INTRODUCTIONOoty in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu popularly known as the 'queen of hill stations' is situated at an altitude of about 7500 feet above the sea level.Ooty is blessed with coffee and tea plantations, blue mountains covered with green forests and valleys along with rustling streams and cascading waterfalls.
An Ooty tour is one of the most pleasant and satisfying tours as it offers a range of tourist destinations in and around Ooty which makes it really interesting. The other name for Ooty is Udhagamandalam which is derived from local Toda word Udhamandalam meaning village of huts. But however during the British period they referred it as 'WOTYKAMUND' in the Madras gazette. A trip to Ooty will leave you enchanting the beauty of the hill station.
Ooty is nestled in the verdant hills of the Niligris. The beautiful hill resort is situated at an altitude of 2,268 m and is part of Tamil Nadu.
History says that the plateau of Nilgiris was ruled by the King of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana from 1104 to 1141 AD. During this period of Vishnu Vardhana's rule the place was referred by the name Nila.This is a mentioned with a link to the Todas in a record certified during the period of 1117 AD. This later became Nilgiri in context to the blue haze enveloping the wide range of hills.
This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of Srirangapatnam in 1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was the first European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released his notes about the place and people of Nilgiris.But however settlement in Ooty was established only after the then Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan who built a Stone House in 1822 which is presently the Chamber of the Principal of the Government Arts College.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit Ooty is anywhere in the summer months between March to June. Also the month of November is very pleasant here.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
TEA AND TOURISM FESTIVAL
The Tea and tourism Festival is held in the month of January where there are lot of stalls on tea and its associated topics. You also get to taste some of the best cups of tea here, during this festival.
This festival again falls in the month of January. If you find yourself holidaying in Ooty, then do not forget to join the festivities and enjoy the celebrations.
The Botanica garden is filled with crowd during the flower show held in the month of May which attracts tourists from parts of the country.
FRUIT AND VEGETBLE SHOW
A major fruit and vegetable festival is held in the month of May at the Sim's Park which draws a major crowd from all over the world. The tea and tourism festival is another important festival of Coonoor held in the month of January. The festival attracts tea connoisseurs from all over the world.
PLACES OF INTERESTS
This museum situated on the Mysore road is supposed to be very educative. It houses items belonging to tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu.It talks more about the tribal people of this area, Todas.
The Botanical garden in the centre of the town is spread over an area of about 22 hectares and was laid out in 1847.The Botanical garden is maintained by the Horticulture department of the state and it houses about 650 species of plants and trees, including a fossil of a tree, which is believed to be more than 20 million years old.
One can get to see the beauty of Gods creation in very close up. It is here where in the month of May the summer festival is held which includes flower shows and various cultural programmes.
The Ooty lake constructed in the year 1825 was mainly built to provide an irrigation tank to the people. The credit of bringing up this lake goes to the then Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan.
The Dodabetta Peak is situated at a distance of about 10kms from Ooty and is supposed to be the highest point in the district. The altitude of this peak is about 2,623 meters above sea level and from here one can get amazing view of the valley below.
Though it is rare, on a clear day it is said that you get to see the pains of Coimbatore.
This is an ideal picnic spot at a distance of about 9kms from Coonoor.It is a place that allows one a wide overall view of the surrounding splendid views of tea estates and the deep valleys. This place feasts the tourists by views of the Hulikal spur, Hulikal ravine and the Mountain Railway. Lambs rock is named after Captain Lamb who made a narrow path to this spot.
KODANADU'S VIEW POINT
This is again another excellent vantage point which makes us take a deep breath of the Moyar river and the tea estates. There is a watchtower here that offers a view of the Rangasamy peak.Kodanadu's View Point is concentrated more towards the eastern side of Nilgiris and is at a distance of 16kms from Kotagiri.
The Pykara is the largest river in the Nilgiris District. It is located about 20 kms from Ooty on the Ooty-Mysore road, and is considered very sacred by the Todas. The Pykara river rises at Mukurthi peak. It passes through hilly tract, generally keeping to North and turns to West after reaching the Plateau's edge.
It gets down majestically in a series of cascades and the last two falls of 55 meters and 61 meters are known as Pykara falls. Apart from this the state tourism department runs a boat house from where you can hire boats for a ride.
This is otherwise popularly known as seventh mile is on the way to Pykara which is nothing but a vast expanse of grassy meadow. This is also an ideal location for picnics.
The rose garden is spread over an area of about 10 acres and is very close to the Charring Cross. The main feature of this garden is that it nurses close to 1919 variety of roses. It remains open on all days between 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
This is the Children's park situated close to the boathouse. This park has a well maintained garden along with a toy train and a play area to entertain the children. This park is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation
MUDUMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This is one of the favourite spot which is never missed by the people coming to Ooty.The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary; at a distance of 67kms from Ooty is the home of many animals with its rich flora and fauna. Some of the common sight in Mudumalai is elephants, giant squirrels, sambhar, chital, barking deer and flying squirrels.
However if you are lucky enough you can also spot a tiger or a leopard here. There is an elephant camp in the sanctuary which is quite interesting. Apart from the wild animals you can also see rare birds like parakeets, black woodpecker, Malabar trogon and crested hawk eagle.
The road to Kotagiri from Ooty is by itself a pleasant drive for it is flanked on either sides by tea plantations.Kotagiri at an altitude of 6503 feet above sea level witnesses a conducive climate throughout.Kotagiri is situated at a distance of about 31 kms. from Udhagamandalam.
The Kalhatty Waterfalls is at a distance of about 13kms from Ooty on the Kalhatty slopes and the water here gushes down from a height of about 100 feet. It is an ideal place for people who are interested in hiking, bird watching and trekking.
It is here where the annual fruit and vegetable show is held in the month of May.Sim's park is situated in the Upper Coonoor and covers an area of about 12 hectares which houses nearly 1000 plant including many flowering plants, pines, ferns and shrubs.
This place is located at a distance of about 10 km from Coonoor and it has a beautiful viewpoint which gives an excellent sight of the Coimbatore city and the Catherine Falls.
Mukurthi is about 36kms from Ooty.Here you can take a look at the imposing Mukurthi peak. According to the Todas, the indigenous people of this locale, the souls of the dead move on to the next world from this very sacred place. It is an interesting place for the skeptics as the flora and fauna of this pace bears a striking resemblance to that found in Himalayan region. You can also visit the Mukurthi lake which is close to the peak and is worth a closer look.
Coonoor the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris is about 19 km from Ooty.Apart from its strategic location Coonoor is also conferred with lavishly staged or spectacular display of natural beauty. Regal and memorable ambience echoes with beauty & brilliance. There are various places for sight seeing and you also get to witness the tribal festivals held here. Tea being the major area for commercial purpose you also get to see the beautiful tea plantations.Coonoor is the most commonly visited place for bird watchers for the place is full of beautiful and rare birds including black woodpecker, parakeets, barbets, mynas, cuckoos, Malabar trogon, Malabar gray hornbill, crested hawk eagle, and crested serpent eagle.
There are number of shops in and around Ooty selling South Indian artifacts.Ooty is also famous for its tea, hand made antiques, Indian handlooms, and shawls. Irish and Belgian table sets and shadow-worked bed sheets are also readily found in the Ooty shops.Ooty is known for its antique Toda jewellery and lovely Toda shawls that you can find in the main bazaar.Endowed with sprawling tea gardens and luxuriant green forest, Ooty is known for its fine flavored and aromatic tea leaves, delicious honey, eucalyptus oil and several fruits.
3.Ooty Coffee House,Ooty
4.Chinkos Chinese Restaurant,Ooty
6.Hotel Alakapuri Ettines Road, Ooty
7.Hotel Blue Hills International Christo Buld, SB Lane
8.Hotel Charing Cross Garden Road, Ooty
9.Hotel Dasaprakash FernHill, Ooty
10.Hotel Gangothri Club Road, Ooty
West Lake Road
Charring Cross,Coonoor Road
The Nilgiris,Tamil Nadu,India
0423-2224444 / 2224433
3.Hotel Charing Cross
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Police Quarters, Ooty, Tamil Nadu
5.Hotel Holiday Inn
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
6.Sinclairs Ooty Hotel
Gorishola Road, Ootacamund
Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001
7.Nalapad Residency Ooty
Woodcock Road 1
8.The Nilgiri Woodlands Hotel
Opposite Race Course, Ettines Road
Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643 001
9.The Willow Hill Hotel
58/1, Havelock Road,
0423 222 3123 / 222 4123 / 244 4037 / 244 4758
10.Fortune Hotel Sullivan Court, Ooty
123, Selbourne Road, Not Specified
Ooty, 643 001
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport from Ooty is Coimbatore (100kms). The domestic airport is connected to major airports in India, like: Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore.
Ooty has a railway station of its own which is connected by meter gauge tracks to Mettupalayam, which is turn connected to Coimbatore and Chennai.
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.