Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
|» Location :
||Niligiri District, Tamil Nadu
|» Highest Peak :
|» Famous Festivals :
||Summer Festival And The Tea And Tourism Festival
Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly
known as the "Queen of hill stations' among the tourist circuits.
It is situated at a distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. The height
of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres,
the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres.
History Of This Beautiful Hill Resort
It is believed that the name Nila, has been in use for over 800 years
since, the King of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana, who ruled from 1104 to
1141 AD seized the Nilgiris Plateau. His general Ponisia recorded this
fact in 1117 AD with mention of Todas. The name Nilgiri was due to the
blue haze, which envelops the range with most distant hills of
In 1818, Wishand Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to
Collector of Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience
report to the Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan. Settlement in
Udhagamandalam began in 1822 with the construction of the Stone House by
John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. The bungalow, which is
locally called "Kal Bangla", is one of the landmarks of
Udhagamandalam and is now the Chamber of the Principal of the Government
This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the East India Company
as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan,
the treaty of Srirangapatnam in 1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was
the first European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released his notes
about the place and people of Nilgiris. In 1812 surveyor William Keys
and Macmohan visited the top of the plateau.
The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty
mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea
gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism
Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. Visit Ooty during this
festival, when tea lovers from all over the world converge. An occasion
not to be missed!
Prime Attractions of Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
§ Botanical Gardens :
Botanical gardens are a
major tourist attraction for those who visit Ooty, one of the most
popular hill stations of India. They sprawl over 50-acre and lie on the
lower slopes of Doddabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty.
Marquis of Tweeddale established these gardens in the year 1848.
The gardens are formally laid out with lily ponds, and there are
clipped bushes in the form of elephants, with raised trunks. One can
find a thousand different species of plants including some thirty types
of eucalyptus in these gardens. There is also a fossilised tree trunk,
which is said to be 20 million years old. Towards the eastern part of
the garden there is a wooden house made of logs known as "Toda Mund",
which provides an excellent view.
§ Ooty Lake :
About 1-km distance there is an
artificial lake with a charming look, which was formed in 1824 by Mr.
John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore.
§ St Stephens Church :
Situated in the hilly
area on Club Road, St Stephens Church is said to be the oldest in the
Nilgiris. The church was built in 1829 and consecrated in 1830. The beam
of the church was taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan at
Srirangapatnam. The cemetery close by houses the grave of John Sullivan,
the founder of Ooty.
§ Mini Garden :
Mini garden is also situated
on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement park is housed.
A snack bar is also available. Tamil Nadu Tourism Development
Corporation Limited maintains these gardens.
§ Rose Garden :
Rose Garden is situated about
3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. They are spread over an area of 10
acres of land with 2000 variety of roses. Rose Gardens lie on the way to
§ Government Museum :
The government museum,
Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district's ecological
details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It
was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the
residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district.
§ Deer Park :
At a distance of 1-km from the
Lake there is a Deer Park, which is worth visiting.
§ Doddabetta :
Doddabetta is the highest peak
(2623 meters) in the Nilgiris, which is about 10-km from Ooty. It is a
beautiful place lying between the junction of the Western and Eastern
Ghats and offers a beautiful view of the Nilgiri hill ranges. It is
surrounded by dense Sholas.
§ Hindustan Photo Films :
The Hindustan Photo
Films, one of the major industrial units of the district, is located
about 5-km away from Ooty railway station over a sprawling area of over
300 acres, near the Ooty golf-links on the Ooty- Mysore road.
Excursions of Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
§ Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary : This
sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the
Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The Mudumalai Wildlife sanctuary
has varied mixture of flat land, open grassland, swamp, valley and
§ Pykara : Pykara is situated about 21-km from
Ooty. Some of the tourist attractions of this place are well-protected
fenced sholas, Toda settlements, undisturbed grassy meadows and also a
good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and the reservoir
attracts many tourists. A boathouse with restaurant and a rest house are
available at Pykara.
§ The Mukkurthi Peak And National Park : About
40-km from Ooty, is a beautiful peak called "Mukkurthi". The
Mukkurthi National Park is located on the Southern corner of the Nilgiri
Plateau. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are other major peaks
around. A number of little perennial streams flow between these peaks,
which fall into Bhavani Puzha. Silent Vally is located on the Western
side in the Western Ghat, which is a feast to the visitor's eye.
Best Time To Visit
The climate of Ooty is pleasant throughout the year. The best time to
visit is between February to May and September to November.
Entertainment in Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
§ Trekking : The Nilgiris are a trekker's
paradise. Landscaped by nature, the hills abound in trek for lovers of
nature. There are treks and treks in whichever direction you turn and
from whichever point you start. A trek can be full of thrill, excitement
and adventure and a way of seeing and enjoying nature in all its beauty
Udhagamandalam (Ooty) offers several trek routes, which vary in
distance, altitudes and terrain. There is a base camp at Parsons valley,
from where one can start trekking to various points within Western
Ghats. The down hills of Western Ghats on the North ends up with meeting
the extensions of Eastern Ghats, where the sprawling Mudumalai Sanctuary
lies which opens vistas for adventure tourists.
Trekking pamphlets are available with the Nilgiri Wildlife and
Environment Association (NWLEA). There are guides who have sound
knowledge of certain areas. If necessary, their services may be hired.
And for further details contact the Tourist Information Office at
Charring Cross, Ooty.
§ Angling : Goad Trout, Carp and mixed water
fishing is possible in various streams and lakes of Ooty. The Assistance
Director of Fisheries issues the fishing licence.
§ Hang-Gliding : Hang-glidng courses are also
organised during March to May every year, with the assistance of the
Department of Tourism. Contact the Tourist Officer, Ooty for assistance.
Places to stay in Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Accommodation is available at the luxurious and economy class hotels,
lodges, and resorts in Ooty. Both Indian and Western style accommodation
and food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially during
the summer months.
Festivals of Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
§ Tea And Tourism Festival :
The annual "Tea
and Tourism Festival" celebrated in the month of January is a draw
§ Summer Festivals :
A summer festival is held
each year during the month of May in the Botanical Gardens, which is an
added attraction for tourists. The Flower Show is the pride of the
festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in
traditional classical arts. Adventure spots like trekking also form part
of the festival.
Shopping in Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Just about anything available in the cities can be had at Ooty with the
added attraction of leisurely shopping. Exclusive Nilgiri products
including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda
embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town.
Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best
places for shopping fruits and general groceries. Kairali of Kerala
Handicrafts and Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their showrooms
near to Super Market Buildings on Charring Cross.
How to Get There
Air : Coimbatore, 105 km from Ooty, is the nearest
Rail : Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway,
connected to Mettupalayam (47 km), which is directly connected to
Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with
Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
Road : A good network of roads and national highways
connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus
services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai,
Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important
destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major
cities of Kerala and Karnataka.
Local Transport : Taxis, tourist cabs, auto
rickshaws are available in plenty. There are no standard rates except
tourist cabs. Town buses are also available to all important places.
Conducted sight seeing tours are arranged by the private operators and
the Government Tourism Development Corporation.
Tourist Information about Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu Supermarket Complex Charring
Cross Ooty ( Udhagamandalam ) - 1
Tourist Information about Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
» Area 36-sq-kms
» Population 8,1763 (1991 Census)
» Altitude 2,623 metres
» Clothing Light woollen in summer and heavy woollen during winter
» Languages Spoken Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English
» STD Code 0423
» Temperature Range (deg C):
- Summer- Max 25ºC, Min 10ºC
- Winter- Max 21ºC, Min 5ºC
» Rainfall 121 cms