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Why Travel Ooty?

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General Information about Ooty

Ooty, the queen of hill stations and the capital of Nilgiris district, is one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for honeymooners and is also praised for showcasing unspoilt natural setting of the area. The Nilgiris or the "Blue mountains" are one of the major attractions of the hill station. The striking winding roads, the hill atop gardens and miniature toy train add to the already mesmerising scenery

It is situated at an altitude of 2, 240 mt above sea level and is thus a delightful honeymoon spot. One can notice a marvelous change in vegetation, as one goes from Kallar to Coonoor. 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 toy train ride is a must try as it recreates the old-world colonial charm and therefore, provides some amazing views of nature. From Bangalore, Ooty serves as a great getaway

Due to its location, Ooty Lake has a perfect climate all through the year. Winter season in Ooty is much chilly than the rest of the South India. However, the best time to visit the place is during the months of October and June as during this time, the temperature is moderate around 25 degrees Celsius and it is the best time for sightseeing.


Connectivity :

By Train : Mettupalayam is the nearest railhead to reach Ooty. Apart from taxis and cabs, the toy train is also available that connects Mettupalayam to Coonoor via Ooty.

By Air : Coimbatore is the nearest airport to reach Ooty. At the airport, one can find taxis and cabs for hire to move in and around the hill station.

By Road : NH 209 connects Bangalore to Ooty. The stretch is 270 km long and thus driving through self-owned vehicle is advisable. Private taxis and cabs are also available for hire. Additionally, frequent bus service is also functional in the region.

Ooty can be your trip through dream-like indulges of chocolate and all that's sweet. Lose yourself in the city's bakeries which serve temptations like white chocolate, strawberry chocolate, fudge, home made chocolates, buns and cakes. Equally popular here, are the tea plantations and hence a hot cup of local and exquisite varieties of tea. Another beverage to try here is the wine from the local vineyards.
Also relish North-Indian cuisines, Chinese cuisines, as well as sandwiches, pizzas and hot breads. one may also try the vegetarian South-Indian platter here with essentials like Idli, Dosa, Chutney, Vada, Sambhar, Rasam, Upma, Sweet Pongal, Payassam, Kesari.

An Ideal Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Coimbatore early in the morning and get a bus or taxi to Ooty. There check into your hotel and gear up for the day. Head out straight to Avalanche lake, a natural reservoir surrounded by hills and a thin forest line, is a fun destination for trekking, camping and kayaking. It has amazing scenic beauty and natural touch. Head back to Doddabetta Peak, which presents most of the Ooty below with a marvellous sunset, which must be enjoyed with a cup of tea with your family and friends.
Day 2: Take a 2 hour govt. safari by the forest department to get to the amazing Upper Bhavani Lake, which is 20 km away from Ooty. Return to the city to visit the botanical garden, which is full of various species of plants and trees and a must visit for the nature lover and a photographer. Later visit the Wax World Museum and Dodabetta Tea Museum. Spend the evening at St. Stephen's church and the Ooty city market to know more of the culture.
Day 3: Visit the nearby Elk hill by a hired vehicle and enjoy the morning at the divine temple here. By noon be back in the city and reach the station. Cross check the Toy Train timings to Mettupalayam. If time is left, visit the nearby Murugan temple which is just at the walking distance from the station. Otherwise enjoy the 2 pm Toy Train to Mettupalayam. On the way, you would come across the most beautiful falls and bridges ever.


Toy Train:
The Toy Train, also known as Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train, is the key attraction of the popular hill station Ooty. Started in the year 1899. The Toy Train covers a distance of total 46 km in a span of 5 hours and takes one through a truly spectacular journey filled with picturesque views en route. It was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. Another fascinating feature of the train is that its youngest X class loco is over 50 years old and the oldest is 80 years old.

Weaving amidst the forests, dark snaking tunnels, sharp bends and amid the mist and fog, the Toy Train is a spectacular trip up and down the slopes with birds and trees dancing along. As the train passes through the stunning gorge, the dancing sunlight above and dream-like drizzling makes it the experience of a lifetime. Apart from offering a beautiful journey, the uniqueness of the trip lies in the fact that the rail system is the steepest in Asia and worth a visit. The ride `starts from Mettupalayam; a small place on river Bhavani. The first 5 miles are plain, but in the next 12 miles engine pushes the coaches upwards to a height of 4363 feet. Covering Mettupalayam, Kellar, Coonoor, Wellington, Lovedale and Ootacamund on its way, this is the best means to discover the pristine treasures of the Nilgiris.

Interestingly, this is the only heritage train in the country that runs at such a high elevation in Southern India. Being very steep, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train. works on a unique system called ABT (Alternate Biting System), also known as the rack and pinion system. The method of pulling the train in this system is quite distinct. Instead of an engine, there two rack bars out of steps with each other between the rail lines that help in pulling the train.

There is a classification between first class, second sitting, and an unreserved category. The first class seats are limited to just 16 and are hard to get, and the others are expanded to 160 seats. It is highly recommended to choose the first class seats for the experience in that coach is priceless!

Ooty Lake
Ooty Lake lies at a distance of approximately 2 km from Ooty city in the district Nilgiris. The beautiful lake is spread over an area of 65 acres. The Lake is surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and greenery all around. One can also spot numerous streams coming out through the hills. This is a perfect place to capture for people who are genuinely interested in photography. The lake is filled with beautiful water birds with the exotic Nilgiri mountain ranges in the background.

Ooty Lake is pretty fun as well activity-filled place. One can hire paddle boats, rowing boats and motor boats from the boathouse here. There is a mini train too for kids to hop on and take a quick tour of the lake. Boat races, as well as other events, are also organized here for two days in May. Since there are a lot of visitors during weekends, it is advisable to visit the lake during weekdays. The romantic song 'Dil Deewana' from Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) too was shot here along with a few scenes of Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani (2009).


Ooty Botanical Gardens
Sprawled over an area of 22 hectares, the garden is divided into several sections that are trimmed beautifully to present an endearing sight. Visitors are greeted with astounding colourful natural beauty from the moment they pass through the gates. For more than 160 years, foreign and local travellers have strolled the lush green lawns of the garden, admiring the stunning variety of flowers, ferns and orchids present here. Another highlight of the Botanical Garden is the Toda hill, known as the Toda mund, which gives the visitors an insight into the lives and culture of Todas (a tribe of the Nilgiris).

The Botanical garden in Ooty is home to many rare species of trees, chief among them being the cork tree, the only one of its kind in India. The paperbark tree, the monkey puzzle tree and an old fossilized tree estimated to be 20 million years old round out the other rare species. The monkey puzzle tree has been named so because even monkeys fail to climb it. In addition to these, a number of exotic and indigenous vegetation of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants are found here as well. The Ooty Botanical Garden is meticulously designed into different sections such as Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, The Conservatory and The Nurseries.


Thread Garden
The thread garden at Ooty is a popular tourist spot that exhibits some of the most magnificent and exquisite collection of artificial flowers and plants, all made by the expert hands of the skilful artists by using JUST thread.

Antony Joseph, the mastermind behind this unique inception along with his 50 skillful and profecient helpers has worked constantly for 12 years, to create the marvels of thread we see today. Approximately 6 crore meters of embroidery thread have been employed in the creation of this one-of-a-kind attraction in the world. The most astounding fact stay to be that not a stitch of a needle or any other machinery have been used in the production of these flowers. Stiff cardboards for flowers and petals, steel and copper wires for stem were veraciously used along with a variety of colorful threads to create these visual delights. Here you can find more than 150 varieties of artificially made flowers which promise to remain fresh for a long long time to come.At the Thread Garden in Ooty you do not only get a chance to behold these beauties in your eyes, but you can carry these astounding crafts home as well.

Trekking, Ooty
Ooty, once the summer capital of the British in India, is bestowed with the bounty of nature. A favorite sport of the area, trekking has gained admiration with the tourists in the recent years.

Ooty forms the perfect base for a number of exciting treks, some long and some short, into the adjoining hills. There are several treks which differ in distance, heights and landscape. Also, a base camp is built at Parsons Valley, which aids as an initial point for the trekkers. Ooty-Parson's peak-Porthimund-Mukurthi National Park-Pandiar Hills-Pykara Falls-Mudumalai National Park-Ooty is a long trek which exposes the trekkers through some of the most beautiful and unexplored parts of the Nilgiris. The picturesque view of Mudumalai Sanctuary is certainly spectacular for adventure tourists.

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