Ooty – queen of hill stations

Ooty or Ootacamund – regarded as the “Queen of hill stations” is one of the most popular hill resort of India, particularly South India. Lofty mountains, great lakes, dense forests, sprawling valley with grasslands, gurgling stream, miles of tea gardens and tall Eucalyptus trees offers tourists, unique vistas to relax and rejuvenate amidst nature, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The unassuming beauty of the heavenly hill resort of Ooty and pleasant climate throughout the year beckons you to come and embrace the tranquility and solace which it has to offer. Ooty, the erstwhile summer resort of Britishers has been the shooting ground of a number of Hindi and regional movies.

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Panaromic view of the hill resort of Ooty

Where is Ooty?

The picturesque hill resort of Ooty located in the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats is the district capital of Nilgiri district in the Indian state of Tamilnadu.

About Ooty

Ooty or Udhagamandalam (official Tamil name) at an average altitude of 2286 m above sea level is located in the midst of four high hills, – Doddabetta, Snowdon, Elk Hill and Club Hill belonging to the Nilgiri range.
The British Collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan discovered the hill station of Ooty in 1799 and developed it as a summer resort. During British rule, Ooty developed rapidly because unlike other hill resorts of India developed by Britishers the British came to Ooty to settle, and stayed here for generations. Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency during British rule in India. Ooty is a blend of British colonial architecture and a natural scenic beauty. The British influence doesn’t end only at architecture in Ooty; one is amazed at the quality and variety of English fruits and vegetables that are grown in Ooty.
The mountain train journey to Ooty commencing from Kallar, is an experience of a lifetime. Constructed during the British rule, this mountain rail wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels and chugs its way beside deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and tea gardens to reach the hill town of Ooty.
Tea plantation is another major attraction of Ooty. Sprawling tea estates in and around Ooty makes the hill town a perfect destination for holidaying.

Sightseeing in and around Ooty

Ooty Lake – The artificial lake at Ooty constructed by Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore in 1824 is undoubtedly the pride of this hill town. The irregular shaped lake, situated at the heart of the city has facilities for boating and fishing. Boats of various shapes and sizes can be hired from the nearby Boat House. Boating leisurely with your loved ones on the placid water of the lake and enjoying the serene beauty of the surroundings is not only a memorable experience to cherish lifelong, but will also bring back the days of romance in your life.
Botanical Garden – Perhaps the most popular tourist spot of Ooty is the Botanical Garden laid by Marquis of Tweedale, the then governor of Madras in 1847. The sprawling garden lies at the lower slopes of the Dodabetta Peak. Main highlights of the garden includes well maintained lawns, some rare species of trees (like Cork tree, Paper Bark tree, Monkey Puzzle tree, etc.), a twenty million year old fossilized tree, an Italian style garden bordering a clear pool, multi-coloured flowering plants, vibrant roses, imported shrubs, a host of exotic and ornamental plants including thirty types of Eucalyptus trees, and separate collections of orchids and ferns. Flower show organized in the month of May every year attracts a large number of tourists from around the world to the picturesque hill town of Ooty.

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Botanical Garden of Ooty – epitome of greenery

Doddabetta Peak – Situated at an altitude of 2623 m from sea level, this peak at a distance of 10 Km from Ooty is the highest peak of Tamilnadu. Panoramic view of the surrounding landscape from the peak is truly mesmerizing. Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) has built a Telescope House at the peak from where one can have view of the whole of Ooty town through Telescope. The place is extremely popular among tourists.
Tribal Museum – Located at a distance of 10 Km from Ooty town, the Museum depicts rare artifacts and photographs of primitive tribal groups of Tamilnadu, like Toda, Kota, Paniya, Kurumba and Kanikaran. A visit to the Museum not only enriches our knowledge but also gives us an insight of the culture of the tribal population of the country.
Rose Garden – Situated in the heart of the Ooty town, the garden has the largest collection of varieties of Roses and must be included in the tour itinerary. The garden located in the slopes of Elk Hill covering an area of 4 Hectare is laid beautifully in terraces and houses more than 3000 different varieties of roses in unusual colours. The place is extremely popular among tourists visiting the hill town of Ooty.
Lamb’s Rock – The place offers a panoramic and breathtaking view of the surrounding picturesque landscape. View of the green tea estates spreading all over the hills does have a mesmerizing effect on the visiting tourists.
Kalhatty Waterfall – Situated at a distance of 13 Km from Ooty, this 120 ft fall with its gurgling water is one of the major attraction of Ooty. Situated in the midst of a beautiful forest, the journey to this majestic fall is a wonderful one with breath taking view on both sides of the road. Standing pretty amidst picturesque landscape and eye soothing greenery, the view of the waterfall is indeed a rejuvenating experience.
Avalanche Valley – The valley created as a result of an avalanche (landslide) which occurred in 1823 is at a distance of about 26 Km from the hill resort of Ooty. With a natural lake at the centre the place is surrounded by Shola trees, Rhododendrons, Orchids and Magnolias. Apart from providing mountain trekking facilities the place has a Trout Farm where Trout fishes are grown. The place is considered to be a nature lover’s paradise and tour of Ooty would be incomplete without a visit to the Avalanche valley.

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View of the Pykara fall of Ooty

Pykara Fall and Pykara Lake – River Pykara originating from the Mukurthi Peak tumbles down the hills creating two waterfalls of 55 meters and 61 meters known as Pykara falls. A dam has been built across the Pykara River nearby to produce hydroelectric power. The backwaters of the dam in the valley form the beautiful Pykara Lake.
Both Pykara Lake and Pykara fall are on the path from Ooty to Bangalore at a distance of about 20 -22 Km. The majestic falls are a treat to eye and a great place for photography. The Pykara Lake with Mukurthi peak at the background is certainly a place to reckon. With a maximum depth of 170 ft and facilities for boating, the place is extremely popular among tourists. The spot is popular among filmmakers as well. Quite a number of Tamil and Hindi movies have been shoot here.
Wenlock Downs – At a distance of about 20 Km from Ooty is the sprawling grassland of Wenlock Down covering an area of about 20,000 acres. This undulating grassy meadow with Shola and Eucalyptus trees at the periphery is
undoubtedly one of the loveliest places of Ooty. This is definitely a must see place of Ooty. Gymkhana Golf Club at Wenlock Down has a 18 hole golf course.
Other places of tourist interest in and around Ooty includes, – St. Stephen’s Church, Fern Hill Palace, Wax World, Ketti Valley, Pine forest, Cairn Hill, Mudumalai National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Kodanadu’s View Point, Emerald Lake, Porthimund Lake, Upper Bhavani Lake, Kamraj Sagar Lake, Marlimun Lake, Thread Garden and Glenmorgan. All of these places are worth a visit as all of them offer something unique to the tourists.

How to reach Ooty?

By Air – Airport at Coimbatore at a distance of about 100 Km is the nearest airport. The airport is well connected to other major Indian cities.
By Rail – Nearest broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam at a distance of about 46 Km. Mettupalayam to Ooty, is connected by a Mountain Railway which is a 4 hours journey and a major attraction of Ooty.
By Road – Ooty is well connected by good motorable road. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanniya Kumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut and Tirupati. Private buses, taxis and hired cars also ply to and from these cities.

Where to stay at Ooty?

There are a large number of luxury, budget and cheap hotels available at this wonderful hill town of Ooty. Some of them are :-
Blue Hill International – It is a 2-Star budget hotel of Ooty located near SBI on Hospital Road. The hotel has 88 rooms that caters to need of different individuals. This is a decent staying option of Ooty at affordable price.
For booking and related queries, call at 0423 – 2444466, 2444638.
Woodberry Resort – Situated in the heart of Ooty town, overlooking 54 acres of botanical garden and 5.5 acres of race track, yet in a secluded place having scenic view of valleys and mountains, Woodberry Resort is a perfect place to stay in Ooty. Perched atop on an implausible picturesque view point, that exude tranquility and comfort in perfect blend, Woodberry Resort is all set to redefine your staying experience in Ooty. The hotel resort have a total of 18 rooms with all modern amenities.
For online booking log on to: http://woodberryresorts.com/ or you can also give a call at – 0423-2440071, 2440081.
Highland Hotel – Highland Hotel of Ooty is located at one of the most picturesque location in Ooty, at 2240 meters above sea level. Overlooking the beautiful Nilgiris Mountains, the hotel stands tall with all elegance and style having a contemporary structure with a traditional outlook. Situated on a 10 acre landscaped hill slope, overlooking the beautiful valley amidst the exquisite Blue Mountains, Highland Hotel Ooty is a sought after destination for leisure, Honeymooners & corporate travelers. This premier leisure hotel of Ooty has 49 beautifully well-appointed rooms and 4 suites.
For online booking log on to: http://ooty.theaccordhotels.com/hotel_information.htm or you can give a call to the hotel’s toll free number at – 1-800-1234-100
Meadows Residency – Situated in the heart of Ooty town, Meadows Residency is another great luxury staying option. The hotel is a perfect blend of tranquility, amenities and hospitality.
To know more about this hotel give a call at 91-9600377123 or to avail online booking facility, log on to: http://meadowsresidency.com/
Hotel Lakeview – The entire complex of hotel Lakeview sits pretty on an 8 acre stretch of land, on the sensuous terraced slopes of a hill offering a magnificent double spectacle. Even at an ambling pace, you can reach the boathouse in 10 minutes flat, or the bus stand in 15 minutes.The complex has easy access to every part of the town and beyond. Experience the pleasure of living besides Ooty lake with family and friends in the Queen of Hill station, Ooty in its 123 specially designed, fully independent luxury cottages.
To know more about the hotel Lakeview, log on to: http://hotellakeview.com/ or you can directly call at – 0423-2443904,2443580-82 & 2440978-83.
Glanton Manor – Glanton Manor a Glanton Hotels Pvt. Ltd. property is a 40 room hotel located in the heart of Ooty. The hotel is just about 2 km from the Ooty Bus Stand and Railway Station. Local sightseeing destinations are also nearby. Facilities like two restaurant (one veg and one non-veg) and complementary breakfast make this hotel stand apart from the rests.
To know more about the hotel Glanton Manor, log on to: http://www.glantonmanor.com/ or give a call directly at the hotel’s reception at – +91-423-2441941, 2451941, 2447372.
Fairstay Holiday Resort – Fairstay Holiday Resort of Ooty is another luxurious staying option of Ooty where one can feel the comfort and luxury amid an enriching setting where nature, clad in its pristine beauty, embraces you. Fairstay is a perfect staying option for the intrepid traveler looking for a tranquil and secluded atmosphere in nature’s lap, away from the monotony of mundane life and stressful daily chores.
To know more about Fairstay Holiday Resort including its tariff, availability of accommodation and others, log on to the resort’s website at: http://fairstay.in/ or call the resort’s reception at – +91423-2447200, +91-9367181920, +91-9443303917.
Fern Hill – Sterling Holiday’s hotel in Ooty is named Fern Hill. It is another luxurious staying option of Ooty. With a heady mix of comfort and tranquility, spending time within the Resort is as attractive an option as venturing into the idyllic mountainside. Spread across 7 acres of mountain land. The Resort offers 177 rooms, with a choice of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom for members and guest rooms and suites for non-members.
To know more about Sterling Holiday’s Fern Hill, including its tariff, availability of accommodation and others, log on to the resort’s website at: http://www.sterlingholidays.com/our-resorts/sterling-destination-network/fernhill-resort-ooty or one can also call directly at +91-8489933770, +91 423 2441073/74, 2452840/41/42.
Sinclairs Retreat – Sinclairs Retreat Ooty is where you will live in harmony with nature. Far away from the crowd, the resort commands a majestic view of the Niligiri Mountains. Sit out on the lawn and soak in the greens and blues of the area, breathe the clean air, or just listen to the birds chirrup all day and unknowingly you will find yourself transferred to the land of the fairies. Undeniably it is one of the best and the most luxurious staying option of Ooty.
To know more about Sinclairs Retreat Ooty, including its tariff, availability of accommodation and others, log on to the resort’s website at: http://www.sinclairshotels.com/ooty/ or you can also give a call directly at any of the following numbers: +91 423 2441376-80 or its till free number at – 1800-3002-6700.
Hotel Venus – (0423-2441072)
Nilgiri Woodlands – (0423-2442451)

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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  1. Judson Dung says:

    I am glad to be a visitant of this consummate website ! , appreciate it for this rare information! here .

  2. Many people avoid staying in a good hotel in fear of shelling out a lot of money. This article gives an insight into the benefits if doing online booking hotels and availing huge discounts.

  3. We had been to resorts for holiday trip. Such a nice stay for Sabolholidays lot of greenery around, good spacious rooms and accommodation. very good excellent service with lot of view. Built on the slippery part of the land. place to play for the children at the bottom of the rooms, nice view.

  4. Ooty Hotels says:

    Nice and Interesting post. But you can find more hotels in our website http://www.ootyhotels.org.in

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