Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu. A place filled with nature's finest creation and pleasant weather. Not only the destination, but the whole journey is a wonderful experience, especially when you do a road trip. Ooty town is connected by the Nilgiri ghat roads and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Ooty's natural conditions covered in eucalyptus, pine trees, coffee, and tea plantations attract tourists from all over the country and abroad.
Despite being located in the tropic zone, Ooty generally features mild conditions throughout the year. However, January and February nights in Ooty are typically cold.
Average highest temperature: 17–20 °C (63–68 °F).
Average lowest temperature: 5–12 °C (41–54 °F).
Ooty weather is in contrast with most of South India which makes it a perfect place to spend during the hot summers.
How to reach Ooty?
Coimbatore is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty that is 88 kilometers away.
The best is a road trip to Ooty, driving through the reserve forest area and stunning scenery is surely some experience. Here I cover the most frequently taken and exciting road trip from Bengaluru. With an average distance of 270km, one can take two different routes which vary distinctively in the kind of views it offers, and the monotony of the drive is broken and pleasure sets its foot in!
- Route 1
Bengaluru - Ramnagara - Channapatna - Mandya - Srirangapatna - Mysuru - Gundlupete - Bandipur - Theppakadu (Mudumalai National Park) - Masinagudi - Ooty.
- Route 2
Bengaluru - Kanakapura - Malavalli - Shivanasamudra(close by) - Kollegal - Chamarajanagar - Gundlupete - Bandipur - Theppakadu (Mudumalai National Park) - Masinagudi - Ooty,
Notable places on the way
- Bandipur & Mudumalai National Park
On the Mysore – Ooty highways, Bandipur & Mudumalai park is covered by numerous tourists, all season. The park has a larger amount of deer, peacock, and a considerable amount of tigers and elephants. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu control this park together where the Tamil Nadu side of the park is called as Mudumalai reserve. This place is heaven for people who love nature, photography, and adventure. Wildlife photographers will surely have a busy schedule here. If you do not own a camera, you can always rent any camera from RentMyTent Android Application
Masinagudi is a part of the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary that is just a drive of one hour from the hill station of Ooty. Lush green forest cover, stunning waterfalls, gushing rivers and rivulets, and picture-perfect landscapes all boost the Masinagudi tourism multifold.
Shivanasamudra is one of the best waterfalls around Bengaluru. Situated on River Kaveri, Shivanasamudra divides the Kaveri River into two parts that form two waterfalls, one is Gaganachukki and the other is Bharachukki. Gaganachukki and Barachukki Falls are collectively called as Shivanasamudra Falls. Shivanasamudra offers breathtaking sight in the peak monsoon. India's second hydro-electric power station is located at the waterfall and is still functional.
Mysuru or Mysore, better known as The city of palaces is located at the foothills of Chamundi hills whose rich heritage draws millions of tourists all year round. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Mysore Palace is the highlight.
After all these delights on the way, we reach our destination. Let see what we can do in our destination, Ooty
Things to do in and around Ooty
Each tourist attraction in Ooty promises a unique and lively experience that will leave you in awe for many days to come.
- The Botanical Garden
The Ooty Botanical Garden is lush, green, and well-maintained. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every May. The Botanical Garden is spread over a huge area of 22 hectares and with more than 650 species of flowers and trees, is a horticulturist's delight.
- Ooty Lake
Apart from being popular for boating, tourists can be seen enjoying a refreshing ride on its serene waters and cycling by the side of the lake. We cannot believe Ooty Lake is an artificially constructed lake with picturesque natural surroundings.
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The famed toy train ride runs between Ooty and Mettupalayam and takes about 5 hours to complete one side journey of 46 km. The train takes you on a picturesque ride of Nilgiri Mountains and the valley below. Going through tunnels, curves, bridges, and beautiful scenery is a ride to cherish. In the movie Dil Se, Shahrukh Khan danced atop the toy train for the famous Chaiyya Chaiyya song.
- Doddabetta Peak
Doddabetta (meaning big mountain) is the highest peak in the Nilgiris and is situated about 11 km away from Ooty Lake. The observatory platform provides a breathtaking view of Ooty and the surrounding area, which makes it a favorite among the trekking and camping enthusiasts. The most idyllic place for the outdoor activity of trekking, it allures avid trekkers in abundance. As you traverse up the rugged winding paths of the mountain you would be welcomed by the open fields and followed by long coarse grass. Do visit RentMyTent Android Application to hire trekking accessories.
- Wax World Museum
The Wax World contains beautiful statues of Indian freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale among many others. The museum also has wonderful replicas of social figures like Mother Teresa and our former President, Dr.A.P.J.Adbul Kalam. You can start the day by a quick stop at the Wax World and then move on to the farther places like Pykara Lake or Mukurthi National Park and so on.
- Kalahatti Waterfalls
A place where you feel that God is an architect. The waterfalls also known as Bird Watcher's Falls can be reached after a two-mile trek from the Kalahatti village, 15 km from Ooty. Unlike other waterfalls, it is advised to not visit the falls during monsoon is at peak. The flow of water within the mountains is very unpredictable and it can catch you off guard with the sudden surge in water level. The best time to visit would be between September to November when the monsoon is drying up and the winter is beginning to set in. Bring your camera or rent one from RentMyTent Android Application because Kalahatti waterfall is sure to inspire the photographer in you.
- Pykara Waterfalls
Declared a heritage site, the Pykara lake is one of those "must-see" sights in Ooty. As the river flows down the mountains it forms two majestic waterfalls the first one fifty-five meters in height and the second one even higher at sixty-one meters. The surroundings of the Pykara are famous for the Toda settlements and these are one of the very few placements where you find the Todas in their natural habitat.
- Dolphin's Nose
If you wish to witness the picturesque view of the mountains and the lush green tea estates on your way to Ooty tour, Dolphin's Nose is your destination. Dolphin's Nose is a unique rock formation and its peak resembles a dolphin's nose from where it gets its name. It is a romantic gem in the Queen of hill stations. Located at a distance of just 12 km from Coonoor, the Dolphin's Nose is a wonderful spot where one can enjoy the natural beauty at its best. Something you wouldn't want to miss on a Dolphin's Nose Point is a sip of Coonoor Tea to relish the actual taste of tea.
- Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake is one of the finest attractions in Ooty and receives equal love from adventure seekers, nature lovers, and photography enthusiasts. The Avalanche lake in Ooty got its name from the landslide which occurred in the 1800s. This makes us realize how nature can create something so beautiful from a disaster. If you are interested in spending the night there stargazing, take a tent with you as you have provisions for pitching tents there. If you are wondering where to get a tent, look no further, here is RentMyTent Android Application.
Some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Ooty
1. What is famous in Ooty?
Ooty is most famous for its tea plantations. Connoisseurs will find plenty to choose from: dust and leaf; black, green, black and white varieties; and flavors such as masala, jasmine, cardamom, and even chocolate
2. What is the best time to visit Ooty?
Ooty is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between April to June and September to November.
3. Is Ooty better than Coorg?
Both Ooty and Coorg make excellent destinations. Ooty seems to be a bit more on the mass tourism side while the highlights of Coorg revolves around handpicking and your holiday theme and customizing destinations
4. How many days are enough to cover Ooty?
Ooty can be covered easily in 1 to 2 days. A perfect spot to spend the weekend. However, if you have more days to spend, there are lots of places to visit around Ooty.
5. Why Ooty is called the queen of hills?
The city lies at an altitude of 2286m, Because of the mountains and green valleys, Ooty is remarked as 'The Queen of Hill stations'.
6. Is it safe to visit Ooty during the rainy season?
Yes, even if it is raining in Ooty, safety-wise there is no reason to panic, though there are traffic delays due to large crowds and rains.
7. Is Ooty safe for families?
Ooty is a family destination indeed. The crime rate in Ooty is low and it is reasonably safe. However, you should take care of the following things: Avoid climbing the hills after 6 pm as the area becomes dark due to the lack of proper lighting. Secondly, Private taxi drivers in Ooty are a menace.