Situated at a distance of 105 km from Coimbatore, this Queen of Hill Stations is located in the Nilgiri Hills at an altitude of 7,347 feet above sea level. The weather being pleasant all rounds the year, attracting tourists through out the twelve-month period. The landscape of this beautiful land is dotted with rolling hills and plateaus completely covered with thick blanket of vegetation, tea gardens and different beautiful trees. This hill station was developed by the British as a summer retreat for them. The train ride to Ooty is another feature that has gained popularity among locales and international tourists alike. The ride on one of the few running steam trains will definitely take longer than other modes of travel like a bus or a cab, but the leisure journey in the train from Mettupalayam will definitely be the most scenic of all train travels that you have ever done. A must to do, while you are touring the Ooty hills. Apart from sightseeing, you can also indulge in many adventure activities like trekking and hiking through the woods.
Places To Visit - Nature At Its Most Generous
Ooty is called the 'Queen of Hill Stations' for very obvious reasons. This is the most naturally gifted part of Tamil Nadu and the most scenic of all hill stations in the whole country. Ooty offers plethora of attractions to keep tourist on their toes exploring, experiencing and enjoying the charismatic lure of this panoramic beauty. To be honest, the whole of Ooty is so ravishingly beautiful that there is no specific place that you can pin point as a tourist attraction, every ninch of the city is so mesmerizing that tourists keep turning their heads again and again towards whatever they see once. Most visited spots in Ooty are the Rose Garden, Government Botanical Garden and Doddabetta Peak.
Maintained by Department of Horticulture, this is a must visit site for all nature lovers. The garden is at an elevation of around 2200-m above sea level and covers an area of 4 hectares. The garden has five terraces that have more than 2800 varieties of roses, the largest collection among any Indian garden. You are allowed to take photos inside the garden but you will have to pay extra for that.
Coonoor Sim's Park
This is a botanical park which is situated in the Coonoor town around 19 km away from Ooty. The park is located at a height of 1858 meters above sea level and covers an area of 12 hectares. The park showcases more than 1000 species from 85 families few of which, you will only find in this park like the rare species belonging to Eucalytus, Acacia and Cinnamomum. There is also a glass house that has many ornamental plants and flowers.
This artificial lake was built in the year 1825 by Mr. John Sullivan, the then district collector. The lake, around 2.5-km in length and 40 feet deep, offers options for both boating and fishing. Before you go for a boat ride, take care of your safety and get a life jacket. And if you are interested in fishing as well, don't forget to take prior permission from the officials.
The Doddabetta Peak is situated some 10 km from Ooty. It is at a height of 2623 m and is famous as the highest peak in Nilgiris. It offers few of the most breathtaking views of the Nilgiri peaks that have made it one of the most visited spots in Ooty. Trek to the top peak as it is not very challenging, and at the same time provides views that are worth every step you take through the jungles.
Government Botanical Garden
This Botanical Garden is maintained by Government of Tamil Nadu, department of Horticulture. The Garden which was started in the year 1848 covers an area of 22 ha and is located at a height of 2250 m above sea level. The garden has been decorated with trees that have been collected from all over the world. It is home to rare species of trees like the Lily Pond and the Italian garden that bear colorful flowers. It also has the Cork tree, which is one of its kinds in India. Other attractions are the monkey-puzzle tree, called so because monkeys can't climb it and a 20 million year old fossil tree trunk.
Where To Put Up
Accommodation facility is good in the city with hotels ranging from five star to economy class being present here. All travelers are bound to find a hotel or a lodge that are according to their needs and tastes. Even the most basic hotels are priced aptly and take good care of their guests. Few hotels that can be recommended are Hotel Sinclairs, Hotel The Monarch, Sullivan Court and Sterling Holiday Resorts.
The nearest airport is in Coimbatore around 100 km away. Coimbatore receives flights from all major airports in the country.
Ooty is connected to Chennai by Nilgiri Express that takes tourist till, Mettupalyam. From there, you can either take a bus or a steam train. The surroundings on both the routes are breathtakingly attractive.
Ooty is well connected to all the major cities of Tamil Nadu and few cities of Karnataka. There is regular public and private bus services to and from Ooty.