Ooty Travel Guide
Ooty is the anglicized name of the Udhagamandalam or Udhagai, capital of the Nilgiri district in Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Ooty is a famous hill station which was once ruled by Toda tribal. In the end of the 18th century, this beautiful territory went under the patronage of East India Company. The British collector of Coimbatore first mentioned about this region in its gazette. Later, with further development work carried by the British, this region was made the erstwhile summer capital of the Madras residency. During the rule, agriculture and infrastructure development got great boost. Tea, fruits and vegetables remained the crops of the commercial farm culture in Ooty. After the end of British rule, this region was further developed into tourist magnet. Main emphasis was given to education and social development. Small and big cottage industries of teak, tea, vegetables, fruits, dairy milk are flourishing with a great speed at Ooty. Located 535 kms from Chennai, visitors from different parts of India enjoy the real bliss of calm and cool climate here exclusively. The Ooty Lake, filmy chakkar, boating club, old church, Toda hours are worth visiting here. Moreover, the travelers should not forget to relish the taste of home made cheese and chocolates at Ooty. Mettupalayam railway station provides an inter link to Nilgiri narrow gauge rail head. The travelers must take a joy ride on toy train which runs from the lower altitudes to the highest elevation points in Ooty. The city has a literacy rate of more than 80 percent much higher than the national average.
The attractions in Ooty are as follows:
Ooty Lake: John Sullivan, the first collector and virtual founder of Ooty, constructed this 2 ½Km long artificial lake in 1824. There is a charming lake garden, a jetty, snack bars and pony and toy train rides on coffee for the kiddies. Once this lake was hedged by dense sholas, today there is an over growth of water hyacinth choking up a major portion of the waters. For all that, 12 lakh tourists visit the lake every year. Boating is done every day from 8:00 Am to 6:00 Pm.
The Churches of Ooty: Union Church and Holy Trinity Church, Gothic and Tudor in appearance, with magnificent stained glass windows , intricately pews, plaques detailing the British Battalions who attended the services there and serene cemeteries are worth a dekko. . St Stephens built in 1829, is the oldest Church in the Nilgiris. Its huge wooden beams came form the palace of Tipu Sultan and the cemetery contains the graves of many old timers, both British and Indian. St. Thomas Church commands a compelling view of the Ooty Lake. The Kandal Church houses a relic of the True Cross on whcih the Christ was crucified. Special novena prayers and holy masses are offered every Firday at this shrine. The annual fest is on May 3rd. Also check out the 143 year old Lawrence school at Lovable, arguably the most beautiful of all the schools in the country, spread over 750 acres of of land, with a striking Clock tower(glimpse in so many films), gracious wooden -beamed buildings, an ancient brick Chapel and manicured flower beds. This school has become the famous attraction.
Wenlock Downs, Ooty’s most popular picnic spot, is a vast expanse of undulating landscape, which is used to be the geound for the Ooty Hunt. Today. Today, the down see more peaceful times, encompassing the Gymkhana club, and the government sheep farms.
Castle Hill: Castle Hill is situated about 3Km on the road to Avlanche is one of the last original walks. The entrance road to the hill is flanked by dense cypress trees, a serenity that is only complemented soft bird song. It is an excellent picnic spot.
How to Reach Ooty
The Ooty can be reached by different means of transport generally including airways, roadways and railways. More information on the available means of transport are as follows:
Reach Ooty by Airways: The nearest airport to Ooty is Coimbatore airport which is 88 Km and 2 ½ hours away from Ooty. A cab from here to Ooty costs Rs 1300 approx.
Reach Ooty by the Rail Route: Udhagamandalam sttaion on meter gauge offers a ride on the toy train. The nearest broad gauge rail head is the Coimbatore junction.
Reach Ooty by road: A msooth drive down SH17 to Bandipur via Maddur and Mysore. Bandipur segues into the Mudumalai Reserve across the border. Drive u some medium hairpin bends en route to Ooty Via Gudalur.
Getaways of Ooty
The getaways situated on the Ooty city are as follows:
Glenmorgan(24Km): Glenmorgan Tea Estate on the Mysore Road is an ecologically rich spot with a special attraction: the electricity board offers a Winch service from Glennmorgan view point to the power house of another tea estate, Singara. The 4 Km Winch passes through the undisturbed sholas, 10 Toda settlements and wild life habitats. Take permission from the electricity board for the Winch ride. To get here, take the state highway back to Mysore. About 17 Km later, turn right for Glenn Morgan, which is approximately 7km from the turn off.
Pykara Lake: Pykara’s dense Sholas, Toda settlements, shallow downs and lake make it a lovely shallow downs and lake make it a lovely getaway. Apart from its lush surroundings, Pykara has a boat house and restaurant maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism. Pykara lies on the Ooty Mysore road.
Boat fees: Paddle boat Rs 45 ½ hour, row boat Rs 60/ ½ hour , motor boat (8pax)Rs 300/ ½ hour.
Timings: 9:30Am to 5.30 Pm
Gudalur(50 Km):This coffee and pepper town is the gateway to the Nilgiris from Kerala and Karnataka , in the lower plateau of the blue mountains. From Frog Hill Point (14Km from Gudalur), and further on needle rock, one can see Gudalur and Mudumalai. At Nellkota(15 Km from Gadular) are the remains of the dilapidated fort.
Driving Directions Ooty
Ooty situated in the Nilgiri district, Tamil Nadu, South India was once the travel hot spot amongst the Britishers. The tea and coffee festival of the region are quiet famous. While at the same time, the list of tourists attractions in this region are endless. The destinations situated in and Ooty includes Bellikal Lake, Bison Valley(Bellikal), Catherine falls(Coonoor), Dodabetta peak, Dolphin’s Nose(Coonoor), Kalhatti falls(Bellikal), Kamraj Sagar Lake and Lamb’s rock(Coonoor). The Coimbatore Airport is the nearest airport, nestled 103 Kms away from Ooty(Tamil Nadu). Mettupalayam and Coonoor are well connected with Ooty by a toy train. There are many bus regular services from Mysore, Bangalore, Kanyakumari and also many other cities in India. Hobart road, Marlimund road, Snowdon road and NH 67 link provides an excellent connectivity with Ooty.
Kiomoi Must Do`s
The Kiomoi must do`s while on a tour to Ooty are as follows:
*The travelers ,must make a visit to the Ooty Lake and try some light boating activity
*A summer festival held every year in May, with a grand flower show taking centre stage.
*The Rose garden, a top of the hill is worth visiting. *The churches of Ooty like the St. Stephen’s, St.Thomas Church and Kandal Church are worth exploring.
*The adventure lovers can go for the hang gliding courses which are organized in the month of March to may every year, plus the streams and lakes of the Nilgris are an angler’s delight.
*Wenlock, Ninth Mile, Sandy Nallah, Ninth Mile, Cairn Hill, Kalhatti Falls are the well famed places of attraction in Ooty.
*Shopping: Ooty is famous for the vividness of Chocolate flavors.
*Ooty has various getaways options which includes Glennmorgan, Pykara Lake, Gudalur.
*Shinkows, Kurinji and West Coast Bakery are the three well known eateries that must be visited once by the travellers
Per person, Taxes extra
Limited Period offer
Per person, Taxes extra
Per person, Taxes extra
Limited Period offer
Per person, Taxes extra
Per person, Taxes extra
Limited Period offer
Per person, Taxes extra
Ooty Flower Festival - 20th May 2011
Ooty Flower Show— 20th May 2011
Ooty Flower Show—Botanical Gardens, Ooty, Tamil Nadu Venue: Ooty, Udhagamandalam, Botanical Gardens, Tamil Nadu, India
Date: 20 th May 2011
Timings: Open on all days. 8:00 Am to 6:30 Pm
The 115th edition of the Ooty’s flower show will kick start on May 20, 2011 in the Botanical garden, Nilgiri District, Tamil Nadu. The annual show displays more than 10,000 different types of flowers. During these days, lakhs of foreign as well as domestic visitors visit this destination to feast the captivating beauty of the whole event. Before the flower festival, the festival at Rose gardens remains the harbinger of flowery trails. The Rose festival, this time will be celebrated on May 7th and 8th May, 2011 in Ooty, Similarly, the two days flower show will be held at Sims Park in Ooty, from 28th may 2011. Apart from the major dates on which festivals are going to held, let’s put lime light on the main theme that is flower festival of Ooty. Spread over an area 22 hectares, 24 meters above the sea level at Botanical gardens, these gardens stand naturally perfect for holding the flower show. The visitors can treasure every moment by beholding the views of display, certainly adorned with the flower different varieties like Rose, dahlias, lilies, chrysanthemums, asters and pansies. The bonsai section of the flower show also makes a nice display. The few stalls of fruits and vegetables are also on display at Ooty flower show.
The Flower Show at Botanical Gardens in Ooty graces the whole ceremony with three excellent highlights. The first highlight is the exact replica of secretariat building, made of chrysanthemums. Traversing further, the travelers will notice the statute of the saint Thiruvallar constructed with the blend of chrysanthemums. The unique antique that is white chicken made with white chrysanthemums constitutes the second highlight of the show. The vase with red chrysanthemums, having a white chrysanthemum as its base is the third highlight of the festival. Moving few meters ahead on the slope, the travelers can relish the view of India’s map ebbed in a carpeted design. The 20 million years old tree trunk is another attraction which is placed on the concrete base which was also once the permanent ground of roots.
Further more, the Italian garden in the close vicinity girdling the Octagonal band stand is surely the view worth apprising. Tracking the nexus of events from the past, Italian prisoners from the World War 1 were compelled to work as the bonded laborers at these gardens. From the times since, these gardens have established their unique identity. Framed by the adorable tapestry of conifer trees, flowers and fauna, the Italian gardens are thronged by more than 12 lakh visitors every year and 35,000-40,000 visitors every month. Being the part of Botanical gardens, Italian garden has carved a special niche among the florists as well as researchers.
The visitors can also make a visit to stalls, jam and jelly stalls, red hut of Toda community selling hand weaved carpets and other handicrafts items. The women dressed in her traditional attire, with wrinkled hairs can be observed as the traditional wear of Ooty(resembling Toda tribal). Although, the items are quiet expensive but getting the glimpse of them can surely be a great experience for the aspiring instincts. The conservatory glass opens up for some time but during the festivity season it remains closed. The visitors start pouring in the Botanical garden right from the morning 8:00 Am till 6; 30 Pm in the evening. Generally, the timings for Botanical Garden are 8:00 am to 6:30 Pm and it remains open on all days. So come and relish the beauty of the region which could surely bestow revelers with the album of beautiful memoirs.
Ooty’s hotels range from the swanky and elegant neat budget places. The hill stations in season has a mad crush, so do make reservations well in time.
There are many hotels in the town which offers the budget as well as luxury accommodations. The biggest hotel in the town is the Howard Johnson Monarch on Havelock road near the botanical gardens. This accommodation has the Cow boy bar and disco, laser disc and lots games for the kids, with a special kids corner to boot. The Willow Hill on Havelock road, is a charming hotel more like an inn. . South of the Havelock on Church Hill road are the budget dorms of Tamil Nadu Tourism’s youth hostel.
Hotel Nahar Nilgiris , is a pricey option in the Charing Cross area, among the more famous in Ooty, with all the important facilities. A large number of medium budget hotels line Etiennes road in Charing Cross area, and is among the most famous in Ooty, with all the important facilities. YWCA of India Project is an excellent option . Providing an accommodation for the maximum period of 15 days, and the travelers have to book this hotel three months in advance if they want to visit Ooty during the prime time season.
Reflections Guest House is particularly well located, walkable from Ooty Station and bang on the North shore of the Ooty lake. Hotel lake view also has the good views of the lake, Karnataka tourism’s Mayura Sudarshan is well located 2Km insid ethe Botanical gardens at Fern hill.
This area has quite a few good options including the Sterling Days Inn further up the hill with a whopping 175 rooms.
Holiday Inn Gem Park on Sheddon road is well equipped with with a disco , central heating and a health club.
Eat n Dine in Ooty
Ooty has several Chinese restaurants, most of them serving indifferent fare , but Shinkows opposite the Nilgiri Library, continues to occupy top place. Kurinji on commercial road serves up delicious South Indian fast food....crisp dosas, spicy vadas and steaming sambar. Do try the Nilgiri Speciality, the crisp warki, from West Coast Bakery on Commercial Road.
Shopping in Ooty
Ooty is also famous for its tea, handmade chocolates and,aromatic oils and chocolates the people can imagine cab be found in every other on Ooty’s Commercial road. However, Connoisseurs will tell you that there is only shop for the people which offers the best chocolates and its name is King Star Confectionery. The Tamil Nadu state handicraft center in Pomphuar on commercial road is most visited for handicrafts. Higginbothams is one of the handicraft shop in the region where the travelers can get the best deals.
Weather in Ooty
The weather in Ooty remains pleasant throughout the year. The temperature in summers ranges from 15 degree Celsius to 25 degree Celsius. The summers are cooler and offers a quick escape from the scorching heat.
Winters: The winters in Ooty are more cooler than summers and the temperature ranges from minimum 4 degree Celsius to maximum 15 degree Celsius.
Monsoons : During the monsoon season, this region receives heavy rainfall. The entire region gets coalesced in the lush green hue.
Tourist Offices in Ooty
*Tamil Nadu Tourist Office, Ooty
*Tamil Nadu Tourist Office, Chennai, Tel:044-25388785, 25361640
*Tourist Information Centre, Bangalore, City Railway Station, Tel--080-2286181
STD Code: 0423
The Useful Facts on Ooty are as follows:
State: Tamil Nadu
Location: The queen of the blue mountains sits at the central of the Nilgiri Range, at 7,440ft, 292 Km SW of Bangalore.
Route from Bangalore: SH to Ooty via Maddur, Mandya, Mysore, Nanjangud, Bandipur, Theppakadu and Gudalur.
Things to do: Visit Botanical gardens, Summer Festival, Flower Show, The rose Garden
Attractions: Ooty Lake, Union church, St Thomas Church, Kandal Church, Wenlock Downs, Ninth Mile , Sandy nallah, Cairn Hill, Kalhatti Falls.
Festivals: Tea and Tourism festival, Taipoosam, Bookkapurma Mariamman annual fest, Boat Races, Summer Festival and the Dog Show,
Where to Stay: Howard Johnson Monarch, The willow Hill, Youth Hostel in North Ooty, Hotel Nahar Nilgiris, Hotel Khems and Hotel Blue Hill International in the Downtown, Reflections Guest House, Hotel Lakeview, Sterling Days Inn, Mayura Sudarshan can be booked in South of Ooty.
Around Ooty: Ghenmrogan, Pykara Lake, Gudalur.
Holiday Check List
The holiday check list before going to Ooty is as follows:
Empty your letter box
Fix up security for your house or ask some one to look after
Water your plants and ask some one to take care of it
Ask your newspaper vendor and milkman to stop supply
Clear out the fridge.
Switch off the electric appliances
Empty out kitchen, waste/dust-bin and kitchen area
Lock doors and windows
Recharge your mobile or carry coupons
Carry traveller’s cheque or ATM cards
Pay all due bills
Turn off gas/water/
Call up the taxi driver/railway station/hotels and other important numbers to confirm and re-confirm
Rail Tickets and travel documents should be checked twice
Extra pair of socks
Jumper and track suits
Brochures or holiday book
Important stationary(scissors, tape and glue)
Film rolls and digital chargers
Shoulder bags/ Safety pins
Important Telephone Addresses/Travel Consultant
Few non perishable eatables
Books / magazines to read
Banks and ATMs
The Banks and ATMs in Ooty are as follows:
Andhra Bank Ooty Branch
Hotel Charing Cross,
Axis Bank: M,s Jograj and Co, Ground Floor, Jograj Complex, Bedford, Coonoor,Ooty
Bank Name: HDFC Bank
City Name: Ooty
Address: D. No. 421/C3, Etines Road, Uthagamandalam, Nilgiris Dist., Ooty, Tamilnadu