Being one of the most popular summer destinations of South, Ooty has a charm that makes it a darling hill station of thousands visiting the place every year which includes both international and out-of-state tourists. You can plan your trip to this hill station anytime of the year except the monsoon season. There are lot of things to see and do in Ooty. But in case you have limited time and want to hand pick a few from the long list of attractions, we have made it a little easy for you.
Government Botanical garden
Let us brief you a little on the history of Government Botanical garden. It was started in 1848 and covers over 55 acres of land. Located on the slope of Doddabetta peak, this garden has a terraced layout and is divided into various sections. Though it was started off as a small public garden with minimum saplings and seedlings, it was later expanded extensively. The present botanical garden is laid out into 6 sections- lower garden, Italian garden, new garden, conservatory, fountain terrace and nurseries. Don't miss the old fossilised tree at the garden that is believed to be 20 million years old. The government of Tamil Nadu and the horticulture department together makes a sincere effort to maintain the garden in all its richness.
The Arboretum at the garden houses a live collection of trees and other woody plants.
Another highlight of the garden is the Toda mund (Toda hill) which gives an insight into the lives of native Toda tribes of Ooty.
Every year an annual summer festival is conducted in the month of May, highlight of the festival being the flower show that exhibits varied variety of rare and indigenous flora.
Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/twjGDc8tae52
Where : Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001
How to reach : The garden is located 2.5 kms from the ooty railway station and can be accessed by auto/ taxi.
Timings: The garden is open all days from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry fee: Rs.30/- per adult. additional camera and videography charges applicable.
Nilgiri Mountain railway
Don't miss a chance to travel by the Nilgiris Mountain railway, one of the very few mountain trains in India and enjoy the majestic mountains the “chuk-chuk” way. This railway route is a UNESCO world heritage site. It runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty via Coonoor. The tickets are reasonably priced so you could catch the magical glimpse of the picturesque Nilgiri mountain and the valley beneath at a very low cost. A friendly tip would be to try to get the corner seat so you could feel the fresh cold mountain breeze while enjoying the whimsical sceneries. Most appealing stretch of the entire journey is the one spanning from Mettupalayam to Coonoor or otherwise. If you need a first class compartment ticket, then pre-book online.
Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/29vSvsoT4NT2
Ticket rate : Rs 15 /- (unreserved general), rs.30/- reserved fare ( first class tickets cost rs. 205/- one-way).
Timing : mettupalayam- ooty train leaves at 7:10 am and arrives ooty by noon.On return , the train departs at 2:00 pm and reaches mettupalayam by 5:30 pm.
How to make reservations: reservations can be made at the Indian railway website or directly at the ticket counters.
You cannot be in Ooty and miss the highest mountain of Nilgiris. The mountain derives its name from the Badaga language which means “big mountain”. Almost 10 kms from town, the accessibility and the panoramic view it offers makes it one of the most popular tourist spots in ooty. The magnificent view of the peak is mainly due to its unique position on the Nilgiris, exactly at the junction between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. The telescope house with two viewing telescopes for public use offers a better view of the surrounding landscape. The tea museum adjacent to the peak is also worth a visit. The best time to visit the peak would be early mornings for the beautiful sunrise and evenings for the extraordinary sunset. Transportation availability depends on the season. Though there is easy availability of transport service to the peak during regular season, there isn’t frequent public transport facility during off-season. For eat outs, there are tea stalls and kiosks on the highway towards the peak.
Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/Ecd2jaQaXAn
How to reach: The place can be accessed by public transport. (8 kms from Ooty bus stand and railway station)
Timing: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
Entry fee: Nominal
Your trip will be incomplete without a boating at the very famous Ooty lake, situated at the heart of the hill station. Spread over 65 acres, the history of Ooty lake dates back to 1824. Though the initial plan was to use the lake for fishing with ferries, it gradually shrunk in area giving space top race course, bus stand and lake garden. For boating, paddle boats, motor boats and row boats can be hired. Inside the lake garden, there is an in-house restaurant, gift shop, kids play area, nursery etc. During the annual summer festival boat races and boat pageantry events are conducted for two days. Hence this is the peak tourist season in Ooty. Horse riding option is also available near the lake. If you are looking to shop local commodities,then you can purchase them at stalls outside the lake.
Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/i6Lk9NUTPM92
Where: West Mere, Ooty
How to reach: Public transport available. You can also hire and taxi/ rickshaw
Timing: The park is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Entry fee: Nominal entry fee. Additional charges for boating
Mudumalai National Park
About 2 kms from Ooty, Mudumalai National Park is a major tiger reserve in South India. Hop on for a safari across the jungle and watch up-close deer, monkey, elephants, multi-colored butterflies and varied variety of birds. Indian Giant Squirrel, flying lizard, Indian leopard are few endangered animals you can find here. The sanctuary is a house to 50 tigers. Van safari and elephant safari are available at the sanctuary. Other nearby place of interest is the Elephant camp at Theppakkadu. Theppakkadu is the reception point where accommodation, van rides and elephant safaris are arranged. If time permits you can also visit the Mayar waterfalls located nearby.
Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/y9DixsAKzgC2
Best season to visit : February to May and September to October. The place is sometimes closed during May due to fire risk and monsoon season is the least favourable time to visit.
How to reach: The place is well-connected by National highway. There are 2 different routes to the sanctuary from Ooty- one is via Kallatty, (36 km from Ooty) and the other is via Gudalur (67 KM from Ooty).
Timing: Open all days from 7:00 am - 9:00 am and 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm. However, van safari timings are 6:30 am to 9:00 am and 3:30 to 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 15/-. Private vehicles are not allowed inside.
Ooty has no shortage of tourist attractions. However, it all depends on the length of your travel plan. If you think you cannot squeeze in all the attractions in a single trip, it would be a good idea to revisit the place -why, because the more you visit Ooty, the more you enjoy and explore.
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