Located at the foothills of Nilgiris, Ooty or Udhagamandalam is the most popular hill station in South blessed with panoramic undefiled beauty. The queen of hill stations, Ooty is known more for its lofty green hills, coffee plantations, gushing waterfalls, sparkling streams, golf courses, and miles and miles of tea gardens. This erstwhile British hill resort takes a traveller back to the times where life had its own pace. Currently, the place is a summer retreat drawing swarms of tourists including adventure seekers and nature lovers. To have a real flavour of the city, one should visit smaller towns like Coonoor and Kotagiri. The tour to Ooty is incomplete without a ride in the Mountain Train, trekking on the green hills, a stroll in Gardens, etc.
Major Tourist Locations
Government Botanical Garden
Established in 1848, Botanical Gardens remind the impressions of bygone British era. Home to a diverse array of rare tree species including the only one cork tree in India, the paper bark tree and the monkey puzzle tree where monkeys cannot climb belong to this garden only. This garden also has a fossilized tree trunk believed to be around 20 million years old. During the month of May, the Flower Show is a major highlight of this garden where rare plant species are exhibited in full blooms.
St. Stephen’s Church
Built in 1829, St. Stephen's Church is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris. The massive wooden beams came from Tipu Sultan’s Palace on the island of Srirangapatnam and were hauled by a team of elephants for 120 km distance. It features the stained glass art on windows depicting the crucifixion of Christ and Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms.
Ooty Golf Course
Ooty Golf Course is one of the exclusive golf courses in India set extends over 193.56 acres at an altitude of 7600 ft. Owned and operated by Gymkhana Club; this 18 course golf course forms an important base for Golf lovers in South India.
Centenary Rose Park
Spread over four hectares in five curved terraces, Centenary Rose Park is the largest rose garden in India featuring 20,000 varieties of exotic roses. Sourced from different parts of the world, the collection includes Miniature Roses, Ramblers, Hybrid Tea Roses, Yakimour, Polyanthas, Papagena, Floribunda, green and black roses, etc.
One of its kind in the world, Thread Garden offers a magnificent display of colourful flowers, plants and lawns fabricated entirely from thread, canvas and wire.
Famed as the highest point of Nilgiris, Doddabetta offers immaculate sights across the nearby peaks and plains. The Chamundi Hills of Mysore can also be from the peak.
Covering an area of 65 acres, the manmade lake of Ooty offers idyllic opportunity to boat amidst the serene Ooty. Another added attraction of this lake is the Mini Train and amusement part.
Best time to travel- April to June and September to November
How to reach there
By Air Two airports Mysore and Coimbatore connect Ooty to all major cities in India and abroad
By Train The miniature train, The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is the best way to explore Ooty’s interiors. The railway line is dependent upon its fleet of steam locomotives, making it a UNESCO recognized world heritage site as Mountain Railway of India along with Darjeeling. The railway line is connected by Nilgiri Express, a night train.
Though Ooty is in Tamil Nadu, but it is accessible from neighbouring states of Karnataka and Kerala easily. On road journey to Ooty comprises of several sharp hairpin bends and steep cuts featuring mesmerizing hilly and dense forest views.
Mudumalai National Park
Located on the foothills of Nilgiris, Mudumalai National Park is a known tiger reserve featuring Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards. The park is also an abode for various endangered animals including Indian elephants, vulnerable Gaur, and Chital.
Known popularly as the land of Cauvery, Kodagu or Coorg is a quaint hill station blessed with natural charm, wooden slopes, undulating landscape and vast expanse of coffee plantations. The endless mountain range also attracts the attention of many tourists all around the year.
Just 120 km away from Madurai, Kodaikanal is one of the most picturesque hill stations in Tamil Nadu. Located amidst the Palani Hills of Western Ghats, it is a popular retreat option for travellers staying in plains.
Famous for its tea gardens, Munnar is a delightful hill station featuring Kerala’s highest peak Anaimudi. Located at a distance of 160 km from Madurai, Munnar’s misty rivulets, waterfalls and cool weather along with trekking and mountain biking make it a must visit place.
The capital of Karnataka, Bengaluru in its due course of time has earned many sobriquets- ‘Garden City, Silicon Valley, Pensioners' Paradise, Pub City, but primarily is synonymous with IT revolution in India. It is a tourist hotspot, a vacation, a corporate traveler delight and a heaven for software enthusiasts.
Coonoor (17 km), Coorg (225 km), Kodaikanal (236 km), Munnar (282 km), Bangalore (297 km), Calicut (187 km)
Where to Stay