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.
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 Udagamandalam
Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those who visit Ooty, one of the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl over 50-acres and lie on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty.
Government Museum – Ooty
The Government Museum At Ooty The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district’s ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district. Tourist Information Admission: Free Timings: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Closed On: Fridays, Second Saturdays and National Holidays Ooty The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (100-km). Ooty on the narrow gauge railway is connected to Mettupalayam, which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai on the broad gauge. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Calicut, Tirupati etc.
Hills and Views
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 kilometres from Coimbatore
The Kalhatty falls are located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13-km from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam – Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. Also known as the “Kalahasti Falls”, the water here cascades down a height of 122m.
Kandal Cross Shrine
Kandal cross, a Roman Catholic Shrine considered, as the Jerusalem of the East is located in Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Catholics consider it as the “Calvary of Tamil Nadu”.
Mini Garden and Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. Mini garden is also situated on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement park is housed.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
The Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The Mysore – Ooty highway runs through the sanctuary, following the course of the Mayyar River, which separates Mudumalai from Bandipur.
The beautiful Ooty Lake is a favourite haunt of tourists. It was constructed in the year 1825, through the initiatives of Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. This lake was built in order to provide an irrigation tank to the people.
There is several beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With the Summer Festivals, the hills are even hospitable to welcome the visitors. The summer festival is held in the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’
Tea and Tourism Festival
Akin to the nectar of the Gods is the Camellia Sinensia, which is a bush that gives fragrant amber ambrosia-a refresher and stimulizer. In other words, TEA.
Significance – Udhagamandalam
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.
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.
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.
Fairs & Festivals – Udhagamandalam
A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Gardens, which 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.
Leisure – Udhagamandalam
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.
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.
Goad Trout, Carp and mixed water fishing is possible in various streams and lakes of Ooty. The Assistance Director of Fisheries issues the fishing licence.
Just about anything available in the cities can be had at Ooty with the added attraction of leisurely shopping. Exclusive Nilgiri products including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town. Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best places for shopping fruits and general groceries. Kairali of Kerala Handicrafts and Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their showrooms near to Super Market Buildings on Charring Cross.
Ooty Coffee House
Chinkos Chinese Restaurant
How To Get There – Udhagamandalam
Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway, connected to Mettupalayam (47 km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
A good network of roads and national highways connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major cities of Kerala and Karnataka.
Taxis, tourist cabs, auto rickshaws are available in plenty. There are no standard rates except tourist cabs. Town buses are also available to all important places. Conducted sight seeing tours are arranged by the private operators and the Government Tourism Development Corporation.
Coimbatore, 105 km from Ooty, is the nearest airport.
Places To Stay – Udhagamandalam
Accommodation is available at the luxurious and economy class hotels, lodges, and resorts in Ooty. Both Indian and Western style accommodation and food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially during the summer months.
Climate – Udhagamandalam
- WinterMax 21ºC, Min 5ºC
- Summer Max 25ºC, Min 10ºC
- Rainfall 121 cms.
General Information – Udhagamandalam
STD Code: 0423
Location Niligiri District, Tamil Nadu.
Founded By British In 1800.
Population 8,1763 (1991 Census) .
Altitude 2,623 metres.
Languages Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English.
Useful Information – Udhagamandalam
Tourist Information Centres
Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu
Clothing – Udhagamandalam
Summer Light Woollen.
Winter Heavy Woollen.