Ootacamund or Ooty, as this beautiful hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu is called, is defined by mountains, mist and clouds. Hence it is no surprise that Ooty is rightly known as the Queen of Hills. Situated at an altitude of 2,240 m, it is an ideal place to spend your holiday away from the sweltering coastal plains. Ooty has rightly earned the sobriquet of the ‘Queen of Hills’ for its scenic beauty due to the idyllic setting of the town on the Nilgiri Hills.
Founded in 1819 by John Sullivan, the then Governor of Coimbatore, this hill town in South India is home to some fine specimens of colonial architecture.
The Government Botanical gardens should be your stopover if you are on a sightseeing trip to Ooty. Laid out in 1847, this beautiful garden is run by the Horticulture department of Tamil Nadu. Occupying an area of 22 hectares, the Government Botanical gardens is the habitat of more than 600 species of plants and trees including the cork tree. The garden is a delight for the nature lovers who throng here in large number. Don’t miss the Annual Flower Show, if you are in Ooty in the month of May.
10km from Ooty, the Doddabetta Peak is the highest point of the Nilgiri Hills. Lying near the meeting point of the Eastern and Western Ghats, this 2,623 meters high peak attracts the tourists who can enjoy the commanding views of the surrounding landscape from powerful telescopes installed here.
Surrounded by Eucalyptus trees on all sides, the Ooty Lake is one of the top tourist attractions in Ooty. Visitors to this artificial lake, created in 1824 by John Sullivan, the first District Collector of Ooty, can avail of boating facilities offered by the Boat house located by the lake.
Government Rose garden is another highlight of a tour to Ooty. Created in 1995 to commemorate the Centenary Flower Show at the Botanical Garden, comes lauded as one of the best rose gardens in Asia. With more than 4000 varieties, it has the largest collection of roses in India.
A vast expanse of grasslands, Wenlock Downs is ideal for leisurely walks through the tranquil roads. The place is home to the Gymkhana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and the Hindustan Photo Films Factory.
It is one of most enchanting spots in Ooty. Situated on the Kotagiri Road the Snowden Peak commands a picturesque view of the Mysore Plateau.
A beautiful place just just 17 km from Ooty, Glenmorgan is home to a beautiful lake amidst the mist clad hills carpeted in tea plantations.
20 km away from Ooty, the beautiful expanse of the pristine waters of Pyakra Lake captivates tourists who enjoy boating facilities here while marveling at the beauty of the lake. Situated in close proximity to the Lake is the Pyakra Falls which is created by the majestic fall of the river resulting in the formation o in a series of cascades.
13 km from Ooty, Kalhatty Falls in the Nilgiris are located on the Ooty-Mysore Road. The falling waters are feast for eyes.
Located eight km from Gudalur on Ooty-Gudalur road, Needle Rock offers a 360 degree view of Gudalur town and Mudumalai Wild Life Sanctuary below.
While at Ooty, it is a sheer delight to take the famous toy train ride. Built by the British the blue coloured toy train is run by the Nilgiri Mountain railway
28 km from Ooty, Kotagiri is nestled in the Nilgiri Hills at an altitude of 1,983 m above sea level. Covered with lush green tea plantations, Kotagiri is home to colonial relics. Kota temple, Rangaswamy Peak, St. Catherine Falls, Rangaswamy Pillar, Kodanad View Point, Tea Plantations, Elk Falls and Bikkapathi Peak are places of interest in and around Kotagiri.
40 km from Ooty and 19 km from Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is an important wildlife destination. It is a right place to spot elephant, chowsingha, gaur, mouse deer and sloth bear.
28 km from Ooty, Avalanche is famous for the thick tropical forests which are home to Plenty of trout found in the several streams.
18 km from Ooty, Coonoor, the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri mountains, is covered by lush green tea and coffee plantations. Situated at an elevation of 1,858 m, this beautiful place is home to grassy meadows. Pomological Gardens, Sim's Park, Law's Falls, Tiger Hill, Pasteur Institute, Lamb's Rock, Dolphin's Nose, The Drooq, Lady Canning's Seat, Brookland's Road, Walker’s Hill, Katery Falls and Rallia Dam are places of interest in and around Coonoor.
By Air: Coimbatore, an important town in Tamil Nadu, is the nearest airport situated at a distance of 98 kilometers from Ooty. You can have flights from Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.
By rail: The Nilgiri express leaves Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, at night and reaches other important town of the state Coimbatore in the morning. It is advisable to travel by train to have the glimpse of the breathtaking sights of the hillsides covered with forests. Take the Nilgiri passenger, commonly known as the toy train to reach Ooty.
By Road: Ooty is well connected to the major cities in India. Thanks to a wide network of roads, Ooty is easily accessible from any part of India. Some of the cities that are well connected with Ooty are Cochin, Calicut, Bangalore and Coimbatore. There are regular bus services to Ooty from these cities. Private buses, taxis and cars can be hired to reach Ooty from the abovementioned cities.