Ooty,officially known as Udhagamandalam is a town and a municipality in the Nilgiris district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.It is located 86 km north west of Coimbatore and 128 km south of Mysore and is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district.Local residents call it Queen of Hills. It was the summer capital of Madras Presidency.It is a gorgeous hill station in Tamil Nadu, full of lush greenery and marvels of nature. The town is connected by the Nilgiri ghat roads and Nilgiri Mountain Railway.Its natural environment attracts tourists and it is a popular summer destination. Aranmore Palace in Ooty,is the summer capital of the Madras Presidency. It is situated at an altitude of 7,350 feet above sea level.
Some of the most beautiful places in Ooty are Kalhatty Falls, Ooty Lake, Doddabetta Peak, Pykara Lake along with many other lakes and waterfalls. Another beautiful place is Botanical Garden for tourist to visit in Ooty, here the world’s rarest and most exotic plant life,and it is houses of an infinite number of species of rose and other flowers.Stone House and St. Stephen’s Church are two of the most important historical landmarks of the city.Ooty is famous for idlis, dosas and rasam among other typical South Indian dishes.
Diversity in cultures, languages and religion is a major feature of Ooty. T he city is a home to six primitive tribes viz. Todas, Badgas, Paniyas, Irulas and Kurumbas. Toda tribes are most prominent among all the tribes of the region.
Some of the places to visit in Ooty:-
1. Ooty Lake
2. Botanical Garden
3. Stone House
4. St. Stephen’s Church
5. Cathrine Waterfalls.
1. Ooty Lake - Ooty lake is located in Ooty in the Nilgiris district and 1 km from ooty bus stand, Tamil Nadu, India. It covers an area of 65 acres. The Boat house situated by the lake, which also offers boating facilities to tourists, is a major tourist attraction in Ooty. It is also known as Ooty boat house. Ooty Lake is surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and greenery all around and is a great place to experience the beauty of this hill station. One can enjoy paddle boats, rowing boats and motor boats here. There is a mini train too for kids to hop on and take a quick tour of the lake. You can visit Ooty Lake from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The entry fee is INR 10 per person and INR 20 if you want to take camera along with you. There is parking facility too as per the charges: INR 5 for bus, INR 3 for car, INR 2 for two-wheeler. The mini-train present for the kids costs INR 10 per head. You can also enjoy 7D cinema, horror house as well as mirror house which costs INR 100 per head, each and dashing car, breakdance and Columbus rides cost INR 50 per head.
If you want to boat ride following are the prices :- 2 seater rowboat for 30 minutes costs INR 180, 4 seater pedal boat for 30 minutes costs INR 200, 8 eater motorboat for 20 minutes costs INR 450 and 2 seater pedal boat for 30 minutes costs INR 160.
2. Botanical Garden - The Botanical Gardens of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore established during the year 1908. It is one of the important gardens in Tamil Nadu and also the foremost of the Institutional gardens in India. The Gardens, divided into several sections, cover an area of around 55 hectares, and lie on the lower slopes of Doddabetta peak. The garden has a terraced layout. It is located at a distance of 3 km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station and 4 km from Ooty Lake. the month of May is the best time to visit the Botanical Garden, as there are several exhibitions and other programs organized, which draws many tourists to the venue.The best month visit to Botanical Garden, Ooty is on May,as there are several exhibitions and other programs organized, which draws many tourists to the venue. Garden will be open from morning 8am to evening till 6:30 pm. The entry fee is Rs.30 for Adults, Rs. 15 for Children, Rs. 50 for Camera & Rs. 100 for Video. Every year in the month of May, for two days, a flower exhibitions is conducted at the Ooty Botanical Gardens.
3. Stone House - Stone House also called Kal Bangala by the tribals is the first bungalow constructed using Kal to come up in this ravishing hill station of South India. It was built in 1822 by John Sullivan. It is one of the most important historic monuments of Ooty. Stone house is located in a very picturesque location in Ooty and you'll have a great time visit here. Currently the Stone House is the official residence of the Principal of Government Arts College, Ooty, certainly a befitting resident to the house which has a rich and colorful history. You can visit Stone House throughout week from 10 am to 5pm. No entry will be charged to get visit this place.
4. St. Stephen’s Church - St. Stephen's Church is located on the road to Mysore in Ooty, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris district. The laid the foundation for the church was on 23 April 1829. It was opened to the public communion on Easter Sunday 3 April 1831. It came under the Church of South India in 1947. It opens from 10 am to 1 pm and 3pm to 5 pm till evening. No entry fee will be charged.
5. Cathrine Waterfalls - Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall located in Kotagiri, The Nilgiris District, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The waterfall falls from an altitude of 250 feet. The Falls is named after Catherine Cockburn, the wife of M. D. Cockburn, who introduced coffee plantation in Kotagiri. Cathrine Waterfalls is one of the famous tourist attractions in Coonoor. There is no entry fee for Catherine Falls in Coonoor. It is open for its visitors from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week. You can visit the waterfalls from dusk to dawn.
If you want to travel Ooty by airoplane, then you land to Coimbatore. It 88 kilometres away and is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty .Coimbatore is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty which is well-connected with most of the Indian cities. if you want to travel by train, then the nearest railhead is Mettupalyam, 40 kilometres from Ooty. Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses along with some private buses connect Ooty with major neighbouring cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Mysore. NH 209 and NH 275 connect Bangalore with Ooty, and a number of luxury buses operate from Bangalore, which takes around 7 to 8 hours.