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An abode of peace nestled in the Nilgiris

Ooty Lake

Pregnant with peaceful aura, calm ambience, widely stretched green sholas and pleasant weather, Ooty is situated at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It is also called as Udagamandalam in Tamil. It has been rightly called as ‘The Queen of Hills’ by lndia’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Situated 2,240 meters above sea level, Ooty is the capital of Nilgiris. This Nilgiris Mountain range is also called as ‘Blue Mountains’ and has a history dating back longer than even the Himalayas.

Past sources suggest that Ooty used to be the home for the aboriginal Toda tribes. There is no credible source of these tribes interacting with the outer world for a very long amount of time. It is believed that Ooty was bought into limelight by British Governor Jon Sullivan in 1819 during his times of administration as the District Collector of Coimbatore. Also, it was in 1821 when the first path from Coimbatore to Ooty was constructed and thus, a route was established making this hill station accessible to other parts of India.

In today’s world, Ooty has developed as a paradise for romantic couples and newlyweds. Its entire ambience is very intimate and romantic. Even those looking for a leisure vacation, away from the hue and cry of the city have been travelling to Ooty at regular intervals.

Following are the main attractions of Ooty

Botanical Garden: Constructed in 1848, the Ooty Botanical Garden is located at the lower slopes of the Dodabetta peak in the Nilgiri Hills. Architect William Graham McIvor laid the foundations of this garden. Annual flower shows in the month of May are organized in his garden. It is also known for its well manicured lawns, rare Cork tree, paper bark tree, Monkey puzzle tree, old fossilized tree, ferns, orchids, an Italian lake and imported shrubs. Visiting and spending time in this botanical garden is one of the most sought after activities by the newlyweds due to its peaceful and calm ambience.

Mudumalai National Park

Government Museum: It preserves historic souvenirs of tribal art and sculpture in Ooty. It is located on the Mysore road. It was founded in 1989. The arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu can be located in this museum.

Mudumalai National Park: It is situated at the tri-junction boundaries of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Madras Presidency had declared it as a wildlife sanctuary in 1942. It is known as a tiger’s reserve. Endangered species such as the Indian Leopard, Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger and Gaur are available here.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway: It was built by the British in 1899. The track is 46 km long. It is also called as the “Mountain Railways of India”. It starts from Mettupalayam at 7:45 in the morning and subsequently crosses Coonoor. The average speed of the train is 10.4 km per hour. The train reaches Ooty during the noon time. The train crosses 13 tunnels.

Excursions from Ooty
Nearby places to Ooty include Coimbatore (90 km), Bandipur National Park (94 km), Mysore (126 km), Wayanad (134 km) and Kabini (153 km).

Shopping in Ooty
It can undoubtedly be a very rewarding experience because of its rich, unique and culturally rich heritage. A great variety of chocolates are available in Ooty, for example, with varied tastes of almonds, choco-biscuits, mint and lemon. Homemade mango and lemon pickles are much in demand by the tourists. With high abundance of pine and eucalyptus trees, Ooty is known for several wood products.

Ooty Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Best time to visit:
Ooty has a pleasing and mild temperature throughout the year. The months from October to June make the best time for visiting Ooty. Several tourists also come to Ooty during the month of May to see flower shows and boat races.

How to Reach:
By Air: Coimbatore airport is the nearest airport located to Ooty. It is 3.5 to 4 hours away from Ooty, approximately around 100 kms.
By Rail: The Mettupalayam station is the nearest railway station to Ooty. The Nilgiri toy train connects Mettupalayam with Ooty. The train journey takes four hours.
By Road: There is regular bus service to Ooty from cities like Bangalore, Cochin, Coimbatore, Mysore and Thanjavur.

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