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Tourist Places To Visit In Ooty (Udhagamandalam)
Having consistently pleasant weather even during summers, Ooty makes up for a fantastic tourist destination. Located at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, the hill station is nestled amidst the Nilgiri Hills offering lush green views. This place is the ultimate heaven for nature lovers, trekkers and wanderers. Here are few of our must visit tourist-places picks for you to have an amazing and exciting trip to Ooty. Do visit places like Avalanche Lake, Pykara, St. Stephen's Church and the Nilgiri Toy Train among others.
The lakes of Ooty will always be dear to travelers who visit the hill station. The Avalanche Lake garnered its name after a landslide in the 1800’s. It is rich in flora and one can find flowers like magnolias, orchids, and rhododendrons around here. You can also indulge yourself with trout fishing beside trekking and camping.
The double cascading waterfall stands about 250 ft. tall in Kotagiri. It is the second highest waterfall in the Nilgiri district. Another name given to Catherine waterfalls is Gaddhehaada Halla, which meaning ‘Foothills Dale River’. This is the place for all photo enthusiasts. Take your camera out, set your exposures and shoot the wonder.
Just 19 kilometres from Ooty lies Pykara village, through it flowing the Pykara river (worshipped by the Toda community), feeding numerous waterfalls along the way. Go to Pykara to enjoy the river. Stop at the last two falls - falling from a height of 55 and 61 meters respectively. These are the Pykara falls. You can also head to the boat house at Pykara reservoir.
As the name suggests, the Hidden Valley is a bit far removed from the views of the tourist. One must trek through an exciting route to get to this lush green valley for a relaxing day amidst nature. Eat at one of the fine dining restaurants here; the pumpkin panzarotti at Overture is recommended. And spend the rest of the day sipping some wine.
Glenmorgan Tea Estate
Glenmorgan is the name of a village situated around 25 km from Ooty. It is one of the oldest tea estates in the region. As the name suggests, it is a must visit for the tea lovers. Others can enjoy a stroll through nature here. You could learn the art of plucking the perfect tea leaves while enjoying the panoramic view of the village.
St. Stephen’s Church
Back in 1829, the then Governor of Ooty declared to build a church exclusively for the Britishers there. It was constructed by J.J Underwood and cost about Rs. 24,000/- then. It is known for its architectural beauty and holds importance as a coveted top tourist spot in Ooty.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
One of the most fun, memorable places to ‘visit’ in Ooty is the Nilgiri Mountain Rail. It is really a toy train track that runs a toy train between Ooty and Mettupalayam. It is a five hour journey, one way, taking you through lush green mountains and free-flowing streams that look milky white. If you would forget that this is India, it would almost seem like a Hogwarts Express ride through Scotland. The tickets for this train can be booked on the website of Indian Railways — IRCTC.
The Stone House, as the name suggests, is built of stones. Why is it so famous? Because it dates back to the time of the British and chronicles the struggle of the people of Nilgiri. It has now been turned into a museum where you get to see old artefacts like stamps, coins, utensils and even weapons. You can learn about the people and culture of Nilgiri from that time — how they tilled their lands, their agricultural practises, their social life, their art and much more.
The Botanical Garden of Ooty is home to endless green lawns, ponds, horticulture spaces and flower gardens. The 55 acre land is cultivated with more than 600 flowers, shrubs and plant species from different parts of the world. Nature walks, exhibitions, photography etc are highly covered here. It would take you over 3 hours to complete a tour of the entire garden, which is open from 7 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening.
Kamraj Sagar Dam
The Kamraj Sagar Dam in Ooty is a pretty scenic place, for obvious reasons. It is rimmed by beautiful lush hills that are hung with mist, giving an aura of magic in the valleys. Families and friends come down to the dam for a sit-down picnic and enjoy taking loads of pictures. Producers also use this place as a location for shooting movies.
A very famous attraction in Ooty, the Ooty Lake is home to beautiful boathouses, fishing corners, cycling tracks and street shops. People come here to enjoy the full nature and cultural fiesta of this region. A summer festival in season draws even more crowd. The lake is artificially constructed, but is as beautiful as a natural one. Do visit on a quaint evening.
On the lovely slope of Elk Hills is a lovelier garden that blooms with roses. It is called by many names, some call it the Nootranju Roja Poonga, some call it Jayalalithaa Rose Garden. While others call it the Centenary Rose Park. Botany students simply call it the Rose Garden, and enjoy studying as well as roaming here. You can enjoy a walk or a little picnic here, take many pictures and pick up a souvenir in the form of a bouquet when you leave.
Ooty’s Deer Park is the place where you can go to spot animals like the Sambhal Deer, Chital Deer and other cousins. There are also many birds, rabbits, hares and reptiles to see. The park is surrounded by resorts so you can enjoy a stay over in the natural surroundings while you are planning a safari.
The Tea Factory and the Tea Museum
A unique experience in Ooty, the tea factory and tea museum here are recommended for tea aficionados. The place not only fulfils all sightseeing criteria, but also educates you on tea cultivation and processing while filling your lungs with the heady scent of fresh tea leaves. The tea museum will add to the fun with its trivia, facts and artefacts about the history of tea in the area. And what’s more — you will get to enjoy some freshly made tea too!
Ooty Boat House
Enjoy a day at the Ooty Boathouse, where you can lie back and people watch. The sight of the Ooty lake is like paradise with the hustle and bustle of surrounding areas adding a natural cacophony to its feel. You can enjoy boating competitions if you visit here in May, or go motor boating with your partner or friend. The Summer Festival of Ooty is held here and is a solid hit among the locals as well as tourists.
Visit Tiger Hill in Ooty for gorgeous views, sunsets and sunrises. It takes a little trek to reach here, but the sweat is worth it. You will get to see a cave here, a small freshwater pond (yes you can drink water from here), and the entire Nilgiri valley beneath you. Photographers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers enjoy this visit.
There is an indigenous tribe called Toda in Ooty, that survives on cattle herding. Their huts, better known as Toda Huts are a major attraction of Ooty. They are semi-barrel in shape, without windows, looking like unique half cylinders. The ceilings of these houses are quite high but doors are low, compelling you to stoop down to walk in. These huts are also famously called Toda Hamlets.
Thunder World is a great place to enjoy if you are travelling with kids. In Ooty, this is the equivalent of an amusement park, with its rides and jim jungles, mazes and rain forests. It is also popularly called Dinosaur Park and is famous for the Jurassic Jungle and Haunted House. You must also go for the vortex ride, explore the camera museum, rainforest and 5D theatre. There is also a unique snow room indoors for some exotic chill!
Mini Car Museum
The Mini Car Museum in Ooty is a wonderful place for those lovers of automobiles. Here you will find a huge collection of automobiles, from Lamborghinis to Jaguars, Porches to Ferraris. More than a 1000 of these small car models are displayed from various sources, attracting people for a unique few hours. Do visit if you are free for an hour or half.
Droog Fort holds great historical significance to the area. Once upon a time it was the outpost of Tipu Sultan and his warriors, supplementing their efforts in the Indian freedom struggle. Droog is situated 17 km from the town of Ooty, perched at a height of 6000 ft, overlooking the valleys and hamlets. Back packing trips, treks, walks and historical tours lead you here. And what a view you get from here! It is worth a long hike, especially in monsoons.