must visit for adventure freaks as the place is also meant for mountain trekking, rafting and fishing.
Rose garden is located on the Elk Hills in Vijaynagaram of Ooty, with more than 20000 varieties of rose, the garden is the largest rose garden of India. It has also been awarded by World Federation of Rose Societies as Garden of Excellence. You will fallback in love with the beauty and fragrance of the roses. Some of them are Miniature Rose, Floribunda Rose, Ramble, Yakimour, Hybrid Tea etc.
Nilgiri Mountain Railways
Famous for the toy train rides, this is a must do activity for each and all. Taking the train from Ooty the entire route is very scenic specially during rainy season. It is also listed in the World Heritage Site. A 46 km adventurous route with 16 tunnels, 108 curves and 250 bridges. The uphill journey starts from Mettupalayam and takes 4.9 hours and reaches Ooty at noon and downhill journey starts from Ooty at 2 P.M. and takes 3.6 hours and reaches Mettupalayam at 5.35 P.M.
St. Stephen’s Church
The oldest church situated in the heart of the city on the Ooty-Mysore road. A beautifully designed and historical church to visit in the Nilgiri Region. The stunning colonial architecture is built of lovely stained glass, enormous wooden beams, slab and plaques. Four hammer like structures instead of usual bell are tied on inverted V-shaped wooden plank with the help of wires, which when pulled produces a musical sound.
The lake is artificial and was constructed in 1824. The water that flowed down was ceased to make the lake. Surrounded by eucalyptus trees and railway line along the shores of the lake makes it an adorable scene. During the month of May a two day boat race and pageantry are organised. Adjoining the lake a boat house was constructed by Tamil Nadu Tourism Corporation. It offers paddle boat, row boat and motor boat for boating and makes the place a center of attraction for tourists. Apart from this there is an amusement park, a mini train and a garden for all.
- By Train
Nilgiri express departs from Chennai at night and reaches Mettupalayam early morning. A toy train from Mettupalayam to Ooty is scheduled at 7.10 A.M. which reaches Ooty by noon.
- By plane
Closest airport from Ooty is Coimbatore airport at a 3.5 hour distance. Flights to Coimbatore are available from Mumbai and Bangalore. Mysore airport is 4 hours from Ooty by road.
- By road
There are buses and taxis that can be hired from Coimbatore to Ooty. If you dodn’t get reservations for train don’t worry as there are many buses for Ooty. One can board bus from Bengaluru and Mysore too. A frequent bus service from Coimbatore to Ooty is available and journey takes 3.5 hours time. The bus can be taken from New Bus Station.
- By car
The best route for ones travelling by car is the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam-Coonoor-Ooty route and is well maintained as well as busy route. Ooty is 284 kms from Bengaluru and takes 8-9 hours. One can take rest in between at resort in Masinagudi. There are few restaurants in between but it is suggested to carry your food and snacks.