The Most Popular Sights of Ooty- South India

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Last Updated on January 12, 2020 by Chef Mireille


#TravelTuesday (1)
 The Most Popular Sights of Ooty- South India – Discover all the reasons you must visit Ooty!

It’s been two weeks since the last #TravelTuesday issue but I have the best issue yet so I am sure you will overlook the skipped weeks. This is a guest post from my friend PJ. She is from a town called Ooty in South India. Here is her personal tour through her home town. She will have you ready to book your ticket tomorrow!

 
When you make it to India, sure visit Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Mumbai…but don’t miss a visit to this hill station where you can absorb local culture away from the tourist traps!
 
It’s summer time and the apt time to go on a vacation!! Today’s
trip is to Ooty.This is one place that is very close to my heart – a place where
I grew up. So naturally I wanted to take you around this beautiful place!
Udhamandalam or Udhagai as it also called, is located in
South India and is the District capital of the Nilgiris,meaning ‘The Blue
Mountain’.
Ooty  is a picturesque
hill town surrounded by four magnificent
hills belonging to the Nilgiri range.It  is situated about 2213 meters above sea
level  and it has a very pleasant
climate- beautiful spring and summer, chilly and frosty winters and really wet
monsoons!
Here is a small tit bit on the history of this place….
The history of this place goes back to the time when the British
East India Company came to India ,  settled
in various part and were ruling the country. Ooty was founded by Sir John
Sullivan who was the governor of the neighboring place-Coimbatore.He was pretty
impressed with the landscape and the climate declared it to be similar to
Switzerland!
He built a town and established a good relationship with the
tribes of Ooty and helped develop the economy of the place. Now, there is a
memorial that has been built to honor his efforts in building such a beautiful
place.
In those days, Ooty served as the summer capital of the
Madras Presidency and the other kingdoms that were a part of the British Raj.
This town has still has several heritage buildings that
point to the British architecture and most of them are still used as government
offices / library / tourist spot!
How to reach there?
Ooty can be reached by rail or road.The nearest airport is
at Bangalore, Kozhikode,Coimbatore and from there one can take a taxi, bus,
train.
Where to stay?
There are plenty of hotels in and around Ooty that fits into
every category- be it resorts or budget hotels.
When to visit? 
The best season to visit is from mid March to May after which the monsoon
starts and then in September – October before the winter starts.
What to wear?
The climate is cool all the year so be sure to carry a light
jacket and some warm cloths especially if visiting in winter.Also carry an
umbrella.
How to travel within
the town?
You can travel by auto to see the individual attractions or
go on a package tour by engaging a taxi whereby you can visit many places in a
day. But frankly you need at least a week to visit all the places in leisure.
What to see?
Owing to the climatic conditions,
Ooty has developed into a major tourist spot. People from all over the world
flock this place all through the year! There are plenty of places to see but am
showing you around a few important and must-see places in and around Ooty….
Botanical Gardens – Established in the year 1848, this is one of
the major attractions on Ooty. It covers an area of approx. 22 hectares and the
land is divided into many sectors with a terraced layout. It took almost 10
years to finish the layout of this magnificent garden!
The Garden boasts of thousands of
varieties of exotic flowers, plants, shrubs, herbs and trees.
The lush lawns, colorful flower
beds, ponds with lilies and lotus, the Italian Garden, the conservatory are
some of the catching places in this garden.
ooty garden 00
 
 
The Ooty Flower show- an annual
event in summer is the time when lakhs of visitors throng this place.
ooty garden 0
 
Some of the major attractions in
this garden are
·
The heritage gate that is seen at the entrance
which was built as a plant conservatory in the year 1859.
heritage gate
 
 
·
The cannon – A couple of these are placed on
either sides of the entrance
Cannon
 
·
Fossil tree – That is almost 20 million years
old!
Fossil tree
 
·
Toda huts- A small collection of tribal huts.
This is present way up in the garden but now a model hut is kept at the
entrance which sells some things that are unique to Ooty
 
toda hut
As we leave the garden and enter the town , there is another
attraction at the Charing cross.
This was built in the year 1886  and is
now a famous and notable landmark in town.
Charing Cross
Charing Cross
 
The Adams fountain
present in the centre is said to bear resemblance to the one in London!
charing cross fountain
 
The next attraction is the boat house whose main thrill lies in boating and the ride in the
Toy train.
Boat house
 
 The toy train is nothing but a kids train
that takes you on a ride along the lake and kids and adults can enjoy a
stunning  view of nature.
boat house toy train
 
The Rose Garden
in Ooty, is said to be the largest Rose Garden in India, was established in the
year 1995 to commemorate the centenary flower show in the botanical gardens. It
is situated on the slopes on Elk Hill, Ooty.
rose garden1

 

It covers an area of 4 hectares and has roses arranged over
5 curving terraces.
rose garden 2
 
Though there are still more places to see, I am now moving
on to the other places around Ooty that are worth a visit..
Dodabetta is the
highest mountain in the Nilgiri range and stands at an altitude
of 2,623 meters, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty!
Dodabetta view point
 
Kodanadu
View Point
is yet another place that one must visit just to enjoy the spectacular
view! From this  point we can see the the
Rangasamy Peak, Rangasamy Pillar, Catherine Falls and Dolphin’s Nose ,
beautiful view of the Bhavanisagar Reservoir, Deccan Plateau and Thengumarahada
Village.
View from Dodabetta
 
Valley view is a
point on the highway leading to Ooty from Coimbatore[NH 67] which is a perfect
spot to enjoy the striking beauty of the Ketti valley, one of the largest
valley in the world!
valley view
 
 
The Pykara reserviour
has become a tourist spot of late. There is a also boating facility here.
PYKARA
 
The mountain ranges,forests and the tea estates that are
found on either side of the road on the way to Ooty by train / road is a sight
to behold!!!All though the way, you can see loads of monkeys crossing the roads
and playing on the sides and they are always ready to pick up your belongings
if you don’t watch out!!
ooty scenic beauty
 

Last but not the least, a trip on the NMR
/ Nilgiri Mountain Railway
is a must! The NMR track is 1,000 mm
(3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)metre gauge.

ooty train

A section of the tracks between Coonoor and Mettupalayam has the rack and
pinion tracks.

Ooty train track

This type of track is laid to climb the steep terrain. A trip on this train
is a very memorable one  for it passes
through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges,108 curves covering a distance of around 42 kms!
The train moves rather slowly so that it gives us an opportunity to behold the
breath taking beauty of the hills!
What’s even more interesting is the engine pushes the train from behind on
the trip going up to Ooty and it is in front while going downhill! This ensures
that the train does not run amuck.
The other places worth visiting around Ooty are – Dolphin’s nose, Catherine
Falls,Lamb’s rock,Sim’s park, ,Lady Canning’s seat,Tea estates and factories, Honey
and Bee museum, etc…
 What to shop!?
Ooty is not only famous for its tourists attractions but also for the
various products sold there.

·
It is famous for its tea leaves and various
essential oils like Eucalyptus oil, Cinchona oil etc.
·
You can also get a wide range of home made
chocolates in various flavors and with various additions.
·
Fresh spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom
are not to be missed.
·
Ooty Varkey which is a flaky pastry is something
that is much sort after. A cup of tea with varkey is a hot favorite among
locals.
·
Todas are the local tribes of Ooty and their
handmade embroidery shawls and jewels are very unique and exquisite.
·
Fresh fruits , vegetables, flowers are sold on
the street side and one can taste sweet crunchy carrots, steamed corn, juicy
peaches and plums, enjoy the beautiful marigolds etc.
·
There are plenty of souvenir shops in and around
Ooty where you can find all sort of artifacts. But be sure to bargain before
you buy.

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About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Srivalli

    Wow PJ, that's such an awesome post..Growing up Coonoor was our yearly summer resort and I have such fond memories of the place..Reading this got me so nostalgic!..Thanks to Mir, for getting this series on..

  2. Kalyani

    Lovely post Mir and PJ ! Went there many times during my summer holidays as my uncle and aunt stayed there :)) nostalgia sweeps me now …& want to take d kids along too

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