Udhagamandalam / Ootacamund (Ooty)
Location : Niligiri
District, Tamil Nadu
Area : 36 Sq. kms.
Attractions : Ooty Lake, Dodabetta peak, Botanical Garden
Ideal Time to Visit : February to May and September to
¤ Ooty, The Queen of Hills
Known as the "Queen of hill stations" Udhagamandalam
(Ooty), is the capital of Nilgiri district. Ooty is situated at a
distance of 105 km from Coimbatore, at an altitude of 7,349 feet above
the sea level in the Nilgiris. The temperature ranges from 25 degree
Celsius in summers, to chilling cold in winters. Doddabetta is the
highest peak of 2623 kms and the height of the hills in the Nilgiri
range varies between 2280 and 2290 meters.
Ooty is situated at the meeting point of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and
Karnataka, three southern states of India. This lovely hill station
was established by the Britishers, in the first half of the 19th
century. It also serves as summer headquarters for the government of
Madras. Earlier, the area was inhabited by Todas, the tribal people
who still live here.
¤ Attractions At Ooty
The beautiful hill station of Ooty, draws quite a good number of
tourists from all over the world. The natural beauty of this region is
outstanding and memorable. Apart from the natural splendors, Ooty has
many more attractions that are worth a visit. Some of the important
ones are the Botanical Gardens sprawled over an area of 50-acre. It
was established by Marquis of Tweeddale in the year 1848. These
gardens lie on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta peak, the highest
point in Ooty. Another exotic garden found here is the Rose Gardens,
situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. They are spread
over an area of 10 acres of land with 2000 variety of roses.
There is also a Mini Garden over here along with a children amusement
park. Definitely, a worth visiting site. Another famous attraction
here is the Ooty Lake, a charming artificial lake. Constructed in 1824
by Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. A noteworthy
attraction of Ooty is the St Stephens Church situated in the hilly
area on Club Road. It is said to be the oldest church in the Nilgiris.
This church was built in the year 1829 and consecrated in 1830. The
cemetery close by houses the grave of John Sullivan, the founder of
Ooty. Another outstanding attraction here is the Doddabetta peak. It
is the highest peak (2623 meters) in the Nilgiris and is situated
about 10-km from Ooty, offering a beautiful view of the Nilgiri hill
Another engrossing attraction here is the Deer park situated at a
distance of 1-km from the Lake. It is a worth visiting park. There is
also a Government Museum, situated at Mysore Road in Ooty. It owns a
wide collection of items of tribal objects, district's ecological
details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu.
It was set up in 1989, with an aim to provide education benefits to
the residing and visiting population of Nilgiri district. Another
attraction here is the Hindustan Photo Films, one of the major
industrial units of the district. It is located about 5-km away from
Ooty railway station and is sprawled over an area of over 300 acres,
near the Ooty golf-links on the Ooty- Mysore road.
Ooty offers a lot of exotic excursion destinations. Some of the
important excursion destination are The Mukkurthi Peak and National
Park, located around 40-km from Ooty. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris
Peak are other major peaks around. A number of little perennial
streams flow between these peaks, which fall into Bhavani Puzha.
Another major excursion destination here is the Mudumalai Wildlife
Sanctuary, located near the Nilgiri Hills. This sanctuary has varied
landscape with open grassland, swamp and valley.
Near Ooty, Pykara is an important excursion destination, situated at
a distance of 21-km. The tourist attractions of this place are the
Toda settlements, untouched meadows and rich wildlife habitat. Other
added attractions at Pykara are the Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and a
The Nilgiris near Ooty are a trekker's delight. Here you can try your
hands on adventure sports like Hang-Gliding, Angling and Trekking. A
trek can be a thrilling experience, full of excitement and adventure.
It will change your way of seeing and enjoying nature.
Ooty, a summer festival is held each year during the month of May in
the Botanical Gardens. The Flower Show is the highlight of this
festival. There are many Cultural programmes organized for those
interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure sports like
trekking also forms part of the festival. The annual "Tea and
Tourism Festival" celebrated in the month of January is a
festival attracting quite a good number of tourists.
There is a range of things that one can buy from Ooty. Exclusive
Nilgiri products including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like
Eucalyptas, Toda embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in
the town. Some of the best places to shop fruits and general groceries
are Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market. Kairali of Kerala
Handicrafts and Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their
showrooms near to Super Market Buildings on Charring Cross.
By Air : The Coimbatore
airport, situated around 105 km from Ooty, is the nearest airport.
By Rail : Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway, connected to
Mettupalayam (47 km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and
Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and
By Road : A good network of roads and national highways
connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus
services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai,
Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important
destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major
cities of Kerala and Karnataka.
Local Transport :Taxis, tourist cabs, auto rickshaws are
available in plenty. Except for tourist cabs there are no standard
rates. Town buses are also available to all important places.
Conducted sight seeing tours are arranged by the private operators and
the Government Tourism Development Corporation.