6 Incredibly Glorious Places To Visit In Ooty!
Ooty also known as Udagamandalam, is a popular holiday destination nestled in the beautiful Nilgiri Hills in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This ‘Queen of Hill Station’ is situated at an altitude of 2,240 metres above sea level and has a favourable climate all-round the year, making it a mountain lovers’ dream destination. Ooty with its delightful mountain trails, lush green scenery, never-ending meadows, crystal clear lakes that stretch for miles, and cascading waterfalls that suddenly appear as you take a hairpin bend, holds a charm like no other hill station.
Ooty is one tourist destination that you cannot rush through just so you can move on to the next place on your itinerary. This lovely destination stands tall and can hypnotize anyone with its cool peaceful landscape, awe-inspiring hills, winding country lanes, aromatic tea gardens, tasty bakery goods, and a joyful ride on the miniature toy train that infuses fresh air into the souls of the weary travellers.
Ooty is a fundamental part of the Western Ghats and is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world. Monsoon is the best time to visit this pleasant hill station. In this season, you will be greeted by forests laden with rare blooming flowers and hill slopes covered with colourful species of plants not likely to be traced anywhere else in India. You can also spot a plethora of exotic wild animals and reptiles, few of which are the elusive panther, the rock python, majestic cobra, and the big cats. A variety of rich pharmaceutical plants and herbs with medicinal qualities can also be found here.
6 Best Places To Visit In Ooty
- Botanical Garden
- Ooty Lake
- Needle View Hillpoint
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway
- Rose Garden
- Emerald Lake
1. Botanical Garden
Located right in the heart of this beautiful scenic hill station is the famous Ooty Botanical Garden. Sprawling over 55 acres of land, the gardens house hundreds of different varieties of plants and flower species. Built in 1847, this beautifully landscaped garden is split into various sections, namely Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace, and Nurseries, and encompasses large varieties of both indigenous and exotic plants, shrubs, ferns, herbal, orchids, and bonsai species all of which present a natural colourful endearing sight. The garden has a temperate climate ideal for a variety of plants, shrubs, ferns, and bonsai. During the summer month of May, a special two-day exhibition of flowers is held here with various flower related activities and prizes given to the best display. All these account for a charmingly scenic delight to the senses and makes it among the best places to visit in Ooty.
Location: Vannarapettai, Ooty
Timings: 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry fees: INR 30 for adults and INR 15 for children
Activities/Attractions: Cork Tree (only one species in India), Paper Bark tree and Monkey Puzzle tree (even the monkeys cannot climb it)
2. Ooty Lake
This manmade lake was artificially constructed just for the fishing purpose but is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ooty. This lake is very popular for its boating and the boathouse here provides paddle boats, motor boats, and rowing boats. A graceful and refreshing ride on the calm waters is a very popular activity enjoyed by family and honeymoon couples. Cycling and horse riding around the lake is another favourite amongst tourists. For a quick tour around the lake, there is even a mini train for the kids. The beautiful lake spread over an area of 65 acres is surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and one can also see small streams flowing down the hills around it and is brimmed with shops selling local products as well as beautiful shawls and stoles.
While visiting Ooty Lake, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Wax Museum right next to the lake. A visit to this museum is not only informative but also thrilling especially for kids who are left in awe by the beautiful wax statues stationed inside the 130-year old Colonial Mansion in Ooty. One can see numerous look-alike wax statues of eminent personalities of Indian history and culture.
Location: Ooty Lake, Ooty, The Nilgiris
Timings: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry fees: INR 10 for Indians and INR 560 for foreigners
Activities/Attractions: Wax museum, boating, sightseeing, photography, shopping, and walking
3. Needle View Hillpoint
Away from the hustle and bustle of city-life, Needle View Hill Point also known as Oosi Malai is as an ideal place to calm your soul and spend quality time in the lap of nature with your dear ones. One can climb up the rocks and get a panoramic view of the splendid scenery all around. The cool breeze, the setting sun and the 360-degree view of the surrounding terrain makes the whole experience more pleasant and romantic.
Needle View Hillpoint derives its name from a cone-shaped rock inhabiting it and is much more than just a viewpoint. Leagues apart from a usual sunrise and sunset point, it’s a gorgeous place and is quite different from other sunrise and sunset points. The drive from Ooty all the way to this spot is another major draw, which offers tourists breathtaking views of grasslands and valley of the Nilgiris. Nature enthusiasts find it thoroughly enchanting and such surroundings transport them to an entirely different world.
Tip: Make sure to carry some warm clothes with you as the temperatures can stoop down during the end of the day even during monsoon.
Location: Gudalur, Ooty Main Road, National Highway 67, Ooty
Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry fees: N/A
Activities/Attractions: Sightseeing, nature photography, and walking
4. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
A trip to Ooty is incomplete without embarking on a ride in the Toy Train run by the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which gives its passengers a lifetime experience as it chugs its way through captivating landscapes, dense forests, and sparkling river with the sun shining brightly over them. The Toy Train was built by the Britishers and is said to be the steepest track in Asia. As the train climbs to higher altitudes one can witness how treasured Nilgiri is, and from your seat, you can have a panoramic view of the sparkling blue waterfalls, lush green forests, steep hills, plunging ravines, fragrant tea plantations, and breathtaking locales. At the end of the journey, you will not regret spending 5 hours on this 46 kilometres track as it is a never to be forgotten experience.
The journey commences from Mettupalayam up till Udagamandalam and crosses 250 bridges and 16 tunnels while passing through a number of other stations on the way including Coonoor, Kellar, Wellington, Lovedale, and Ootacamund. The hit song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ staring Shahrukh Khan and Malaika Arora Khan dancing on top of a train was shot on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway with the Nilgiri Mountains in the background. Nature enthusiasts and photography buffs would love to be in such surroundings that transport them to an entirely different world.
Location: The one-way journey starts from Metupalaiyam at 7:10 AM and arrives in Ooty at 12:00 PM and from Ooty, it starts again at 3:00 PM
Entry fees: The ticket costs INR 205 and can be booked from IRCTC website.
Activities/ Attractions: Train ride, sightseeing, nature photography
5. Rose Garden
Lying in the heart of Ooty on the slopes of the Elk Hills, this mesmerizing garden will not fail in taking your heart away. Called by multiple names like the Centenary Rose Park, the Jayalalithaa Rose Garden, and the Nootranju Roja Poonga, it is a true paradise for nature lovers who are captivated by its lush gardens with areas dedicated to captivating perfumed roses. As you walk around the garden you feel like you have entered a different world altogether. Built-in 1995 to commemorate the Centenary Flower Show, this is one of the famous botanical gardens maintained by the Horticulture Department of Tamil Nadu, covering a vast expanse of over four hectares on the hill slopes. One can spot a variety of roses in different colours, sizes, local, non-local, and hybrid. Families with kids as well as couples can be seen having a joyful time here. The annual flower show is the time the garden has the highest production of colourful and fragrant roses and visitors can purchase saplings or beautiful bouquets for their loved ones. The layout of the garden consists of bowers with rose creepers, Pergolas, and Rose Tunnels, and there is an observation centre called the Nila Maadam, from where tourists can get a beautiful view of the whole garden. With an assortment of about 20,000 roses and 2,800 plants, it has one of India’s largest collections of roses.
Location: Horticulture House, Elk Hill Rd, Bombay Castel, Ooty
Timings: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry fees: INR 20 per person
Activities/Attractions: Flower show, bowers, fountains, Nilamaadam, variety of roses, view points, and Gazebos
6. Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake situated in Emerald Village at a short distance from the main city of Ooty, is a part of the Silent Valley National Park in the Nilgiri District. Away from the maddening crowd, this serene lake with its picturesque surroundings, green Nilgiri slopes, and beautiful tea plantations offers a perfect place to enjoy a leisurely time in the lap of nature and tranquillity. It is not overcrowded by tourists and is one of the unexplored and virgin places of this South Indian hill station. For families, it’s a perfect picnic spot and for nature photography enthusiasts, bird lovers, ornithologists, and landscape artists, the delightful place provides a perfect subject and composition. The azure blue water of this charming lake and the woods around it are home to a number of colourful native birds. For a better experience of the region, one can indulge in trekking and mountain biking around the lake or just sit and chill with a book or a fishing rod and enjoy the breathtaking view. Strolling around the Tea Gardens near the lake is another experience, which is a must for city dwellers and tourists. Nilgiri tea is famous for its strong flavourful taste and easily available in shops near the lake and one can be sure of the quality and authenticity when purchasing it from here.
Location: Emerald Village
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry fees: N/A
Activities/Attractions: Trekking, mountain biking, bird-watching, photography, sightseeing, and fishing
Revive yourself along with your family and friends with an eventful vacation by rushing to the heart-winning tourist places to see in Ooty. This southern gem will take your breath away with its bountiful greenery and awe-inspiring scenery, allowing you to relish the nuances of nature at its best. The spellbinding magic of this quaint little hill station never gets old, regardless of how many times you visit. Each season in Ooty presents the town in a new form and none of the seasons is too harsh for its visitors. The ‘Queen of Hill Stations’ looks forward to serving you a delightful treat away from home, in the lap of nature. Be it the heritage toy train or the pristine waters of the Emerald Lake, the tourist attractions here leave no stone unturned to make you crave for more. Ooty is an ideal destination for you to revive yourself along with your friends and family.
Hey! I'm Gauri.Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice.An engineer turned writer.Loves animals tolerate humans.Has a thing for pizza and old books.Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.