Nestled amidst the heavenly Nilgiri Hills in the lap of the verdant Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu is this lovely paradise, Ooty. Popularly known as the “Queen of the Hill Stations”, Ooty, a beautiful and romantic destination in India, has forever attracted travelers from all across the nation.
Ooty (short for Udhagamandalam) is a resort town in the Western Ghats mountains, in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. Founded as a British Raj summer resort, it retains a working steam railway line. Other reminders of its colonial past include Stone House, a 19th-century residence, and the circa-1829 St. Stephen’s Church. Its 55-acre Government Botanical Garden lies on the slopes of Doddabetta Peak.
Featuring a perfect blend of modernism with traditions, Ooty offers a pristine environment and gorgeous setting for nature lovers and is bestowed with scenery, viewpoints, and several lakes for travelers looking to dive into its vibe.
Ooty is most famous for its tea plantations. Connoisseurs will find plenty to choose from: dust and leaf; black, green, black and white varieties; and flavours such as masala, jasmine, cardamom and even chocolate. Most of the hotels, resorts, cottages are all located near tea estates because it gives a wonderful view to the tourist. So if you are a nature lover you can inflict tea estate which gives you a peaceful and blissful trip.
What is the best time to visit Ooty?
Ooty is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between the months of April to June and September to November.
Which language is spoken in Ooty?
Tamil is the official language of Udhagamandalam. Languages native to the Nilgiris including Badaga, Paniya, Irula and Kurumba. Due to its proximity to the neighbouring states of Kerala and Karnataka and being a tourist destination, Malayalam, Kannada and English are also spoken and understood to an extent.
Ooty, the Queen of Hill stations, welcome you with mesmerising meadows, soothing environment, cool weather and a wide array of sightseeing places to visit and admire. Each tourist attraction in Ooty promises a unique and lively experience that will leave you in awe for many days to come. However, if you are wondering what to do in Ooty and what to see in Ooty then have a look at the various sightseeing places that we have mentioned below. With these interesting places to see, you can be sure of having a memorable Ooty tour.
Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Ooty
1. Avalanche Lake
Located 28 km away from Ooty, Avalanche lake is a must visit when on Ooty Tour. This lake, beautifully lying amid the lush greenery of mountains and landscapes mesmerises every visitor. It was created due to a massive landslide somewhere around 1800s hence the name. It is popular for trout fishing and the required equipment for it can be taken from Trout hatchery. Along with exploring the surrounding areas and its rare flora and fauna, other activities that are popular here are camping, rafting and trekking to nearby hilly regions such as Upper Bhavani. It is also an ideal picnic spot.
2. Ooty Lake
One of the most important parts of every Ooty tour, Ooty lake is indeed a place to visit. nIt is an artificial lake that was built for fishing purposes. This lake is popular for boating. Tourists can be seen enjoying a refreshing ride on its serene waters. There is boating house located near the lake offering a wide array of boats on hire. Cycling by the side of lake is also worth experiencing. There are also a few shops located around the lake, selling various locally made items.
3. Emerald Lake
Located near the Emerald Village in the Nilgiri District, Emerald Lake lies in a place called as SIlent Valley. It is situated around 25 km away from Ooty. A beautiful lake offering an ideal place for picnic where you can relax and spend some quality time with your loved one. Tea plantation surrounding add on to the overall beauty of the lake. The view of sunrise and sunset from here is breathtaking and not to be missed.
4. Ooty Botanical Gardens
Maintained by the Horticultural Department of Tamil Nadu, Botanical Gardens of Ooty is undeniably one of the most popular places to see in Ooty. Spread over 55 acres of land, this garden is divided into five different sections such as Fern House, Lower Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory and Nurseries. The flower show conducted here as a part of Ooty Summer festival is a major attraction. Another popular attraction of Botanical Garden is the Fossil Tree Trunk that is said to be around 20 million years old. The wide variety of plants here are worth exploring.
5. Deer Park
Located at a distance of 2 km from Ooty Lake, Deer Park is easily accessible by road. With its rich fauna along with varieties of deer such as Sambhar and the Chithal, Deer park makes up for an interesting visit, especially for wildlife enthusiasts. Equally rich is the variety of flora in this park. Spread across an area of 22 acres, this park was established in the year of 1986. It is one of the known wildlife sanctuaries of not only Tamil Nadu but of India presenting amazing opportunity to observe the wildlife and various animals from closer.
6. Doddabetta Peak
Located at an altitude of 2623 meters, Doddabetta Peak is the highest peak in the Nilgiris. At the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats, it is around 10 km away from Ooty. Covered by dense sholas, this peak is trekkers favourite point. The view fro the top of the peak is absolutely mesmerising, there is a telescope house at the peak with two telescopes presenting captivating view of the valley around. Rich flora and fauna here add on to the overall charm of Doddabetta Peak.
7. Kalhatty Waterfalls
About 13 km away from Ooty, on the Ooty-Mysore Road, Kalhatty Waterfalls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls that you will see on an Ooty Tour. This waterfall can be reached via a trek of 2 mile from Kalahatti village. It is believed that great Hindu saint Agastya has once lived here. With its rich avian fauna, it is often visited by bird watchers as well. Its scenic beauty is sure to leave you spellbound.
8. Kamraj Sagar Dam
A popular place for picnics and film shooting, this dam is situated around 10 km from Ooty bus stand. Also known with the name of Sandynallah Reservoir, this dam offer peaceful environment with beautiful surrounding where tourists can spend some time at ease. Along with being a popular picnic spot, it is also visited by tourists for bird watching as well as for fishing. It is a popular site for researchers who come to study environment.
9. Mudumalai National Park
Connecting Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats, on the Ooty Mysore route, Mudumalai National Park is another place to visit by Nature lovers when on their tour to Ooty. This national park boasts of many wild animals and rich avian fauna along with equally rich flora. It has also been declared as a tiger reserve as it is home to approximately 50 tigers. If interested one can also find accommodation as many guest houses are offered by the Forest Department at different location of the park.
10. Mukurthi National Park
A part of Nilgiri Bio reserve, Mukurthi National Park promises a memorable time to everyone amid its enthralling scenic beauty and rich nature. Spread across 80 sq.km, this national park has various streams and rivers flowing through it, which in turn add to the overall attraction of this place. Many animals and birds can be spotted around these sources of water. There are also a few watch towers located inside the national park. It is a popular site for trekking as well.
11. Needle View Hillpoint/Needle Rock View-point
Located about 8 km from Gudalur, Needle Rock view-point presents a mesmerizing 360 view of the surrounding valley and areas. Gudalur is around 51 km from Ooty. Also known as Soochimalai, it is also a popular spot for trekking. This view point got its name as its shape resembles a needle. The view of clouds meeting hills, crossing you as you stand watching them is sure to take your breath away.
12. Ooty Rose Garden
Rose Garden is another popular place to visit in Ooty. Maintained by Government of Tamil Nadu, this garden is spread across 4 hectares of land and proudly presents more than 20 thousand variety of roses. A well maintained garden, it also boasts of winning Garden of Excellence Award for South Asia from the World Federation of Rose Societies. The unparalleled beauty of roses promises a visual treat and an ideal backdrop for photography.
13. Ooty Toy Train
A part of Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty Toy Train is a an integral part of every Ooty Tour. It runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty via Coonoor. The ride in this historical toy Train is unmatched to any other train ride; passing through lush green landscapes and breathtaking nilgiri mountains, this train runs on a track of 46 km. There are first class and second class coaches to choose from.
14. Tribal Research Center
Situated around 10 km away from Ooty, Tribal Research Center presents a glimpse into the live of indigenous people. Along with researching into the lives of tribal tribes of SOuth India, it also houses a well stocked library. It also a museum displaying artefacts. Easily accessible by road, this place is an ideal place to understand the lives of local people.
15. Parsons Valley Reservoir Ooty
As the name suggest Parson valley reservoir is located in Parson valley, which is spread over an area of 200 hectares at an altitude of 2,196 meters above sea level. Situated on the Ooty Mysore road, it can be reached via road. This hydel reservoir can be entered after getting a permission from the forest department. It is the primary source of water to the Nilgiri District. The view of the valley around the reservoir is worth travelling for.
16. Pykara Waterfalls
Situated on the Ooty Mysore road, this waterfall is around 20 km away from Ooty. Developed as a picnic spot, this place is ideal to come and relax while admiring the scenic beauty of the waterfall and greenery around. There is boat house and a restaurant can be found also near the waterfall, where you can enjoy snacks while the beauty of pristine streams of water mesmerises you. The surrounding area is also popular for Toda settlements.
17. St Stephens Church
Dating back to 19th century, St. Stephan Church is a place to visit in Ooty for its architectural beauty and religious importance. Although comparatively simpler, this church has beautiful interiors. The painted glass windows along with the painting of Last Supper is especially captivating. It is said that the timber used in the construction of thsi chruch was brought from Srinangapatna as well as from the Tipu Sultan Palace.
18. Ooty Stone House
The first bungalow which was built in Ooty is the Stone House. It was constructed by John Sullivan in 1822. Used to be called as Kal Bungalow by the locals, it was built on the land which was brought from the Toda people. Its an ancient architecture is worth seeing. Many tourists visit this place to have a glimpse of this bungalow.
19. Toda Huts Ooty
One of the most attractive and unique sightseeing places in Ooty are the Toda Huts. These are the residing place for the Toda people, one of the indigenous tribes of Ooty. The huts are made in the shape of a semi-barrel. These huts don’t have any windows and very low doors where one has to stoop and enter. While once you are inside the hut there is space to stand as well. This close-knit community of Toda people mostly depend on cattle herding and farming for living.
20. Wax World Ooty
Located at a distance of 2 km from center of the town, Wax World is definitely as place to see in Ooty. Many real-like statues of great Indian personalities have been displayed here. Some of the statues at this museum are of Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mother Teresa, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and many more. Replica of local people and their living styles has been been displayed here.
21. Wenlock Downs Ooty
Over 80 acres of lush green landscapes also housing Hindustan Photo Films Company presents vast spread of greenery and calm environment. A walk here, amid the soothing touch of nature and its calm surroundings with nothing but the sound of birds and leaves hustling as the wind passes by, is something that will make your Ooty tour complete. The sight of sheeps grazing and long stretch of eucalyptus trees is sure to mesmerise you.
For locals and tourists alike, there are umpteen number of things to do in Ooty that will keep you engaged and occupied throughout your trip. While you can always indulge yourself in the usual sightseeing and other must-visit attractions, there are a few out-of-the-box things that you shouldn’t miss at any cost.
Right from the soothing boat trips to experiencing the tribal life in Toda Huts, from learning about the tea making process to trying out homemade chocolates at the Main Bazaar to the several adventure activities such as trekking, camping, and hiking, this hill station has almost a bit of everything for all types of people.
Here is a list of some fun things to do in Ooty for all those who want to make the most of their trip and fill their Ooty tour with many once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
1. Enjoy a Fun Railway Ride in the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train
2. Admire the Natural Beauty and Cascading Waterfalls at Dolphin’s Nose
3. Discover the Exotic Flavours of Tea at the Tea Museum
4. Walkthrough the Ooty Botanical Gardens
5. Take a Joyful Boat Ride at the Ooty Lake
6. Indulge Yourself in Photography at the Pykara Lake
7. Trek to the Doddabetta Peak
8. Spend a Day Chilling at the Emerald Lake
9. Experience a Spiritual Retreat at St. Stephen’s Church
10. Enjoy Safari at Mudumalai National Park
11. Visit the Pine Tree Forests to Recollect the Old Bollywood Movies Memories
12. Seek Blessings at Elk Hill Murugan Temple
13. Head to the Wax World Museum to Learn about Indian Personalities
About Kotagiri In Coonoor
Located in the Nilgiri Hills at an elevation of 1,793 metres, Kotagiri has its own distinct appeal among Coonoor tourist places. Kotagiri is located about an hour’s drive from Ooty and Coonoor – two of the most popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu.
Named after the local tribe of ‘Kota’ people, Kotagiri is located about 30 kilometres west of Ooty. A quieter and unassuming place than Ooty or Coonoor, this idyllic town is one of the hidden gems in Tamil Nadu. Kodanad tea estate is another popular attraction in the list of places to visit in Kotagiri. A popular spot for honeymooners, Kodanad view point provided jaw-dropping views of the valley below. One can see the Gajalahatti pass and paddy fields of Thengumarahaada basked in sunshine from this view point in Kotagiri.
The cone-shaped Rangaswamy Peak remains shrouded by the mist most of the time. This majestic peak, visible from Kodanad view point, is revered by local tribes of Nilgiri hills. The trek allows beautiful views of nearby villages and opportunities to explore tea estates in Kotagiri. Trekking in Longwood Shola Reserve Forest is a popular thing to do in Kotagiri. It’s a typical rainforest with tall canopy trees and medicinal plants. Visitors can spot animals like gaur and deer on the 2 kms. hike through the forest.
Pethakal Bungalow, Catherine Falls, Elk Falls, Kamatraya Temple, Bikkapathi Reserve are other worth-exploring places on a Kotagiri sightseeing tour. Explore the waterfalls, trek around the trails, and relax amidst nature, while you are looking for the best tourist places in Tamil Nadu, Kotagiri has a lot of things to offer all that you want!
Places To Visit In Kotagiri
1. Elk Falls
A sight of pure splendor, Elk Falls is situated about 7km from Kotagiri near Uyilathi Village on the main route to Mettupalayam. The surroundings of the falls are equally entrancing as the fall itself, with a European house lying near the spot glorifying the British architecture.
2. Longwood Shola
Longwood Shola is a place that offers tourists a wide spectrum of Kotagiri's wilderness in its full prime. A dense and a thick cover of evergreen forest, the place inhabits animals like flying fox and Indian Bison.
3. Catherine Falls
A beautiful sight to behold, Catherine Falls is 250 feet high waterfall flowing into the Kallar River. Located 8km from Kotagiri on the main Mettupalayam Road, the fall is named after a wife of a coffee planter of Kotagiri.
4. Rangasamy Peak and Pillar
Considered to be a sacred hill, Rangasamy Hill houses a holy shrine devoted to Lord Rangasamy. Situated a distance of 20 km from Kotagiri and standing at a height of 1785 m above the sea level, the peak serves as a sacred place to Irulas Tribe.
5. Kodanand View Point
A beautiful view awaits you here at Kodanand View Point which looks over a splendid sight of Rangaswamy Peak, Dolphin's Nose, Catherine Fall and Rangaswamy Pillar.
6. John Sullivan Memorial
John Sullivan Memorial is a place where you can witness the past of the town of Kotagiri established in the memory of John Sullivan, a British civil servant who recognized Ooty as a hill station.
Places to visit in and around Coonoor
1. Sim's Park
One of the best and most recommended places to visit when in Coonoor is Sim’s Park. It is more of a botanical garden having rich treasure of thousands of different and exotic species of flora and age-old trees that were brought from other parts of the country. The wide and diverse variety of plants and trees pull a huge number of botanists and nature enthusiasts to Sim’s Park every year during the annual fruit and vegetable festival that’s held in the month of May. The garden is also famous for some of its most exquisite variety of trees like the Rudraksh or beed tree, Cinnamomum (known for having aromatic oils in their leaves and bark) and Queensland karry pine, which is an ornamental tree. The Araucaria, Pine, Turpentine, Quercus, Phoenix, Magnolia, Tree ferns and Camellia are among other varieties found here.
2. Droog Fort
Another most popular tourist destinations around Coonoor is the Droog Fort which is of both historical and mythological importance. Located at around 15- 17 kilometres from Coonoor, the fort was an outpost built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th Century to guard his region. What remains of the outpost is just ruins with a single wall and the watchtower that gives a mesmerizing view of the surroundings of the hill station. As far as mythological legend goes, the place finds its association with Mahabharata to be the residence of the local demon named Bakasura. Hence, it is also called Bakasura Malai. The fort is a trekking point and can be reached by trekking down 4 kilometres from Nonsuch Tea Estate.
3. Dolphin’s Nose View point
Dolphin’s nose view point is a very famous tourist spot in Coonoor is a gigantic rock protruding outside the level surrounded by canyons on both sides with Catherine falls of Kotagiri at a point where it is clearly visible and is absolutely scenic from the top of the rock formation. One can also see beautiful sunrises and sunsets from here. It is also situated close to some other tourist destinations like the Tiger Hill, Catherine Falls, Lamb’s Rock and Kotagiri.
4. Lamb’s Rock
The place is named after Captain Lamb who intended to open a road to this place. If one intends to have views of Coimbatore plains and Nilgiri hills at one go, Lamb’s Rock is the best place to be. One can also trek to this place.
5. Law’s Falls
Situated inside the Coonoor forest range, Law’s Falls forms out of the Coonoor river near its intersection with Mettupalayam ghat route. The waterfall that is named after Colonel Law, falls from a height of 180 feet through multiple cascades to reach to the bottom. It is a major picnic spot for locals and finds huge footfall post monsoon.
6. Wellington Golf Course
It is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in South India with a history that dates back to a little over 100 years, spread across an area of 69 acres of land is the headquarters of Madras Regimental Centre. Apart from its famous golf course and the brick cricket pavilion, there is a cricket pitch, a tennis court and a restaurant inside the premises. The golf course is also used for shooting films.
7. All Saints Church
All Saints Church is an English style Anglical protestant church built in 1854 adorning antique dark wood roofs and interiors with stained glass windows making it look like a perfect classical English countryside structure. The church houses a very old pipe organ. The place is very peaceful and is surrounded by Junipers and Pine trees.
8. St. George’s Church
As opposed to the classic British architecture of All Saints Church, the St. George’s Church is a Gothic structure, designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau which is also referred to as ‘Cantonment Church’ due to the building style. Since the church was controlled by the military during the Raj era, it is also called as ‘Garrison Church’. The white marbled floor of the altar gives an elegant look to the interiors of the church which also has paintings of St. Michael, St. George and another painting of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
9. Ketti Valley
Ketti Valley is the second largest gorge in the world, surrounded by the blue mountains from all sides, and is the most recommended place to visit for all nature, photography and adventure enthusiasts. The valley is located on the Coonoor- Ooty road and can also be explored by taking the 25-minute toy train ride. The Ketti valley viewpoint gives you the most beautiful view of the Nilgiri hills being the most famous vantage point in Coonoor. The Todas and Badagas are the indigenous tribe that belong to the valley who take up to farming and cultivate both fruits and vegetables. The famous Pony Needles are manufactured here in Ketti. There is a Shiva Lingam Temple that is quite famous among the locals and is a must visit. Apart from this, there are several waterfalls one can see in the entire valley.
10. Hidden Valley
The most unexplored portion of Coonoor and true to its name is the Hidden Valley. It is accessible via trekking and is a treasure for trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing and adventure enthusiasts. The valley is located behind the Wellington Golf Course, near Sim’s Park. There are numerous water streams inside the valley and the hiking trail here is very scenic with diverse avian fauna. The hidden valley is also a birder’s paradise. The interesting fact about the Hidden Valley is that it surrounds entire Coonoor.
11. Rallia Dam
Located around 9 kilometres from Coonoor, on the Wellington road is another beautiful spot to visit in Coonoor at a quaint and peaceful end. It is the Rallia Dam that provides water to entire Coonoor. It can be accessed by trekking the last 1km stretch from the parking lot after an uphill drive. It is recommended to visit the dam either during sunrise or sunset as the views from top leave you in awe. One can also spot Malabar Squirrels and Indian Bisons within the premises of the dam area.
12. Highfield Tea Estate
Highfield Tea Estate, located at around 2 kilometres northeast of Upper Coonoor, is a 50-year-old tea factory where the aroma of freshly brewed tea of exquisite varieties is in the wind the entire time. The tours to the tea estate are designed around being study tours for tea lovers where they get to witness the tea processing sessions. The estate is surrounded by eucalyptus trees and hence, there is a special tour for learning extraction of oil from the eucalyptus.
The Queen of Hill Stations has a lot more for its avid travelers. So, if you wish to explore it all, you can plan a long getaway to Ooty with Conoor & Kotagiri to create some unforgettable memories in your life.
Book an all-inclusive Ooty tour package with us to make the most of your trip at pocket-friendly prices. We design a variety of tour packages to suit everyone’s holiday duration, needs, and other preferences.
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