City Of Enchanting Eskers
Ooty also known by its former name "Udagamandalam" is a theme based hill station in South India, the hill station is about 3 hours away from Coimbatore and is a really popular point of attraction in Tamil Nadu.The city welcomes thousands of visitors every month.Although the best time to visit Ooty is during the early winter season as the temperature is moderate and it makes it just a perfect time for sightseeing in Ooty. The scenic Nilgiri Hills adds up to the perks of visiting Ooty, the tranquil lakes and beautiful parks of this amazing town makes it favourite of the pilgrims.
The city is spread wide across in a region of 36 sq.kms with an altitude of 2240 metres above sea level. Another reason why Ooty attracts a large number of people is the adventurous train journey which commences from Kallar (a town near Mettupalayam), the journey is full of twist and turns as the train runs on a ratchet and pinion track which bring more excitement in one's journey to Ooty.The train ride is full of hair-raising turns and deep dark tunnels and not only this, the deep ravines full of rampant vegetation, purling streams and tea Gardens. In the journey one also gets a chance to be acquainted with the beautiful environment of Ooty, the lush green forests, the blue sky, beautiful birds and the orange crimson sun beams really bewitches one to fall in love with this City of" Queen of Hill stations" rightly entitled by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
Ooty is a perfect spot for a good weekend in the arms of the mother nature. One must explore this beautiful city and get acquainted with what the nature has in store for us. The landscape of Ooty is marked by dense population of vegetation, some smaller plateaus and hills covered with eucalyptus tree, tea and coffee gardens. Hilly region is also the home of small town like Conoor and Kotagiri, these two places are also visted by people on a really large scale and are worth a visit as they are only about an hour away from Ooty. Many portions of these portions are protected by the government as Reserve forests and require special permits to camp in Non-camp sites.
Whether it be a peaceful fishing experience in the tranquil lakes of Ooty or an adventurous trek on the mountain region, Ooty will truly satisfy you with the best of it. So what are you waiting for? Start now by planning a trip to this heavenly hill station.
History of the Enchanted
Like the history of other cities in India even Ooty got some tales that one must know about.Besides the point of attraction of tourists, Ooty is also a legend in itself. The beautiful, serene and awe- inspiring Ooty is all it is because of the efforts of one wise Englishman Mr. John Sullivan( District collector of Coimbatore during the British rule).One of the remarkable year in the history of Ooty is 1819, this is the year when Mr. John Sullivan visited this promising beauty for the very first time. Even before him few other Englishmen visited Ooty but they never really noticed the beauty of this city. Mr. Keys ( Assistant revenue surveyor) along with his assistant Mr. Mac Mahen visited this city of wonders in 1812 and were the first two Englishmen to climb the Nilgiri hills. They were sent by the district collector of Coimbatore.Followed by these two men Mr. N.W. Kindersely and J.C. Whish also visted Ooty in the year of 1818, therefore it was in 1819 when the route to Ooty was laid and the possibilities of Ooty being a point of attraction were recognized.
John Sullivan was the one who first built a house in Ooty.At present which is known as the Stone House. After this initially the house started to become popular due to its connection between the history and Ooty and became what it is today, one of the major hill resorts in India.
Going back in the history of Ooty even further, it was initially occupied by the Toda tribe people and other tribe people of the Nilgiri hills namely such as Kurumba,Kota and Badaga. Hoysala King Vishwardhana and his general Punisa were the first ones to record the existence of the Toda tribe in 1117 C.E.The region was also ruled by many other dynasties like Cholas, Satavahanas,Cheras, Gangas,Rashtrakutas,Kadambas,Hoysalas,the Vijayanagra empire and the Rajas of Ummattur. Followed by this the region was captured by Tipu Sultan in the 18th Century before the lands were handed over to the British East India company according to the treaty in Sringapatnam in the year of 1799.
Under the reign of British empire, this beautiful and enchanting city used to be summer capital of the Presidency of Madras.Now to this present day the nearby town of Wellington is home to the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army.
One must explore this beautiful town to see and learn more about its past as it can offer one a lot of Knowledge.
Top things do in Ooty
How to reach
Ooty is well connected by road with the rest of the India. The city does not have a airport and railhead of its own but one can reach Ooty Via Coimabtore or Chennai.
How to Reach by Flight
Coimbatore International airport is the nearest airport from this city. It is about 88 kms away, the airport is well connected with most of the cities in India. One can also reach Ooty via Banglore, Kempegowda International airport as it is well connected with all the major cities across the globe. Daily flights are available from the all the major cities to both the airports. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a local cab or take a private bus to reach Ooty.
How to Reach by Train
The closest railhead is Mettupalyam which is about 40kms away from the city, there are daily trains from Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Mysore which connects to Mettupalyam.From Mettupalyam, you can board the heritage train known as the Nilgiri Mountain train which takes you to the uphill on an exciting journey. However, if you wish to reach faster,you can always take a local cab, bus or rickshaw from the railway station.
How to Reach by Bus
Ooty is a important place of attraction in South India for the visitors and tourists so you can easily find both government and private sector luxury buses from Bangalore, Mysore and Chennai to Ooty. These are overnight buses and the journey is quiet comfortable. There is also a special government bus service,this bus leaves daily at 5pm and 7pm from Calicut and it takes around 6 hours to reach Ooty.
How to Reach by Road
Road trip to Ooty is really the best thing that one will ever do, as you drive through the reserve forest area and stunning scenery you will be astonished by the beauty of this truly amazing city,Ooty. If you wish to drive from Bangalore to Ooty there are 2 routes you can take: via Mysore or via Chamarajanagar. Finally you reach Gundlupet, the border town and enter the forest road amidst Bandipur National Park and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. While on this strech you will get to see the Elephants so don't forget to eye for it.
How to travel within
To travel in Ooty one can take local buses, hire autos and rickshaws, Although people prefer to hire a local jeep to get around in Ooty. Cheap packages are available for these jeeps in all the nearby shops, two wheelers are also available for rent.The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Board also operates day-trips on buses. These day trip buses would cost you around 150-/ INR, this is an efficient and best mode of travelling within Ooty. It is prefered to carrry small denominations while travelling through auto, rickshaws and buses.
When it comes to food Ooty got a lot to offer its visitors. The best thing about Ooty is its lush green environment and beautiful scenery but when it comes down to food Ooty is not left behind even in that part. Some of the locals cuisines and street food you must try in Ooty are :-
- Shinkows, its a Chinese restaurant that serves lip smacking Chinese cuisine and is really popular among the locals.
- Momo, another Chinese fast food corner that serves best momos( filled dumplings) in the town.
- Hotel Shree Velumurugan, the restaurant serves some delicious variety of Paranthas( An Indian shallow fried bread in clarified butter) the menu has vast variety that one can choose from while you can also try the Dosa,Idly and Uttapam the traditional delicacies of Tamil Nadu.
- Curry Rice, this restaurant is a well reputed one in the town and has some of the best Anglo- Indian recipes and royal delicacies of the Wodeyar family (the family that once ruled Mysore).
Activities To Do In Ooty
From adventure to soothing moment in the arms of the mother nature, Ooty has it all. For the adventure seekers Ooty is really a paradise as one can go on trek on the Nilgiri mountain range, go for a jungle safari, do camping, boating in the lakes of Ooty, sightseeing,cycling, fishing ,explore the Toda huts and revisit the history and what not? Ooty is really going to satisfy your hunger for a perfect getaway. There are local trip makers that can make your trip to Ooty a worth while.
Travel2Ooty, is one of them with pocket friendly tour packages.
Where To Stay in Ooty
Ooty got some really beautiful and luxurious hotels, assuring the visitors with a pleasant stay in town some of them are
Safety, ATMs and Pharmacy
Ooty is a safe town, so you don't have to worry about theft. Unlike the other Hill stations Ooty has a big chain of top banking ATMs in the town, you don't have to worry about looking for ATMs from place to place. It is recommended to carry cash is small denominations and amounts while traveling within the city and always take care of your belongings as Ooty has monkeys who might eye on your belongings so be aware! Ooty is a really nice place to be in for a perfect getaway and incase you forgot to pack your medicines on your trip,don't worry about it. Ooty has a lot of top Pharmacies in town where you can stock your supply from, so yeah just sit back and enjoy the relaxing trip while in Ooty.
Settle in embrace the beauty of this city, explore nearby region, the next morning after you have settled get ready to explore Ooty you can start by visiting the following:-
Day 1: Start from your hotel at around 11 after your breakfast and head out to Visit the wax world in Ooty, this place feautures 20-25 statues, majorly our great freedom fighter, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji, Tilakji, Subhash Chandra Boseji, Kalamji, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sivaji maharaj and many others. You can easily finish the whole tour of the museum in less than 30 minutes. When you are done head towards the Ooty Botanical Garden it is roughly a 1 km away, if you wish you can also travel on foot. With a little fees of 40/INR you can get a amazing experience of this garden,there are a variety of trees and shrubs as well as some conservatories with exotic ferns and flowering plants. Most of the trees in this garden are introduced Australian species, while you are here don't forget to see the flowers, which are in a wide variety in this garden. If you are hungry by now you can grab lunch at Place To Bee it is about 10 minutes away from the garden and has the best Italian food in the town. After lunch head towards the rose garden, this garden is the favorite of the visitors and the tourists. Located on the slants of the Elk hill at an altitude of 2200m in the town of Vijayanagram is this garden that will totally stun you with its beautiful scenic scenery. This place also won the award of Garden Excellence from Osaka, Japan. Spend your rest of the afternoon here at this peaceful park and at around 5 head towards the Doddabetta peak. Another marvel of Ooty with jawdropping scenery and views of the nature.The peak stands at height of 2637metres and one can a get a full view of Coimabotore and the adjoining regions around the city. This place is a must visit. Spend the rest of the evening halting in the local market in the area to get some traditional items and souveginers and then head back to your hotel to get some rest. Be prepared for the adventure that is waiting for you the next day!
Day 2: Start at early around 9 to discover the local speciality of Ooty, Visit the Pine tree forest. This forest is one of its kind forest in Ooty and is a unique place that attracts vistors and tourits on a really large scale.This place is a heaven for people who love to explore scenic views,the forest is located near a lake name Sandynulla which adds pearls to the beauty of this place. When you are done with this heavenly view start your journey towards the Emerald Village, this village is amazingly awesome. In the Village there is a Dam called the Emerald dam, it is a beautful lake with breathetaking scenic view. The lake is really tranquil and enchanting. When your are done here get some lunch and head towards the Stone house, it is the 1st Bunglaow constructed in Ooty. Get ready for another memerizing view from the nature, heads towards the Law falls at around 4PM.Tucked in amidst of lush green enviroment and equipped with a beautiful sight of the nature and water fall makes this place a must visit.Head back to the city and pack your stuff. If you wanna have some scullent dinner then do visit this place Earl's Secret after dinner get some sleep and prepare yourself to head back home.