Ooty is paradise on earth. Ooty is also known as the Blue Mountains owing to the indigo cover of the beautiful kurinji flower that blooms on the slopes of the Nilgiris once every 12 years. During the blossom, Ooty looks absolutely spectacular; reaffirming the wonders of nature.
The fun of an Ooty trip begins even before entering the hill town. The famous toy train, Nilgiri Mountain Railway that connects Mettupalayam and Ooty is a heritage route that breathes excitement every minute. The uphill journey crosses bridges, tunnels and maneuvers steep curves.
Once you reach Ooty, as far as you can see, it’s nature at its best. A delight for every horticulturist, Ooty has diverse flora and fauna, even rare species. Ooty Botanical Garden and Rose Garden are the main attractions in town for admiring nature’s bounty.
For art lovers, there’s never a dull moment in Ooty. Fernhill Bungalow, Ooty Club, Government House and Arts College, St. Stephens’s Church; there are many standing monuments with colonial era impressions.
Central hubs of Ooty include the Ooty Lake and Pykara Lake, both set amidst pine trees and mountains. Like most lakes, they make for a perfect picnic spot.
Breathe in the fresh air, lay back, relax and unwind. Ooty has everything to charm you.
In and Around
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway built by the British in 1908 is a World Heritage Site. It’s a 46-kilometre beautiful toy train journey that starts from Mettupalayam and goes through tunnels, curves, bridges and beautiful scenery to reach Ooty in five hours. From 300 feet to 7200 feet, the Ooty toy train is definitely a ride to cherish. Here’s a tip – try to sit on the side that looks out in to the valley for the best views on the way up.
Frequently visited by nature lovers, Dolphin’s nose is one of the striking viewpoints formed with huge rocks. Settled at an elevation up to 1,000 ft above the sea level, the view point is 10 km from Coonoor hill station, Ooty. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ooty.Presenting you a wonderful vision of Catherine falls (a double cascading waterfall); the peak of the rock reminds you of a Dolphin’s nose. From the top you can enjoy amazing view of beautiful sunset and sunrise. In addition, the enchanting cover of tea plantations stretched for miles leaves you awestruck.
Ooty Lake is a popular destination for picnicking, paddle boating and enjoying Ooty leisurely. Built in 1825, it is a 2.5-kilometre long lake meandering through the scenic beauty of the Nilgiris.
Ooty Botanical Garden, spread over a huge area of 22 hectares and with more than 650 species of flowers and trees, is a horticulturist’s delight. 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. Be privy in to the lifestyle and culture of this tribe during your visit.
Rose Garden Ooty
Rose Garden is one of the largest rose gardens in India. Located on the Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram of Ooty, the garden is a wonderland for nature lovers. You can have an enthralling view of more than 20,000 varieties of roses, collected from different parts of the world. The Garden is being Awarded as the ‘Garden of Excellence’ by World Federation of Rose Societies.
It is Located on the highest peak of Nilgiri, Tea Museum offers you the delicious exhibition of different tea types. As Nilgiri Mountain boasts of being India’s second-largest hill station bounded by tea gardens, this is a heaven for tea-lovers. Owing to its splendid charm Dodabetta Tea Museum can rightfully be addressed as one of the best places to visit in Ooty.
Kalhatti Waterfalls is located in Kallattipura in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. Kalhatti offers its visitors with the splendid view of water cascading down from a height of around 40 meters. With the picturesque surrounding of dense forests, the place boasts of wide variety of flora and fauna.
The Dodabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10km from Ooty.
A must-visit for history buffs, Stone House is the first bungalow of Ooty built by John Sullivan in 1822. Today, it is the Government Arts College of Ooty and displays amazing architecture and some great relics.
Pykara Lake and Waterfall
Pykara is a well- known getaway set at a distance of 21 km from Ooty. Pykara is a beautiful village with a gushing river which has a dam and a power plant. Because of the dam, the backwater forms a big lake which is called Pykara Lake. At the end of the dam, the river falls from a height which is known as Pykara Falls. This is how Pykara becomes the perfect picnic spot. The attraction is set amid lush greenery and breathtaking sights which allures people from different corners of the world.
Annamalai Temple is a situated about 20 km distance from Ooty. This place has grown as a famous temple of Lord Muruga, known as 7th Hill house of the lord. The view from the Temple is really awesome. There is an observatory at the top of hill for the public to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view.
It is another small hill station only 17 km from Ooty. It is less famous but equally beautiful. The botanical garden called Sim’s Park has conifers, magnolia, and tree ferns. There are several quaintly named vantage points that provide a view of the surrounding countryside. Sample: Lamb’s Rock, Lady Canning’s Seat and Dolphin’s Nose!
Wax World – (Wax Museum)
Its a private investment not supported by Govt. Don’t expect much like other foreign wax museum which are helped by tourism authorities for advertisements and promotions. But for sight seeing its good. More attraction is the very old house, where the museum is set up. Candles are available.
The best time to visit this beautiful hill station is from October to June.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Ooty is located in Coimbatore. The hill station is at a distance of about 98 kilometers from the Coimbatore Airport. The airport is connected to Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Cochin by Indian Airlines flights. In order to reach Ooty from the airport, one has to hire a taxi or a bus to reach Ooty.
The hill station of Ooty has a railway station of its own. It is called the Udhagamandalam railway station and can be reached by The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (a.k.a. Toy Train) from Mettupalayam. Though the toy train isn’t very fast but the scenic beauty of this route attracts many tourists. Mettupalayam is the nearest major railway station to Ooty. One can also hire a private taxi to reach Ooty here. The distance of Ooty from Mettupalayam is about 52 km.
Ooty is also connected to all the nearby towns and cities by good roads. The hill station connects to various other important cities of South India like Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, etc. The road to Ooty from Coimbatore is popular for its scenic beauty. As Ooty is located on NH 67 several tourist buses and taxis commute here without any hassle.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Club Mahindra Derby Green Ooty
29-49, Baikey Road Ettinnes Road,
Near Race Course , Ooty , Tamilnadu,643001
Ooty – 643001
Sinclairs Retreat Ooty
444, Gorishola Road,
Ooty , Tamil Nadu,643001
Where to Eat
Eating out is a very pleasurable experience in Ooty, with its many restaurants to choose from.
Charring Cross Main Road
Nahar Hotel complex at the Commercial Street,
near Charing Cross
Earl’s Secret at Kings Cliff
Havelock Road, Strawberry Hill