The Ten Best Places to Visit in Ooty

The Ten Best Places to Visit in Ooty

Ooty, is a small hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills and is the capital of the Nilgiris District. Positioned at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level, Ooty is famous for its inherent natural beauty, sprawling grasslands, lofty mountains, sparkling lakes, rivers, waterfalls, dense forests and miles of tea plantations. It is also an apt trekking and hiking destination.

Travelling to Ooty

Nearest airport: Coimbatore, approximately 88 kilometers away from Ooty.

Nearest railway station: Mettupalyam, approximately 40 kilometers from Ooty.

Nearest bus stand:  Ooty Bus Station (Mani Vihar, Kathadimattam, Ooty.)

Best time to visit:

During summers (March – June) During the summer months, the weather is generally pleasant. One can venture out for sightseeing and other tourist activities.

During monsoons (July – October) Ooty receives heavy rainfall during these months. But the hills are greener and nature lovers would love the scenic beauty that surrounds Ooty in the monsoon months.

During winters (November – February) Winters in Ooty are chilly and cold. Sometimes the temperature drops below 5 degree Celsius. Note that the nights in January and February are the coldest. Many people still visit Ooty during the winter season,

Places to Visit:

1. Centenary Rose Garden

The Centenary Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in India. Situated on the slopes of Elk Hill in Ooty town, this garden has one of the largest collections of roses in the country. It has more than 20,000 varieties of roses of 2,800 cultivatorss including black and green roses making it a must visit for tourists. When the roses bloom, the entire valley transforms into an enchanted haven.

2. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

A trip to Ooty is incomplete without a visit to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is a fascinating ecosystem on the Nilgiri Hills that provides a safe haven to many species of wildlife. Tribal groups like the Todas, Kotas, Irullas etc are native to the reserve. Here you may spot the Black Panther, Bengal Tiger, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr and the Indian Elephant.

3. Pykara Falls

Pykara is a beautiful village with a gushing river which forms two majestic waterfalls. The first waterfall is fifty five meters in height and the second one even higher at sixty one meters. You can relax in the sound of the cascading water or you can go boating in the lake.

4. Kamraj Sagar Dam

Sandynalla Reservoir or Kamraj Sagar Dam is a quiet and scenic dam situated on the slopes of Wenlock Downs in Ooty. It is a popular shooting location in Ooty and is a favourite haunt for tourists. The Kamraj Lake also has a boat house which offers boating facilities with Paddle boats, Row boats, and Motor boats. There are several walking trails around the lake where people can trek or take a stroll. Storks, kingfishers, cranes, herons, deer, monkeys etc can easily be spotted in the area.

5. Mudumalai National Park

The Mudumalai National Park and tiger Reserve is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna like the Royal Bengal tiger, gaur, chital and white rumped vultures. Here in the lap of nature, you can also quench your thirst for adventure. You can enjoy a jeep safari or an elephant safari or take long nature walks on mountain trails.

6. Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Travel in the steam locomotive and take a tour of the city in Ooty style. Cutting through the mountain terrain, the railway runs from Mettupalyam to Ooty. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the hills and feel the thrill when the train passes through tunnels and chugs up steep cliffs.

7. Saint Stephen’s Church

Established during the British rule, Saint Stephen’s Church is the oldest church in Ooty. It has a stunning colonial architecture and is a treat to the eyes. The place exudes a certain calmness and serenity. You will truly feel that the place has a touch of the divine.

8. Wenlock Downs

Wenlock Down is famous as a film shooting location in Ooty. And you will soon see why. The area has close knitted eucalyptus trees. You can pack a hamper and some snacks to munch on and relax in this ethereal place’s scenic beauty.

9. Doddabetta

Doddabetta is the highest peak in the Nilgiris. It is a thickly forested area that lies at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats. It also has an ancient observatory which has two telescopes available for public use. Surrounded by clouds and mist you can enjoy hot snacks and beverages at Doddabetta and gaze at the heavenly view around you.

10. Toda Huts

Take a tour of the Toda huts or Toda Hamlets, the original dwellings of the indigenous people of the region. The semi barrel shaped huts are so small that one needs to bend over to enter it. Quaint in its appearance, these huts of the Toda community have managed to weather the onslaught of  modernization.

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