Ooty (Tamil Nadu)
The official name of Ooty, "Udhagamandalam" is derived from a Toda (one of the native tribes of Ooty) word "Othakal-Mund" meaning house in the mountains. Ooty, this Queen of hill stations, otherwise known as Udhagamandalam, is in the Nilgiri mountain ranges of Tamil Nadu. Ooty is known for its salubrious climate and scenic beauty. The best thing about Ooty is that it combines the peace and tranquility of a hill station with the comforts of urban life. Ooty is one of southern India's most popular hill stations and is famous for its tea gardens and coniferous forests.
Ooty Quick facts
Ooty Geography and Climate
Geography: Ooty or Udagamandalam (the Tamil version of the original name) rightly described as "Queen of Hill Stations" by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, now sprawls over an area of 36 sq km with a number of tall buildings cluttering its hill slopes. It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. Covered with dense forests, tea bushes and scenic greens, Ooty is the perfect place to get away from the every day bustle of your city life
Best time to visit Ooty
The most ideal time to visit Ooty is between February to May and September to November. Visit Ooty during Annual Tea and Tourism Festival celebrated in the month of January, when tea lovers from all over the world converge. An occasion not to be missed!
Tour of the Nilgiris: The picturesque Nilagiri or "Blue Mountains", at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats, are so named because the shrub kurunji turns the hills blue with its blossoms every 12 years. Covered with high altitude grasslands and sholas ( evergreen forests), they are of special interest to botanists and entomologists. This tour offers enchanting glimpses of lush green valleys, hill stations and hamlets inhabited by tribal people.
Ooty Near Getaways
Gudalur : 51 kms from Ooty It is the Gateway to Nilgiris from Kerala and Karnataka. Udhagamandalam, Coonoor and Kotagiri lies in the upper plateau of Nilgiris and Gudalur lies in the lower plateau. Udhagamandalam to Calicut road and Udhagamandalam - Mysore road meet at Gudalur town.
Area: 36 Sq. Kms.
How to reach Ooty by Road
Ooty is well connected by good roads. There i are regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari, Tanjavur, Tirupati and Cochin. It is 535 Kms from Chennai (Via Salem, Mettupalayam); 89 Kms from Coimbatore.
How to reach Ooty by Rail
Ooty Railway Station is on the narrow gauze railway line and is at a distance of 2km from the city centre. The other major railhead is at Mettupalayam(46km). The famous Toy Train also connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor. Major broadgauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected with all major cities.
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How to reach Ooty by Air
The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 100 km away. You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi-Kochi via Mumbai and Coimbatore.
Ooty Festivals and culture
Tea & Tourism Festival Ooty : (January) The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers.
Ooty is a small but very beautifull hill station of South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There is Tamil culture in the hill station Ooty. People here speak Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and English. Because of its cold climate, people always wear heavy Woolen in winter, Light Woolen in summer. Traditionally, folk dances and music are conducted during festivals and community functions.
Ooty Religious Places
Ooty has many temples, churches, mutts and mosques. The Murugan Temple, Venkateshwara Perumal Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, are the famous temples. St. Stephen's Church, Thomas Church, Sacred Heart Church, St.Mary's Church are the most often visited churches of Ooty. The mosque at Lower bazaar is a must for every devout muslim.
Ooty has many bungalows and buildings dating back to the British era.
Ooty Entertainment and Night Life
The Nilgiris are a trekker's paradise. In this place, you will find trekking destinations all around you, which fill you with a sense of thrill, excitement and adventure, which are again the major tourist attractions in Ooty. Moving down the hills of Western Ghats, you will find that the extensions of Eastern Ghats are meeting that of the Western Ghats. This forms a beautiful picturesque reality for the visitors as well as the trekkers. The panoramic view of Mudumalai Sanctuary is certainly breathtaking for adventure tourists.
Usually the people of Ooty remain indoors at night. If you really want to hang out in the night then you can go for higher quality bars which are usually in the star rated hotels. There are very few lounge bars and pubs in the city. There are few bars, which are within the restaurants in the city.
Kidding around Ooty
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located at a distance of 67kms from Ooty. The Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of very rich flora and fauna, and is home to many endangered species. Though Tigers and Leopards are only seen by the fortunate few ,elephants, giant squirrels, chital, barking deer and flying squirrels are a common sight. The Sanctuary is also a great place to see many kinds of birds, the black woodpecker, the Malabar trogon and the crested hawk eagle. If you have children with you or you yourself are simply fond of the majestic elephants, then you might like to visit the elephant camp within the sanctuary, Theppakkadu.
Things to Buy in Ooty: Nilgiri products such as garden-fresh Nilgiri tea, freshen fruits , honey, aromatic and medicinal natural oils like Eucalyptus and essences extracted from forest herbs, vegetables and spices.
Famous To Eat at Ooty
Ooty has a typical Madrasi cuisine, but also is famous for its Chettinad cuisine, which is one of the spiciest and most aromatic cuisines in India. Do try the Chettinad chicken pepper which is a specialty of the city. The city is also famous for its cheese and chocolates. There are various restaurants in Ooty, mostly offering South Indian food, but some do offer North Indian stuff.
Ooty Museum and Hill Stations
Ooty - Queen of Hill Stations: One of the reasons people like to visit hill stations is that, they not only offer a respite from the dust and pollution of the city but also give people a chance to see the beauty of nature. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill stations a delight for the eyes of the urban dweller. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more. Ooty is one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. It is the capital of Nilgiris district. Nilgiris means "Blue Mountains". It is a land of picturesque picnic spots. Used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers.
Gardens and Parks at Ooty
Botanical Gardens : (Dodabetta peak) Sprawling over an area of 50 acres in Dodabetta peak, the botanical gardens are the major source of tourist attractions. This garden was formed by Mr.Mc.Ivor, it is a collection of varied flora. The garden has thousand varieties of plant species including around 30 species of eucalyptus. There is also a 20 million year old fossil tree trunk. The annual flower show that is conducted here attracts the tourist from all over the world.
Lake at Ooty
Ooty Lake: This beautiful lake was constructed in the year 1825 by the then collector of Coimbatore to provide better irrigation facilities to the people. The lake offers fine boating facilities with row boats, motor boats, paddle boats on hire and also fishing activities for its visitors.
Ooty Travel Tips
The winters are somewhat cold, so it would be a good idea to carry your winter wear or woollen clothing with you on tours to Ooty India. An added attraction for the tourists to Udagamandalam is the mountain train journey on a ratchet and pinion track which commences from Kallar, near Mettupalayam and wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels.
Ooty Tourist Offices
Tourist offices: Tourist Information Centre, Hotelier's Association, Charing Cross, Ooty-643 001 Phone: +91- 0423-2443837 The Tourist Officer Tourist office, Govt., of Tamil Nadu, Wenlock Road, Ooty - 643 001 Phone: +91- 0423-2443977
ICICI Bank 1619 Trichy Road Coimbatore Phone: 0422-2300168,2300169 HDFC Bank Damodar Center, Avinashi Road Coimbatore Phone: 0422-2213713
Must do at Ooty
The annual Tea and Tourism Festival celebrated in the month of January, attracts crowds in huge numbers. Visit Ooty during this festival, when tea lovers from all over the world converge. An occasion not to be missed! Enjoy the weather Go for long walks and hikes Visit a tea plantation and if possible a tea factory