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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)

21 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 built by John Sullivan between 1823 & 1825. Situated amidst beautiful valleys, lake is a major landmark in the town and it is the place most commonly represented for Ooty Tourism. Ooty lake is the prime attraction & one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty.

The lake used to be much larger than its present size, and encompassed the present bus stand and race course as well as much of the present market. Next to the lake there is a Mini Garden with an amusement park for children with a toy train.

The average depth of this lake is 40 feet. Swimming inside the lake is not allowed. A well laid footpath circles the entire lake with a total length of about 2.75 Kms. Boating is memorable and most famous activity here. Visitors need to pay refundable deposit to hire a boat.

There is a large parking area with several shops selling woolen cloths and toys. Horse race is available .....


Park

At a distance of 3 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, the 22 Acre Botanical Garden was laid out in 1847 and is presently maintained by the government of Tamil Nadu. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty and also one of the best botanical gardens in India. It is situated at a distance of 4.5 km from Ooty Lake.

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 Botanical Garden is also a heaven for bird watchers where a variety of birds, both seasonal and year-round residents, can be sighted. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in the month of May at this garden. The garden also has a 20 million year old fossilized tree.

A summary festival held here in every year May with a grand flower show. Best time to visit is the summer from April to June. The glass house with varieties .....


Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 9 kms from Ooty Bus Station, Kamraj Sagar Dam is also known as the Sandynalla Reservoir and it is a favorite picnic spot & shooting location in Ooty. It is situated at a distance of 8 km from Ooty Lake.

Situated on the way to Wenlock Downs & Pykara, the Kamraj Sagar Dam and the serene location make it a heavenly place. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty and a favorite haunt for the nature lovers. The surroundings of the Reservoir is home for variety of birds.

There is a pine forest adjacent to the main road through which the reservoir is accessed. Pine trees spread across several acres is a nice place to take snaps & famous shooting spot as well. You need to walk down through the slopes (around 200 meters) of pine trees to reach the banks of the reservoir. The path is very steep and slippery in monsoons. There are horses on hire for those who find it difficult to trek the slopes.


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 13 Kms from Ooty, Doddabetta (Big Mountain) is the highest point in Nilgiri Mountains and second highest peak in South India at an altitude of 2623 meters (after Anamudi near Munnar, which is 2695 meters). It is the junction of the Western and Estern Ghats.

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. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty.

There is road access to the summit. There are frequent bus services to Doddabetta Peak from Ooty.

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM, Entry Fee: Rs. 5


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 16 Kms from Ooty (on way to Pykara), Wenlock Downs is a vast Expanse of grassy meadow and is a favorite picnic spot from Ooty. This 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 presented for Ooty Tourism.

The downs spread majestically across 20,000 acres of rolling lands that seems to be stretching endlessly. The journey from Ooty to Wenlock Downs takes one to the most serene excursions from Ooty. The Wenlock Downs are perfect for walking and hiking amidst this elegant landscape. The peak offers breathtaking views of the Nilgirs and one of the best places to watch the nature of Ooty.

The place houses a Gymkhana club, Hindustan Photo Films Factory and the Golf Club. A Government Sheep Farm is also located nearby.

The view of a lake (formed by backwaters of Pykara) from Wenlock Downs peak is very scenic. This place is .....


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 22 Kms from Ooty & 568 Kms from Chennai (situated on Ooty - Mysore road), Pykara Dam built on Pykara river amidst dense forest is a beautiful destination offering breathtaking scenery. This is one of the best among Ooty places to visit and an ideal place to experience beautiful boat ride.

Pykara is the largest river in Nilgiri District. A boat house is developed & maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. Boating in Pykara lake is a memorable experience. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of wildlife like Elephants roaming on banks of the lake. The lake is surrounded by thick forest of Mukurthi National Park.

Boat house is usually crowded on weekends and holidays and may have to wait for more than 30 minutes some times.

Boat House Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Pedal Boat (30 mins): 2 seater - Rs 60, 4 seater - Rs 100, Deposit - Rs 100
Motor Boat (20 mins): 6 seater - Rs 325, 8 .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 23 Kms from Ooty & 569 Kms from Chennai (situated on Ooty - Mysore road near Pykara Dam), Pykara Falls is a majestic falls formed by Pykara River on downstream of the reservoir. This is one of the best waterfalls in Ooty and also one of the most popular Ooty tourist places.

The falls cascade down through multiple layers on the rocky bed providing a unique beauty to the stream. The lower part of the falls (that falls from a height of above 60 feet) is mostly closed in the monsoon season to avoid accidents. The falls offer best views in monsoons and post monsoons / early winter.

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 at bottom of Pykara falls is dangerous.

The falls can be reached by little moderate walk (5-10 mins) on well laid path from the entrance and parking location.

Timings: 8 AM to 5:30 .....


Park

At a distance of 2 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, the beautiful Rose Garden was established in 1995 to commemorate the centenary of Ooty flower show. It is situated at a distance of 3.5 km from Ooty Lake.

This garden consists of five terraces in an area of 10 acres and has more than 2800 variety of roses. Go for a walk along the side of the different terraces. Winter & early summer are the best seasons to witness the beaty of roses here. It is a popular place of sightseeing in Ooty.

Timings: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
Entry Fee - Rs 5, Still Camera - Rs 25.


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 8 km from Ooty, 12.5 km from Coonoor & 557 km from Chennai, Ketti is a large valley in the Nilgirs and a town as well. It is one the most beautiful sightseeing places in Ooty. Ketti is situated on the Ooty - Coonoor road.

Ketti Valley is home to several tribes, such as Todas and Badagas. These tribal people are experts in cultivating fresh vegetables and fruits in the valley. There are over 14 villages in this valley that belong to the tribes of Badagas.

Ketti valley is a heaven for nature lovers and photographers. It is one of the most visited tourist sites of Ooty. It offers one of the best views of the valley. Nature lovers, adventurists, experience seekers and even casual travellers will love the view from the Ketti valley viewpoint. There is also a telescope room to get a closer view of the valley and surroundings.

It is also referred to as 'Switzerland .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 14 Kms from Ooty & 552 Kms from Chennai, Kalhatty Falls (also known as the Kalahasti Falls) is located in Kalhatty slopes on Masinagundi Road. The water at Kalhatty Falls descends from a height of 120+ feet.

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 after 5 PM.

The falls offer best views during the monsoon season. The falls is mostly dried up in winter & summer seasons.


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 Kms from Ooty, 27 Kms from Coonoor & 544 Kms from Chennai, Emerald Lake is a wonderful place in Nilgirs amidst dense forests. It is one of the most scenic places in Ooty and a popular sightseeing attraction. It is part of the Silent Valley National Park situated on the way to Avalanche village.

This is a great place to enjoy the day with breathtaking views of the slopes of Nilgirs. Avalanche Dam is just 5 Kms away from Emerald Lake and both the places offer feast to nature lovers.

The journey to Emerald Lake (from Ooty / Coonoor) offer unique views.


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 23 Kms south-west of Ooty & 33 Kms from Coonoor (5 Kms from the Emerald Lake), Avalanche is a small beautiful village derived its name from an avalanche (landslide) in 1823. A trip to avalanche sanctuary is one of the top things to do in Ooty. This scenic place offers magnificent views of the Avalanche valley and the dam.

The journey from Ooty to Avalanche takes one to a picturesque spot centered around a lake. The dam creates Upper Bhavani lake beyond Emerald Lake. A nature lover's paradise, this place is also famous for trout fishing and has arrangements for hiring fishing rods and other necessary equipments. Visit to near by trout farm is worthy. The surroundings of the Dam for a sanctuary with variety of wildlife and offers beautiful experience to visitors in the lap of nature.

Private vehicles are not allowed into the Sanctuary and visitors have to take Forest .....


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 20 Kms from Coonoor, 8 Kms from Kotagiri, 30 Kms from Ooty & 527 Kms from Chennai, Catherine Falls is the second largest waterfalls in Nilgiris at a height of 250 feet. This is also a good trekking destination.

These cascading falls are surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. The falls are 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 can go to top of the falls for a truly spectacular view. From a small town called Aravenu on the Kotagiri/Mettupalayam Road, one has to go via Moon Road to reach the falls. About 2-3 Kms trek is required from the nearest road to reach the falls.

Many trekking lovers trek to this place from Kotagiri & Aravenu as well. Kotagiri is connected by buses with Ooty & Coonoor. Nearest .....

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


Wildlife

At a distance of 37 Kms from Ooty, 12 kms from Bandipur National Park, 92 Kms from Mysore & 570 Kms from Chennai, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is the first Sanctuary in South India set up in 1940. At an altitude of 1140 meters, the sanctuary is spread over 321 sq. kms on Ooty - Mysore road. It is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Tamilnadu.

The sanctuary is situated on Karnataka-Kerala border adjacent to Bandipur National Park of Karnataka and Wayanad (Muthanga) Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala. It is rich in wildlife, like Elephants, Gaur, Tiger, Panthere, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, wild boar, Porcupine etc., and many birds and reptiles.

Theppakadu is the entry point to the Sanctuary which has an Information Centre. There is an Elephant camp at Theppakadu which also offers short Elephant rides into the sanctuary. Trekking is NOT permitted in Mudumalai. Also, NO .....

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