Ooty, popularly known as the “Queen of Hill Stations”, is the capital of Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu.This beautiful land of picturesque places and pleasant weather is situated at an altitude of 2240 meters above sea level. It was a popular summer weekend destination of the erstwhile British rulers. Large expanse of tea plantations, breathtaking valleys and mountains, dense green forests, amazing grasslands, colorful world of flowers and the cool climate attract thousands of visitors to this heavenly destination. The Summer Festival (May) and the Tea & Tourism festival (January) are the most attractive events of Ooty. Coimbatore international airport is at 90 km from Ooty. Ooty railway station is well connected to major cities of the country.
Famous tourist places in Ooty include the following:
Ooty Lake: This artificial lake surrounded by beautiful valleys is the major attraction of Ooty. Tourists can enjoy boating in row boats, pedal boats and motor boats. Boat races are organized here during the Summer Festival.
Botanical Gardens: This famous garden spread across 22 hectares has thousands of species of flowers and trees. A grand Flower Show is held here during the annual Summer Festival.
Rose Garden:A home to more than 20,000 plants and more than 2800 varieties of roses, this beautiful Rose Garden is one of the largest gardens of its kind in India.
Wenlock Downs: It is a spectacular grassy meadow spread across an endless stretch of 20,000 acres of rolling land. It is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of Ooty.
Pykara Falls: This waterfall, which falls down from a height of over 60 meters in multiple layers through rocky beds amidst dense forest, is one of the must visit places in Ooty.
Doddabeta Peak: This towering mountain peak is the highest point of Nilgiri Mountains. A Telescope House on this peak offers wonderful views of the surroundings.
Pine Forest:This pine forest, spread across several acres near the Kamrajsagar Dam, is a perfect place for photography.
Emerald Lake: This serene lake with crystal clear blue water is an abode of varieties of birds and is an ideal spot to enjoy the beauty of nature.
There are many other popular tourist places in Ooty, such as Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wax World Museum, Avalanche Lake, Adam’s Fountain, Ketti Valley, Kalhatty Falls, etc.
Some of the exclusive items one can shop from Ooty include Toda jewelry, embroidered Toda shawls, Nilgiri tea, Nilgiri honey, aromatic oils, eucalyptus oil and herbs, spices, Cinchona products, fresh fruits and vegetable. Co-operative Super Market, Municipal Market, Upper Bazaar Road and Lowe Bazaar Road are the major shopping centers in Ooty. Handicraft items of excellent quality can be purchased from Kerala Handicrafts and Tamil Nadu Handicrafts.
Restaurants in Ooty offer a variety of food options including the South Indian, North Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. One can get delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian food as per their choice. Visitors can also try Ooty’s bakery items like buns, cakes, and homemade nut chocolates. Sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, salads and other delicious fast foods can be tasted from several Food Joints. Hotel Dasprakash, Savoy Hotel, Tandoori Mahal, etc., serve good meals.
Nights are too cold in Ooty, and after the tiring daytime activities, the tourists usually go to bed early. However, it varies with the mood and taste of the person. There areseveral pubs, bars, cafes and movie theatres in Ooty that offer relaxation and entertainment. Selbournes Bar,The Valley Bar, Centerbury Bar, etc., are some of the famous bars in Ooty for those who want to enjoy some drinks before going to sleep.
Ooty satisfies all sorts of tourists including adventure lovers, nature lovers and even those who just want to sit back and relax on the lap of this beautiful land. The scenic beauty of Ooty can be fully experienced by travelling on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, the toy train from Mettuppalayam to Ooty, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. One can visit the serene lakes, gardens and waterfalls, as well as several popular temples in Ooty.