At a distance of 89 km from Coimbatore, 128 km from Mysore, 265 km from Bangalore,158 km from Kozhikode, 244 km from Munnar, 254 km from Kodaikanl & 556 km from Chennai, Ooty is one of the best hill stations in India. Also known as Udhagamandalam, Ooty is often referred to as 'Queen of hill stations'. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in the state of Tamilnadu. Nilgiris means 'Blue Mountains'. A land of picturesque picnic spots & lakes, it was a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet (2,240 meters) above sea level.
It was originally a tribal land occupied by the Todas along with other tribes. The Nilgiri territory came into possession of East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan in 1799. In 1818, Wish and Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to Collector of Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience report to the Collector of Coimbatore John Sullivan. John Sullivan later began the construction of his bungalow at Dimbhatti the first European dwelling on the hills. Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency and other small kingdoms, much visited by British during the colonial days. Its stunning beauty and splendid green deep valleys inspired the British to name it Queen of Hill Stations. Sullivan later developed the town and encouraged the establishment of tea, chinchona, and teak trees.
Apart from pleasant weather, Ooty is home for several tourist destinations like Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Wenlock Downs, Pine Forest, Emerald Lake, etc. The toy train, known as Nilgiri Mountain Railway that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must be experienced. The train route wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels and chugs along beside deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and tea gardens. The train route was developed by the British engineers in 1908, covering 42 kilometers length with 108 curves, 16 tunnels and 250 bridges. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the visitors on most routes. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the visitors on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival (Jan) and Summer Festival (May) attract crowds in huge numbers.
Ooty is also connected by bus with major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore. From Coimbatore, the Ooty buses start from Coimbatore North Bus Station (also known as New Bus Station or Mettupalyam Road Bus Station). The train The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train) leaves Mettupalayam at7.10am. The train is very smaller one and can only accommodate few passengers. The steam train takes a very scenic route, and the pace of travel will let you take in the beautiful scenery at leisure with stops at stations for the engine to take on water (the journey takes about 5.1/2 hours compared to 2 hours by road). The train often travels only at 5 - 10 Kmph, allowing some adventurous passengers to disembark from the train and walk along the train. Mettupalayam can prove to be a bottle-neck during the peak season of April-June with cabs charging exorbitant rates. The train is often quite regular in this part of the country, and is by far the most comfortable way to get here.
|Ideal Trip Duration||Base Station||Nearest City||Best Time to Visit||Peak Season||State||Temperature|
|2-3 Days||Coimbatore (100 Kms)||March to June & September to October||April to June||Tamil Nadu||The Nilgiris||Maximum : 24.3°C|
|Transpotation||Nearest Station / Airport||Distance (KM)|
|By Air||Coimbatore - Coimbatore Peelamedu Airport||100|
|By Train||Ooty Railway Station
Metupalaiyam Railway Station
|By Bus||Ooty Central Bus Station||0|
|OOTY LAKE & BOAT CLUB ( Lake / Backwaters )||
At a distance of 1 Km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, Ooty Lake is an artificial lake built by John Sullivan between 1823 & 1825. Situated amidst beautiful valleys, lake is a major landmark in the town. Ooty lake is the prime attraction & one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty.
Entrance Fee: Boat House - Rs 5, Still Camera - Rs 10 & Video camera - Rs 100. Pedal Boat (30 minutes): Rs 60 (2 seater) & Rs. 100 (4 seater). Deposit Rs. 100 Row Boat (30 minutes): Rs 95 (3 seater) & Rs. 125 (5 seater). Deposit Rs. 100
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
|BOTANICAL GARDENS ( park )||
At a distance of 3 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, the 22 Acre Botanical Garden was laid out in 1847 and is presently maintained by the government of Tamil Nadu. This is one of the best botanical gardens in India and one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty. The original purpose of the Botanical Gardens was to promote and study the various flora in and around Nilgiris. Now, it is open to the public as a park that can be enjoyed by visitors. The Botanical Garden is also a heaven for bird watchers where a variety of birds, both seasonal and year-round residents, can be sighted. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in the month of May at this garden. The garden also has a 20 million year old fossilized tree.
Entrance: Adults - Rs 15, Children - Rs 5, Camera - Rs 30, Video Camera - Rs 75
Timings: 8 AM to 6.30 PM
|DODABETTA PEAK ( NAture )||
At a distance of 13 Kms from Ooty, Doddabetta (Big Mountain) is the highest point in Nilgiri Mountains and second highest peak in South India at an altitude of 2623 meters (after Anamudi near Munnar, which is 2695 meters). It is the junction of the Western and Estern Ghats. One can have a magnificent panoramic view of the landscape and the whole of the district and even beyond through the Telescope House run by T.T.D.C. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty.
Entry Fee: Rs. 5
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
|WENLOCK DOWNS – SHOOTING SPOT ( NAture )||
At a distance of 16 Kms from Ooty (on way to Pykara), Wenlock Downs is a vast Expanse of grassy meadow and is a favorite picnic spot from Ooty. The downs spread majestically across 20,000 acres of rolling lands that seems to be stretching endlessly. The journey from Ooty to Wenlock Downs takes one to the most serene excursions from Ooty. The Wenlock Downs are perfect for walking and hiking amidst this elegant landscape. The view of a lake (formed by backwaters of Pykara) from Wenlock Downs peak is very scenic. This place is usally visited while going to Pykara with 30 minutes - 1 Hr of additional effort.
|PYKARA DAM & RESERVOIR ( Lake / Backwaters )||
At a distance of 22 Kms from Ooty & 568 Kms from Chennai (situated on Ooty - Mysore road), Pykara Dam built on Pykara river amidst dense forest is a beautiful destination offering breathtaking scenery. Pykara is the largest river in Nilgiri District. A boat house is developed & maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. Boating in Pykara lake is a memorable experience. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of wildlife like Elephants roaming on banks of the lake. The lake is surrounded by thick forest of Mukurthi National Park.
Pedal Boat (30 mins): 2 seater - Rs 60, 4 seater - Rs 100, Deposit - Rs 100 Motor Boat (20 mins): 6 seater - Rs 325, 8 seater - Rs 425, 10 seater - Rs 525
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
|PYKARA FALLS ( Waterfall )||
At a distance of 23 Kms from Ooty & 569 Kms from Chennai (situated on Ooty - Mysore road near Pykara Dam), Pykara Falls is a majestic falls formed by Pykara River on downstream of the reservoir. This is one of the best waterfalls around Ooty and also among the top tourist places to visit in Ooty. The falls can be reached by little moderate walk (5-10 mins) on well laid path from the entrance and parking location.
Nominal entrance fee is collected.
Timings: 8 AM to 5:30 PM
|ROSE GARDEN ( Park )||
At a distance of 1.5 Kms from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, the beautiful Rose Garden was established in 1995 to commemorate the centenary of Ooty flower show. This garden consists of five terraces in an area of 10 acres and has more than 2800 variety of roses. Go for a walk along the side of the different terraces.
Entry Fee - Rs 5, Still Camera - Rs 25
Timings: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM
|KETTI VALLEY ( Hill Station )||
At a distance of 8 Kms from Ooty, 8 Kms from Coonoor & 534 Kms from Chennai (between Ooty & Coonoor road), Ketti is a large valley in the Nilgirs and a town as well. The Ketti Valley is also referred to as 'Switzerland of Southern India' due to pleasent climate conditions through out the year. Ketti Valley Viewpoint situated between Ooty and Coonoor offers one of the best views of the valley. There is also a telescope room to get a closer view of the valley and surroundings.
Telescope Fee: Rs. 10 per head
|KALHATTY FALLS ( Waterfall )||
At a distance of 14 Kms from Ooty & 552 Kms from Chennai, Kalhatty Falls (also known as the Kalahasti Falls) is located in Kalhatty slopes on Masinagundi Road. The water at Kalhatty Falls descends from a height of 120+ feet. The Kalhatty-Masinagudi slope is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds. The falls are accessible from main road through a private tea estate. There is a viewpoint that offers a far view of the falls. One can walk down through a narrow path for 15 minutes (one way) from viewpoint to take a closer view & reach bottom of the falls. The path is usually isolated and not suggested to take after 5 PM.
|EMERALD LAKE ( Lake / Backwaters )||
At a distance of 17 Kms from Ooty, 27 Kms from Coonoor & 544 Kms from Chennai, Emerald Lake is a wonderful place in Nilgirs amidst dense forests. It is part of the Silent Valley National Park situated on the way to Avalanche village. This is a great place to enjoy the day with breathtaking views of the slopes of Nilgirs. Avalanche Dam is just 5 Kms away from Emerald Lake and both the places offer feast to nature lovers.
|AVALANCHE LAKE / SANCTUARY ( Lake / Backwaters / Wildlife )||
At a distance of 23 Kms south-west of Ooty & 33 Kms from Coonoor (5 Kms from the Emerald Lake), Avalanche is a small beautiful village derived its name from an avalanche (landslide) in 1823. This scenic place offers magnificent views of the Avalanche valley and the dam. The journey from Ooty to Avalanche takes one to a picturesque spot centered around a lake. The dam creates Upper Bhavani lake beyond Emerald Lake. A nature lover's paradise, this place is also famous for trout fishing and has arrangements for hiring fishing rods and other necessary equipments. Visit to near by trout farm is worthy. The surroundings of the Dam for a sanctuary with variety of wildlife and offers beautiful experience to visitors in the lap of nature. Private vehicles are not allowed into the Sanctuary and visitors have to take Forest Department mini bus for a 2 hours ride into the Sanctuary, covering Lake, Bhavani Temple and Hydro power plant. The bus starts from Forest Department checkpost 3 km before the Avalanche lake, The buses are run between 9 AM to 3 PM (2 hours ride) at specific intervals. It is advised to take the 9 AM bus to have better chances of wildlife sighting. Jeeps are also available for a group of 8 people.
Mini Bus Safari : Rs. 150 per head. Jeep Safari : Rs. 1200 for 8 persons
Timings: 9 AM to 3 PM
|MUDUMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY ( Wildlife )||
At a distance of 37 Kms from Ooty, 92 Kms from Mysore & 570 Kms from Chennai, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is the first Sanctuary in South India set up in 1940. At an altitude of 1140 meters, the sanctuary is spread over 321 sq. kms on Ooty - Mysore road. The sanctuary is situated on Karnataka-Kerala border adjacent to Bandipur National Park of Karnataka and Wayanad (Muthanga) Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala. It is rich in wildlife, like Elephants, Gaur, Tiger, Panthere, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, wild boar, Porcupine etc., and many birds and reptiles. Forest Department runs mini-bus safaris into the Park starting from Theppakadu. The safari bus stops at Moyar Watchtower which offers spectacular views of Moyar Gorge & Waterfalls. The forest department organizes Elephant Safari into the park and also Elephant Interaction Camp. Morning is the best time for safari to spot the wildlife. The safari takes visitors to jungle home campus, which is situated 10 kms into the deep jungle.
Vehicle Safari (1 hr): 6 AM - 10 AM & 2 PM - 6 PM Elephant Safari (1 hr): 7 AM - 8 AM & 4 PM - 5PM
Vehicle Safari (1 hr): 6 AM - 10 AM & 2 PM - 6 PM Elephant Safari (1 hr): 7 AM - 8 AM & 4 PM - 5PM
|SIM'S PARK ( Park )||
At a distance of 4 Kms from Coonoor Railway Station, Sim's Park was laid out in 1874 by Mr.J.D. Sim, then Secretary to Government and Major Murray, acting Superintendent of the Nilgiris forest. Spread over 30 acres of land, it was started as a pleasure resort for the residents and visitors, and later developed into Garden. Annual Fruit and Vegetables show is held every year in May here attracts tourists in large numbers.
Entrance Fee - Rs 5 for adults and Rs 2 for children. Still Camera - Rs 35, Video camera - Rs 250
Timings: 8.30 AM - 6 PM
|LAMB'S ROCK ( Nature )||
At a distance of 8 Kms from Coonoor Railway Station (on the way to Dolphin's Nose), Lamb's Rock is situated in Burliar village and it is one of the favorite picnic spots from Coonoor. Named after Captain Lamb who attempted to open a path to this place, the rock drops down several hundred feet to disappear in thick jungle below. The plains of Coimbatore and surrounding valleys offer magnificient views from this spot.
|DOLPHIN'S NOSE ( Nature )||
At a distance of 12 Kms from Coonoor Railway Station, Dolphin's Nose is a wonderful viewpoint with picturesque views of the Hills of Nilgirs Situated near Tiger Hill, this place is ideally visited in the morning (after 9 AM to 11 AM) for better views of the surroundings. A view of the distant Catherine falls can also be captured from here.
|LAW'S FALLS ( Waterfall )||
At a distance of 10 kms from Coonoor (on the road way to Mettupalayam) & 26 Kms from Ooty, the beautiful Law's falls is set inside the Coonoor forest range with vast stretches of undisturbed nature around. Named after Col. Law, who constructed the new Coonoor ghat, this waterfall is formed by Coonoor river near its junction with the Mettupalayam ghat road. This small & pretty wafterfall attracts huge crowd, especiall during post monsoons. Since this place is close to main road, it does not need much walk/trek. One can enjoy the force of the water at bottom of the falls. The place is rocky and slippery.
|CATHERINE FALLS ( Waterfall )||
At a distance of 20 Kms from Coonoor, 8 Kms from Kotagiri, 30 Kms from Ooty & 527 Kms from Chennai, Catherine Falls is the second largest waterfalls in Nilgiris at a height of 250 feet. This is also a good trekking destination. These cascading falls are surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. The falls are clearly visible from the top of Dolphin's Nose and this is the only place where you can get to full view of the Falls. Many trekking lovers trek to this place from Kotagiri & Aravenu as well. Kotagiri is connected by buses with Ooty & Coonoor. Nearest road to Catherine Falls can be reached from Kotagiri by private vehicles.
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