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Home :: South India Travel Destinations :: Ooty ( Udhagamandalam) India

Ooty ( Udhagamandalam)

» Location : Niligiri District, Tamil Nadu
» Highest Peak : Doddabetta
» 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 considerable size.

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 Arts College.

This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by 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 Tea
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 : The Botanical Garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. A wide variety of exotic and ornamental plants adorn this garden. There is also a beautiful Italian floral garden and for those who simply want to relax, there's always the green carpet of the well-maintained lawns. The "Summer Festivals" is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Garden and 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.

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 : At about one kilometre distance Tourist can visit this mini garden (Children's Lake Garden) which is on the way to Boat House. Children's amusement park is housed here. A snack bar is also available. It is maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Developement Corporation Limited.

Rose Garden : It is located just 3/4 kms. away from Charring Cross. It lies with 10 acres of land with 1919 variety of roses.

Government Museum : The Government Museum, Mysore Road, Udhagamandalam has items of tribal objects, districts ecological deatails and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu

Doddabetta : it is the highest peak ( 2623 mts ) in the Nilgiri's and is 10 Kms from Ooty. It lies at the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats and offer beautiful vista of the Nilgiri Hills ranges. There is a telescope house run by TTDC

Excursions of Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary : In the luxuriantly forested foothills of the Nilgiri, this 321 sq. km sanctuary is part of a much larger reserve (3000 sq km ) which includes Bandipur and Wynad in neighbouring Karnataka and Kerala. The larger reserve ranges in vegetarian from semi-evergreen forests to swamps and grasslands. In Mudumalai, the mostly dense forest is home to chital, gaur, tiger, panther, wild boar and sloth bear. The park's wild elephant population, one of the largest in the country, supposedly numbers about 600, however you're more likely to see their domesticated brethren carrying out logging duties. The best time to visit Mudumalai is between February and June. Heavy rain is common in October and November and the park may be closed during the dry season.

Pykara : Situated about 21kms on the Ooty-Mysore Road, Pykara boasts of well protected fenced Sholas, Toda settlements, undistributed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and the reservoir attracts many tourists. A boat house with Restaurant is available. It is maintained by T.T.D.C.

The Mukkurthi Peak And National Park : Mukurthi Peak is about 40 km from Ooty. The Mukurthi National Park is located on the South Eastern corner of the Nilgiris. The area contains a viable population of Nilgiri Thar(Hamitragus hilocrius). The silent valley is located on the western side of these ranges. Fascinating feature of the Mukurthi Sanctuary is its variety and similarities to Himalayan Flora and Fauna.

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 and splendour.

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 : Good fishing for trout, carp and other fish is possible in many lakes and streams of the Nilgiri mountains. Fishing licences are issued by the Assistance Director of Fisheries.

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.

Festivals of Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Summer Festivals : To beat the heat in plains summer is the time to visit hill stations of Tamil Nadu. Regular Cultural Programmes, fashion parade, Flower and Fruit shows are arranged during Summer Festival. Boat races, Boat pageantry, dog shows etc, add more festivity to the celebrations. Emerald green valley, Saluburious climate, lingering taste of tea and fruits tempt you to come here once again! again and again !

All these festivals are jointly organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu & Ministry of Tourism, Government of India

How to Get There
By Air
The nearest airport is Coimbatore (100 Kms ) which is connected to Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.

By Rail
Udhagamandalam on the narrow guage railway is connected to Mettpalayam which directly connected to Coimbatore on broad guage.

By Road
Udhagamandalam is connected by good motorable road. It is 535 Kms from Chennai (Via Salem, Mettupalayam); 89 Kms from Coimbatore.

Tourist Information about Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu Supermarket Complex Charring Cross Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )

Tourist Information about Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
» Area: 36-sq-kms
» 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

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