Photo Credit : svn919
Ooty – the Queen of Hill Stations aka Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund or Udhagai, beautiful and chilled place
It’s a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. It was formerly occupied by the Todas, and later by the end of the 18th century it came under the rule of the East India Company.
Today, the town’s economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with manufacture of medicines and photographic film.
Let’s Explore Ooty!
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
A railway built by the British in 1908, in Tamil Nadu and it was initially operated by the Madras Railway.
This railway still relies on steam locomotives and it comes under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Salem Division.
In the year 2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and thus the site is then came to be known as “Mountain Railways of India.”
Government Botanical Garden
A botanical garden which has a terraced layout was laid out in the year of 1848. The Gardens that lie on the lower slopes of Doddabetta peak covers an area of around 22 hectares are divided into several sections.
It ascends the slopes of the hill at an elevation of 2250–2500 metres above Mean Sea Level. The garden enjoys a temperate climate. Today it is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department.
It is located in a region called the Silent Valley and this lake is an important tourist and picnic spot in the region.
The lake is famed for its different varieties of fishes in the lake and birds in the surroundings. The view of sun rise and sun set near the lake is exotic. Since the lake is surrounded by tea plantations, the visitors can buy tea products from here.
A wild life sanctuary situated in the Nilgiri Hills that was constructed with the pure intention of protecting the wild life of Southern India. Several species that are on the verge of extinction are reared here with great care and caution by providing an eco friendly environment.
This lovely meadow is the favourite spot of film makers. It is surrounded by hill sides. The picturesque, dream like, lush green and scattered rocks, place is ideal for those interested in landscape and scenic photography.
A calm and serene lake makes a lovely picnic spot or a place to just relax. One can have a horse ride or trekking here.
The highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills and there is a reserved forest area around the peak. It is the third highest peak in south India next to Anamudi and Meesapulimala.
It is a popular tourist attraction with road access to the summit. The peaks Hecuba, Kattadadu and Kulkudi are the three closely linked summits in the west of the Doddabetta range near to Udagamandalam
There is an observatory at the top of Doddabetta that opened in the year of 1983 with two telescopes for the public to enjoy the splendid panoramic view of the whole district. It is run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC).
Government Rose Garden
It is formerly known as the Jayalalitha Rose Garden, Centerary Rose Park and Nootrandu Roja Poonga.
It is the largest rose garden in India, situated on the slopes of the Elk Hill Ooty town at an altitude of 2200 meters.
This rose garden has received recognition of the World Federation of Rose Societies – the Garden of Excellence Award for being the best rose garden in South Asia and it is one of the 35 gardens worldwide to have won this award.
Ooty Lake in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu covers an area of 65 acres. It is an artificial lake constructed by John Sullivan, in 1824. The water flowing down mountain streams in the Ooty valley was dammed to form the lake.
The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake in 1973, for providing boating facilities as a tourist attraction
The lake is surrounded by groves of Eucalyptus trees with a railway line running along one shore.
During the summer season in May, boat races and boat pageantry are organised.
The Boat house opened by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation is situated by the lake offers boating facilities to tourists and it is a major tourist attraction.
The boat house offers boating facilities with Paddle boats, Row boats, and Motor boats.
It also features a garden, a mini train and an amusement park.
One can have food from the TTDC Canteen and go for pony rides too.
The Temple popularly referred to the name of Annamalai Murugan Temple of Lord Muruga, is known as the 7th Hill house of the Lord.
The Annamalai Temple is a place of great importance and religious significance amongst the worshippers of Lord Muruga. The word ‘Annamalai’ means ‘Food Hill’ and this word was primarily derived from a religious belief and point of view that good food always assist in maintaining good health and having a healthy mind with the presence of pure thoughts.
A pure thinking mind is the key to attaining Moksha or Self Enlightenment. For this very reason, the Annamalai Temple has been religiously supplying free food to thousands of devotees.
The premises of the Annamalai Temple atop the Nilgiri Hills is a picturesque location that provide the ideal and perfect venue for meditation and to relax and breathe in the fresh mountain air which is in fact good for sustaining a healthy body and mind. It is strongly recommended to people who have hypertension and to those who lead a stressful work life.
Mukurthi National Park
It is a protected area located in the western corner of the Nilgiris Plateau state in the Western Ghats mountain range. The park was created to protect its keystone species, the Nilgiri Tahr. The park was previously known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park.
The park is characterised by montane grasslands and shrub lands spread with sholas in a high altitude area of high rainfall, near-freezing temperatures and high winds.
It is home to an range of endangered wildlife, including Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant.
The park is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India’s first International Biosphere Reserve.
As part of the Western Ghats, it is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 2012.
Wax World Museum
Looking around for an option other than natural beauty here, then get into the Wax World Museum in Ooty. For sure it is a hangout of infotainment.
The Wax World Museum is positioned in an hundred and thirty year old Colonial Mansion in Ooty which is in the vicinity of the Ooty Lake and the Ooty Town Centre.
This museum was conceptualized and initiated by Shreeji Bhaskaran, an engineer in the field of IT and business personnel.
It houses exquisite wax statues of Indian Freedom Fighters, Political Leaders and Social Workers such as Mahatma Gandhi Ji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mother Teresa and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam etc.
It also displays wax statues of social messages, different cultures of the world and typical lifestyle of an Indian village.
It is located on the edge of Ooty Lake and it is considered as one of the high altitude Zoo in India apart from the Zoo of Nainital, Uttarakhand. This park was formed in a vision to protect and a dwelling for number of species of deers and animals. It is really a good view spot for travellers especially children who visits Ooty.
It is situated between Ooty and Thalakunda and this tourist destination has been featured as a backdrop in many movies.
It is actually a small downhill region where one can see array of pine trees arranged in a well organised manner. The waters that flow from the Kamaraj-Sagar Dam are easily visible from the bottom of the hill.
Mudumalai National Park
The park recently now declared as a Tiger Reserve, lies on the north western side of the Nilgiri Hills also known as Blue Mountains,
Mudumalai, literally means ‘first hills’, is one of the first wildlife sanctuaries established in India and it is divided into 5 ranges such as Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.
Here one can often spot herds of .
The sanctuary is a haven for Bengal Tigers, Indian Leopards, about 266 species of birds and other threatened species. One can spot herd of endangered Indian elephants, vulnerable Gaur, and Chital and also critically endangered species like the Indian White Rumped Vulture and the long-billed vulture.
Bison Valley, a spectacular luxuriant valley of the Nilgiris, as the name suggests, one can view Indian bison roaming about throughout this area.
This beautiful valley is rich with green landscapes and the aromatic cardamom trees.
It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife such as Bison, Bears, Sambar Deer, Elephants, Monkeys, Leopards and Tigers.
Bison Valley is a favourite spot of bird watchers to enjoy and capture a few of the rare bird species including Bulbuls, Drongos, Mourning Doves, Shrikes and Woodpeckers etc.
It is a beautiful water body that has some great views for the visitiors. This lake is a popular outlet of water to a variety of wild animals. Elephants, Tigers, bear, bison, and deer are all possible animals and a wide variety of birds make frequent visits to this lake.