Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days

Base Station: Ooty

Nearest City to Ooty: Coimbatore (89 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Ooty: March to June & September to October

Peak Season: April to June

State: Tamil Nadu | District: The Nilgiris

Ooty Weather: Summer: Maximum - 23°C & Minimum - 11°C
Winter: Maximum - 20°C & Minimum - 5°C

At a distance of 89 km from Coimbatore, 128 km from Mysore, 265 km from Bangalore,158 km from Kozhikode, 244 km from Munnar, 254 km from Kodaikanal, 18 km from Coonoor & 556 km from Chennai, Ooty is one of the best hill stations in India and also one of the top places to experince Tamilnadu Tourism.

Also known as Udhagamandalam, Ooty is often referred to as 'Queen of hill stations'. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in the state of Tamilnadu. Nilgiris means 'Blue Mountains'. A land of picturesque picnic spots & lakes, it was a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet (2,240 meters) above sea level.

Ooty was originally a tribal land occupied by the Todas along with other tribes. The Nilgiri territory came into possession of East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan in 1799. In 1818, Wish and Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to Collector of Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience report to the Collector of Coimbatore John Sullivan. John Sullivan later began the construction of his bungalow at Dimbhatti the first European dwelling on the hills. Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency and other small kingdoms, much visited by British during the colonial days. Its stunning beauty and splendid green deep valleys inspired the British to name it Queen of Hill Stations. Sullivan later developed the town and encouraged the establishment of tea, chinchona, and teak trees.

Apart from pleasant weather, Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Wenlock Downs, Pine Forest, and Emerald Lake are the popular Ooty sightseeing places. The toy train, known as Nilgiri Mountain Railway that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must be experienced. The train route wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels and chugs along beside deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and tea gardens. The train route was developed by the British engineers in 1908, covering 42 kilometers length with 108 curves, 16 tunnels and 250 bridges.

The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the visitors on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival (Jan) and Summer Festival (May) attract crowds in huge numbers.

Ooty is also connected by bus with major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore. From Coimbatore, Ooty buses start from Coimbatore North Bus Station (also known as New Bus Station or Mettupalyam Road Bus Station).

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 0423
Languages Spoken: Tamil, Hindi, English
Major Festivals: Tea and Tourism Festival (Jan),
Summer Festival (May)
Notes/Tips:
Nilgiri Mountain Railway runs once a day from Mettupalayam to Ooty at 7:10 AM. Journey time is 4 hours 50 minutes.

From Ooty, the train to Mettupalayam start at 2 PM. Journey time is 3 hours 35 minutes.

HOW TO REACH OOTY / UDHAGAMANDALAM


By Air

Nearest Airport: Coimbatore - Coimbatore Peelamedu Airport (91 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Ooty Railway Station (0 Kms)
Metupalaiyam Railway Station (46 Kms)
Coimbatore Junction (82 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Ooty Central Bus Station (0 Kms)

22 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN OOTY / UDHAGAMANDALAM


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 1 km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, Ooty Lake is an artificial lake situated in the beautiful hill station of Ooty. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Ooty and also one of the popular places to represent Ooty Tourism.

Ooty Lake was built by John Sullivan in 1824 AD, the then Collector of Coimbatore. Covers an area of 65 acres with an average depth of 40 feet, the lake is fed by the mountain streams in the Ooty valley. The lake was originally intended to be used for fishing with ferries being used to travel across the lake. It gradually shrunk from its original size giving place to the current bus stand race course, and the lake park.

The lake is surrounded by groves of Eucalyptus trees with a railway line running along one shore. Situated amidst beautiful valleys, Ooty Lake is a major landmark in the town and is the prime attraction in Ooty. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession .....


Park

At a distance of 3 km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station and 4 km from Ooty Lake, Ooty Botanical Gardens is a beautiful garden situated on the foothills of Dodabetta Peak in Ooty. Maintained by Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department, Ooty Botanical Gardens is one of the top places to visit in Ooty and also one of the best botanical gardens in India.

The Botanical Gardens in Udhagamandalam was laid out in 1847 AD. It was designed by the architect William Graham McIvor under the supervision of George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale, the then Governor of Madras. The original purpose of the Botanical Gardens was to promote and study the various flora in and around Nilgiris. Now, it is open to the public as a park that can be enjoyed by visitors.

The garden spreads over an area of 22 hectares with more than 650 species of flowers and trees. The garden has a terraced layout and is divided into several sections, namely Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, the Conservatory and .....


Museum & Gallery

At a distance of 3 Km from Ooty Railway Station and 2 km from Ooty Botanical Gardens, Wax World Museum is housed at a prominent 130 year old Colonial Mansion in Ooty. The Wax World Museum in Ooty is a great alternative to sightseeing mountains and natural valleys of Ooty and also one of the top places to visit in Ooty.

This Wax World Museum was conceptualized and initiated by Shreeji Bhaskaran, an IT professional and business man, who dreamt of having the first wax museum in India. This museum was inaugurated by Sri. Santosh K. Mishra, Collector, Nilgiris district in March 2007.

The Wax World Museum in Ooty houses exquisite wax statues of Indian Freedom Fighters and Political Leaders such as the world renowned Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak amongst the many others. The Wax Museum also displays stunning wax replicas of social figures such as Mother Teresa and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India.

The Wax World Museum in .....


Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 9 km from Ooty Bus Station, Kamraj Sagar Dam, also known as the Sandynalla Reservoir, is a very quiet and scenic dam situated on the slopes of the Wenlock Downs in Ooty. It is a popular shooting location and a must include in every Ooty Tour Package.

The dam, built on the Kamrajar Lake, is spread over 400 acres and is situated on the way to Wenlock Downs & Pykara. The dam is a monsoon fed water body and measures about 6 km in length. The dam and the serene location make it a heavenly place and a favorite haunt for the nature lovers. It is also a popular destination with honeymoon couples because of its picturesque natural beauty.

There are several walking trails around the lake and visitors can also explore several tourist places in the area through these walking trails. The surroundings of the lake are home to variety of birds which include peacocks, storks, kingfishers, cranes, herons and sunbirds can easily .....


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 9 km from Ooty, Doddabetta is a mountain peak situated on the Ooty - Kotagiri Road in the Nilgiris district of Tamil. Literally means Big Mountain, Doddabetta is the highest point in Nilgiri Mountains and also one of the must visit tourist places in Ooty.

Situated at an altitude of 2623 m, Doddabetta is regarded as one of the highest peaks in South India, which lies at the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats. The area surrounding Doddabetta is mostly forested. Sholas cover the hollows of its slopes. Tall rhododendron trees, flowering sub-alpine shrubs and herbs are common, even very near the peak. One can have a magnificent panoramic view of the landscape, beautiful valley, plains of Coimbatore and the flat highlands of Mysore from the peak.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation manages a Telescope House in the Doddabetta Peak which enables the visitors to get a better view. This TTDC Telescope House gives a complete view of the surrounding .....


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 16 km from Ooty, Wenlock Downs is a vast expanse of grassy meadow located on the way to Pykara in Ooty, Tamilnadu. It is one of the most scenic places in Ooty and also one of the best Ooty tourist places. Along with Ooty Lake, this place is most commonly represented for Ooty Tourism.

Wenlock Downs is a spectacular meadow named after Sir Arthur Lawley's sibling Beilby Lawley, third Baron Wenlock. The downs spread majestically across 20,000 acres of rolling lands that seems to be stretching endlessly. The entire place is covered with Shola forest. More popularly known as the Shooting Point, Wenlock Downs has two popular movie filming points known as Sixth Mile and Ninth Mile named so because of they are located at 6 miles and 9 miles away from Ooty.

The extensive grassland of Wenlock Downs was once used as hunting ground by the British and Europeans. Today, Wenlock Downs home to the Gymkhana Club, the Hindustan Photo .....


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 22 km from Ooty, Pykara Lake is a placid lake situated on Ooty - Mysore road in Tamilnadu. Pykara Lake & Dam is one of the best among Ooty places to visit and an ideal place to experience beautiful boat ride.

Pykara Dam built on Pykara River amidst dense forest is a beautiful destination offering breathtaking scenery. Pykara is the largest river in Nilgiris district. Pykara Lake is a blessed lake for the Todas, the local tribe of Nilgiris. This is the best place to relax and admire the beauty of nature. The dam is near the main Ooty - Gudalur road and includes a power station. Often referred as one of the oldest power plants in South India, the Pykara Power Station still functions and generating about 60 megawatts electricity. It was declared as a heritage plant in 1997, triggered the establishment of more hydro-electric power stations in the state.

A boat house on the Pykara reservoir is an added attraction .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 2 km from Pykara Lake and 23 km from Ooty Bus Stand, Pykara Falls is a majestic waterfalls situated on Ooty - Mysore road in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. This is one of the best waterfalls in Ooty and also one of the most popular Ooty tourist places.

Pykara Falls is formed by Pykara River on the downstream of the Pykara Dam. The falls drops down into two sections with height of 55 m and 61 m through multiple layers on the rocky bed providing a unique beauty to the stream. The waterfall amidst the dense forest is a treat to watch. It is one of the must visit places for honeymoon couples and nature lovers during their Ooty trip. During rainy season, the waterfall is in full bloom. There are barricades setups along the waterfall view point for the safety of the tourists.

Swimming is possible at upper cascades, but not recommended as the path is filled with sharp rocks and depth of the water is very less. Swimming lower .....


Park

At a distance of 2 km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station and 3.5 km from Ooty Lake, the Government Rose Garden is a beautiful garden situated near Charring Cross in the beautiful hill station of Ooty. Formerly known as the Jayalalitha Rose Garden or Centenary Rose Park, the Rose Garden is one of the largest rose gardens in India and also a popular tourist attraction in Ooty.

The Rose Garden was established in 1995 to commemorate the centenary of Ooty flower show. It is situated at an altitude of 2200 m on the slopes of the Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram area of Ooty town. This garden consists of five terraces in an area of 10 acres and has more than 2800 variety of roses. This garden has been beautifully laid out in terraces with rose tunnels, pergolas and bowers with rose creepers. This garden is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. In 2006, it was recognized as a garden of excellence by the World Federation of Rose Societies.

Originally home to less than .....


Miscellaneous

At a distance of 2 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, Adam's Fountain in the Charing Cross junction is built in 1886 in the memory of Governor who spent his last days in Ooty. It is situated at a distance of 3.5 km from Ooty Lake.

This fountain is built with public subscription and total cost was about Rupees 14,000. It was initially installed infront of the Collector's office. Due to insufficient water suppy at it's previous position, it has been moved to the current position in 1998.


Miscellaneous

At a distance of 3 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, Kandal Cross is a holy shrine of Roman Catholics situated at a distance of 2 km from Ooty Lake. The Catholics of the Nilgiri region call it as the 'Calvary of Tamil Nadu'.

Kandal Cross is a shrine which is considered very holy and is referred to as the Jerusalem of the East. Pilgrims and devotees flock the region on every Fridays to attend the special Novena Prayers and Holy Masses organized at Kandal Cross.

The Kandal Cross in Ooty has a relic of the true cross, brought to the church by a delegate of Apostles. It is considered very holy by the Roman Catholics. They believe that it showers heavenly blessings to the pilgrims and tourists who visit the shrine. Every year on 3rd of May a grand feast is organized by the authorities of the church and pilgrims from far off places come here to receive the blessings.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 4 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station (1 Km from Botanical Garden), Government House (Raj Bhavan) is built in 1877 by the Duke of Buckingham when he was the Governor of Madras.

Built in an area of 87 acres, this cream-coloured mansion, overlooking the Botanical Gardens stands a silent reminder of the grandeur that it had seen in the days of the Raj. It was visited by the Governors of Madras during summar to escape from the hot sultry weather of Madras.

A ballroom was added by Sir Arthur Havelock in 1900. The entire building was electrified in 1904.


Hill Station

At a distance of 4 km from Ooty and 12.5 km from Coonoor, Ketti Valley View Point is a popular vantage point situated on Ooty - Coonoor Road in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is one the most beautiful sightseeing places in Ooty.

As the name suggests, the view point provides a panoramic view of the Ketti Valley, the largest valley in the Nilgiris, and its beautiful surroundings. Ketti Valley is home to several tribes, such as Todas and Badagas. There are over 14 villages in this valley that belong to the tribes of Badagas. These tribal people are experts in cultivating fresh vegetables and fruits in the valley.

Also known as Switzerland of Nilgiris, the Ketti Valley is a heaven for nature lovers and photographers. The view of Ketti from the viewpoint is majestic and often compared to views of Switzerland. Nature lovers, adventurists, experience seekers and even casual travellers .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 14 km from Ooty, Kalhatty Falls is an attractive waterfall situated on the Ooty - Mysore Road or Sigur Ghat Road. Also known as the Kalahasti Falls, it is one of the top places to visit in Ooty and also one of the best waterfalls in Ooty.

Situated on the slopes of Kalhatti Mountain, the Kalhatty Falls cascades down from a height of 120+ feet and is considered to be an ideal destination for trekking. It is situated at an average height of around 400 feet in the Sigur Plateau of Tamil Nadu.

The Kalhatty-Masinagudi slope is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds. The falls are accessible from main road through a private tea estate. There is a viewpoint that offers a far view of the falls. One can walk down through a narrow path for 15 minutes (one way) from viewpoint to take a closer view & reach bottom of the falls. The path is usually isolated and not suggested to take .....


Hill Station | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 3 Kms from Coonoor & 16 kms from Ooty, Wellington is a small and peaceful town in Nilgirs. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Coonoor.

Wellington is a military town with rows of barracks. It is the headquarters of the Madras Regimental Centre and also home for the Defence Staff College.

There are few accommodation options available here.

Distance (From Ooty): 16 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ooty - Including Travel): 2-3 Hours
.....


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 17 km from Ooty and 27 km from Coonoor, Emerald Lake, a serene lake with emerald blue waters, is located near Emerald village in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. Situated amidst dense forests, it is one of the top Ooty Sightseeing places. The lake is part of the Silent Valley National Park situated on the way to Avalanche village.

The blue waters of Emerald Lake surrounded by lush green meadows and forest is simply mesmerizing. The water is crystal clear and of course cold. This is a great place to enjoy the day with breathtaking views of the slopes of Nilgiris. Emerald Lake is also a haven for a variety of birds. It is a mini paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists as they get to see and study a number of native birds. It is also notable for the scenic sun rise and sun set views near the lake. The Tea gardens is a great spot to spend some time as it gives a memorable experience. Trekking is another activity visitors .....


Hill Station

At a distance of 18 km from Ooty, 71 km from Coimbatore and 32 km from Mettupalayam, Coonoor is a taluk and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a beautiful hill station and known for its production of Nilgiri tea. Coonoor is one of the popular Places to visit in Tamilnadu.

At an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level, Coonoor is famous for its verdant environs and for a variety of wildflowers and birds. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train) is one of the oldest mountain railways in India. The train ride in the midst of the Nilgiris, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an unforgettable travel experience.

Coonoor provides the travellers with the panoramic view of the lush green Nilgiri hills, with its ravines, valleys and waterfalls. .....

Distance (From Ooty): 19 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ooty - Including Travel): Full Day
.....


Lake & Backwaters | Wildlife

At a distance of 5 km from Emerald Lake, 23 km from Ooty & 33 km from Coonoor, Avalanche Lake is beautiful lake situated at Avalanche village in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. It is a popular eco- tourism spot and also one of the best places to visit in Ooty.

Avalanche Lake is a mesmerizing lake formed naturally in the year 1823 AD due to a massive landslide (Avalanche). Surrounded by a rolling landscape with blooming flowers and rhododendrons, the lake is a heaven for nature lovers, as small waterfalls falling down from the encircling mountains creates a picture perfect ambience. This lake is the major source of water supply for the Kundah Hydro Power stations.

The journey from Ooty to Avalanche takes one to a picturesque spot centered on a lake. The Avalanche Dam creates Upper Bhavani Lake beyond Emerald Lake. This lake is mostly visited after monsoons as the high water level .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 10 kms from Coonoor (on the road way to Mettupalayam) & 26 Kms from Ooty, the beautiful Law's falls is set inside the Coonoor forest range with vast stretches of undisturbed nature around.

Named after Col. Law, who constructed the new Coonoor ghat, this waterfall is formed by Coonoor river near its junction with the Mettupalayam ghat road. This small & pretty wafterfall attracts huge crowd, especiall during post monsoons. Since this place is close to main road, it does not need much walk/trek.

One can enjoy the force of the water at bottom of the falls. The place is rocky and slippery.

Height of the falls is about 30 feet through multiple cascades.

Distance (From Ooty): 26 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ooty - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
.....


Hill Station

At a distance of 29 km from Ooty, 20 km from Coonoor, 72 km from Coimbatore & 544 km from Chennai, Kotagiri is a Hill Station in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is situated at an altitude of 1793 m. This the oldest and the third largest hill stations in the Nilgiris after Ooty and Coonoor. The name Kotagiri literally means mountains of the Kotas and refers to the Kota tribe who lived here in the past.

Kotagiri was the first British settlement in the Nilgiris and preferred summer retreat, till a road was built from Mettupalayam to Coonoor. The region was discovered by two civil servants of the Madras government in pursuit of outlaws. They called the region Kotacherry. John Sullivan, the then collector of Coimbatore, visited Kotagiri and was so drawn to the place that he built a home here making him the first European to reside in Kotagiri.

Kotagiri .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 7 km from Kotagiri, 21 km from Coonoor, and 36 km from Ooty, Catherine Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Kotagiri in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is the second largest waterfalls in Nilgiris and also one of the best waterfalls in Ooty.

Cascades down from a height of 250 feet, the stunning Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall located at Aravenu. The River Kallar descends down the rocks as Geddhehaada Halla stream, to form the Catherine Falls. Also known as Geddhehaada Halla by locals, this waterfall is named after Catherine Cocburn, the wife of M.D. Cocburn, who had introduced coffee plantation to the areas of Kotagiri and Yercaud.

Catherine Falls is surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. The falls is clearly visible from the top of Dolphin's Nose and this is the only place where you can get to full view of the falls. Though it's not possible to reach the foot of this waterfall, one .....

Distance (From Ooty): 30 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kotagiri - Including Travel): 2 Hours
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Wildlife

At a distance of 12 km from Bandipur National Park, 37 km from Ooty, and 92 km from Mysore, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary or Mudumalai National Park is located at the foothills of the Nilgiri hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the finest and most attractive wildlife sanctuaries in South India and also one of the top places to visit in Ooty.

Mudumalai is the first sanctuary in South India set up in 1940 and was declared as a National Park in 1990. In April 2007, the Tamil Nadu state government declared Mudumalai to be a tiger reserve. The sanctuary is situated on Karnataka-Kerala border adjacent to Bandipur National Park of Karnataka and Wayanad (Muthanga) Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala. At an altitude of 1140 m, the sanctuary is spread over 103.24 Sq. km on Ooty - Mysore road and is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries .....

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