6 Incredible Places to Visit in Ooty(Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund) (2021)
Ooty, or as it is officially known as – Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund, is a cozy little hill station nestled in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. This famous hill station is located 85 kilometers north of Coimbatore and 130 kilometers south of Mysore. Ooty is often referred to as the Queen of Hills. The beautiful and mesmerizing environment of Ooty and the wide variety of the many sightseeing places to visit have made Ooty a popular tourist destination. Here are some of the best places to visit in Ooty.
6 Incredible Places to Visit in Ooty(Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund)
1. Ooty Lake
One of the most beautiful places in Ooty is the Ooty Lake. The lake is located just 2 kilometers from the main city of Ooty in the green mountain range of the Nilgiris. This stunning and crystal clear lake is spread over an area of over 60 acres. The foundation of Ooty Lake was laid down by the erstwhile Collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan, in 1824.
The location of Ooty Lake is just breathtaking as it is surrounded by lush green eucalyptus trees. All the greenery makes this spot perfect to experience the true beauty of the Queen of the Hills. The lake is also a gathering spot for various species of water birds. You can also see several streams streaming out through the hills. The Ooty Lake is a perfect spot to take photographs of the surrounding natural beauty. Image Source
With the exotic Nilgiri mountain range in the background, the Ooty Lake also offers many activities. It is possible to hire paddle boats, motorboats, and rowing boats from the boathouse located at the lake. There is also a mini-train for kids, and you can just hop in to take a quick tour of the lake. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department often organizes boat races at the lake during the month of May.
If you are visiting Ooty from outside, the best place to visit the Ooty Lake is during the weekdays as it is quite crowded during the weekends.
2. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
One of the unique things that Ooty is very famous for is a ride in the Nilgiri Mountain railway. Also known as the Toy Train of Ooty, this is hands down one of the biggest attractions of Ooty. In fact, such is the popularity and history of this toy train that, in 2005, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The toy train began in 1899 and has continued its journey since then, winding its way through the beautiful nature trails of Ooty.
The toy train covers a distance of 46 kilometers in five hours, and you will be amazed at the picturesque route it takes you through during this journey. Another genuinely fascinating detail of the toy train is that the train’s oldest X class locomotive is over 80 years old, and the youngest is over 50 years old.
Ooty’s Nilgiri Mountain Train is one of the steepest rail systems in Asia, and it takes you on a spectacular journey through dark tunnels, sharp bends, and through the mist and fog of the Nilgiri mountain ranges. The uniqueness of this journey makes it worth a visit when you are in Ooty.
The schedule for the toy train is as follows:
Mettupalayam-Ooty MG Passenger
- Departure: 7:10 am
- Arrival: 12:00 pm
Ooty-Mettupalayam MG Passenger
- Departure: 14:00 pm
- Arrival: 17:35 pm
3. Ooty Botanical Gardens
The Ooty Botanical Gardens is located on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta Peak in Udhagamandalam. Spread over 22 hectares, the Ooty Botanical Gardens is over 160 years old and is home to a stunning range of flowers, orchids, and ferns. The garden is divided into six sections and presents an astounding array of colors and natural beauty.
Another feature of the botanical park is the Toda Hill, also known as the Toda Mund, which gives an insight into the culture of the tribe of Todas.
4. Emerald Lake
Located in Emerald Village, the Emerald Lake is a part of the Silent Valley National Park in Ooty. Part of the Nilgiris District, the Emerald Lake is the perfect getaway if you want a quiet day away from the hustle-bustle of the city. The lake and its surrounding area is the ideal place to enjoy some relaxing time in the lap of nature.
The Emerald Lake in Ooty is one of the more unexplored places in South India, and as a result, it is still free from being overcrowded by tourists. This is the perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers who flock here to get the perfect shot of the picturesque lake against the greenery of the Nilgiri slopes and tea plantations.
5. Doddabetta Peak
Doddabetta, meaning Big Peak, is the highest peak of the Nilgiri Hills. Located just ten kilometers away from Ooty, it stands at a massive height of 8650 feet above sea level (or 2623 meters). This majestic peak is indeed a treat to the eyes, and not only is it one of the most popular tourist spots in Ooty, but also a popular trekking route. The summit of Doddabetta Peak provides a fantastic view of the surrounding areas, covered in dense forests. On days when the weather is clear, you can even see as far as Mysore.
The Doddabetta Peak is located strategically between the Eastern and Western Ghats, making it the ideal point to see the entire Nilgiri Hills.
There are many trekking routes that will take you right to the summit to give you some of the best views of the entire hill station.
6. Ooty Rose Garden
The Ooty Rose Garden brings a vast collection of different types of roses to the very center of Ooty. This mesmerizing garden is also known by several other names such as the Nootrandy Roja Poonga, the Jayalalithaa Rose Garden, and the Centenary Rose Park. The Ooty Rose Garden is a big draw for nature lovers from all over the hill station.
This lush green garden is dedicated to many varieties of fragrant roses, and it is a sight to behold as you enter the garden and see these majestic flowers in bloom. The garden is an ideal tourist spot not just for visitors, but many botany students also flock here to check out the many varieties of the rose plant.
Located on the Elk Hill slopes in Ooty, the Rose Garden was established in 1995 in honor of the Centenary Flower Show. The Ooty Rose Garden is also one of the most popular botanical gardens being maintained by the Horticultural Department of Tamil Nadu. Occupying an area of over four hectares, the rose garden is a great getaway from your busy daily schedule. From families to couples, the rose garden attracts all types of visitors, especially during the peak flowering season of March to June. During the summer months, you can also time your visit to coincide with the flower show that is held at the Ooty Rose Garden.
Located in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Ooty(Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund) is famous for its scenic views, acres, and acres of tea plantations, and beautiful water bodies. There are many famous lakes and dams, reserve forests, museums, and gardens and parks that make Ooty a fantastic tourist destination in Tamil Nadu.