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 the Nursery. It houses a thousand species of plants, shrubs, ferns, herbal, bonsai plants and trees. The Botanical Garden is home to several rare species of trees such as the cork tree, the monkey puzzle tree, and the paper bark tree. The cork tree is probably one of its kinds in India.
The highlight of the garden is a fossil tree that is believed to be 20 million years old. Another attraction here is the Toda tribe settlement towards the top of the garden, which gives the visitors an insight into the lives and culture of Todas. The Botanical Garden is also a heaven for bird watchers where a variety of birds, both seasonal and year-round residents, can be sighted.
Every year in the month of May, a flower show is conducted at the Ooty Botanical Gardens for two days. Indian and Japanese flower arrangements, vegetable carving, flower rangoli, Bonsai and floral decorations are the major attractions at the festival.
Ideally, the month of May is the best time to visit the Botanical Garden, as there are several exhibitions and other programs organized, which draws many tourists to the venue.
Timings: 8 AM to 6.30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs.30 for Adults, Rs. 15 for Children, Rs. 50 for Camera & Rs. 100 for Video