Blue skies and mountains, coffee and tea gardens, blossoming flowers in forests of sandalwoods, occasional footprints of elephants, the silence broken only by the leaves rustling in the fragrant winds blowing through the mystique Nilgiris. The natural beauty of forests and falls, enveloped in fluffy clouds for eternity, has made the Nilgiris the destinations of touring visitors from all over the World. 

Amidst this ethereal beauty lies Ooty, the jewel in the crown. 


General Information 

Alternative Names: Otacamund, Udhagamandalam

Location: In the State of Tamil Nadu India

Area in Sq. Km.: 36 approx.

Altitude: 2,286meters (7,620 feet) 

Population: 81,763(1993 census)  

ISD & STD code:  (91) 0423

Climate: Temperatures range from 25-20°C in summers, 15- 5°C in the winters.

Clothing: Heavy Woollen in Winter Light Woollen in summer.

Languages spoken: Tamil, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannad

Major banks: State Bank of India, Western Town Circle.

Hospital/ Medical centres: The Vijaya Hospital is a private hospital on Etiennes Road (Tel: 42 500) behind the Alankar Theatre. The Government Hospital is on Jail Hill, Hospital Road (Tel: 42 212). Commercial Road has plenty of chemists

When to go: Between November and March, avoiding high-season crowds (April-June and September-October).


Getting there:

Air:- Nearest Airport is Coimbatore (100 kms). 
Coimbatoreis connected to Bombay, Bangalore and Chennai
Rail:-Mettupalayam serves as a lowland railhead for Ooty, while Coimbatore is the major rail junction. The Swiss Vintage Hill train runs from Mettupalayam via Coonoor to Ooty, providing  a rare opportunity to travel by narrow gauge. This 4 hour  journey through the luxuriant vegetation of the Nilgiris is a pleasant experience and is a must if you want to enjoy a stunning view of the region.
Road:- Ooty is connected by all weather roads. 
To Chennai (Madras) 535 Kms. (Via Salem) 
To Coimbatore 89 Kms 
To Coonoor 18 Kms. (Via Gudalur) 
To Mysore 160 Kms. 
To Bangalore 290 Kms. 
To Kodaikanal 256 Kms (Via Coimbatore, Palani)
Local Transport:- City Bus, Taxi and Auto available


Places to Visit 

 Government Botanical Garden(2 Km) 

Now maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticultural Department this beautiful garden  was laid out in 1847 by gardeners from London's Kew Gardens (Marquis of Tweedale), Covering an area of 22 acres this garden lies on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak. This garden has immaculate lawns, lovely ponds with lilies, variety of ferns, fashioned beds  laid out  in  an Italian style, over 30 species of eucalyptus, multicolored flowering  plants, house ferns, orchids and nurseries. A fossil tree trunk of  20  million years is  also preserved  here. The best time to visit this garden is in the month of May when the annual flower show is held. A fossil tree trunk of 20  million years is  also preserved  here. The best time to visit this garden is in the month of May when the annual flower show is held. 







 St Stephen's Church

The small gothic-style St Stephen's Church, built in 1829 and situated northwest of Charing Cross, is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiri mountains. Its huge wooden beam came from the palace of Tipu Sultan in Srirangapatnam, carried all the 120 km by a team of elephants. The attached cemetery contains the grave of John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty.

Ooty Lake


  About one Km. from Ooty, this lake was constructed between 1823 and 1825 by the then collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan. It is about 2.5 km long and between 90 and 150 m wide. The graveyard of St Thomas's Church, built in 1870, overlooks the lake and has a huge pillar surmounted by a cross over the grave of William Patrick Adam, the Governor of Madras Presidency. This pillar is the tallest memorial in Ooty. Tamil  Nadu  tourism  Development Corporation (TTDC) provides paddle and rowing boats  for boating enthusiasts. Also worth seeing is a boathouse near which pony ride facilities are available. On the way to the Boat House is the Mini Garden housing the children's amusement  park. A Deer Park is located at a on lake road and houses Sambars, Chitals and Hares besides water birds.


   10 Kms  from  Ooty is Doddabetta, the highest peak (2623 meters) in the Nilgiris. It  lies  at the junction of the Western & Eastern Ghats  and  offers beautiful vistas of the Nilgiri Hill ranges. Through the TTDC  telescope one can have a  panoramic  view of  the landscape and see as far as Coonoor and Wellington. An early morning visit provides a fogless view.

The Mukurti Peak & National Park 

     At an altitude of 8,031 ft, the peaks are about 36 km from Ooty. The Mukkurthi National  Park  is located on the Southern  corner of the  Nilgiris Plateau. Nilgiri Thar (Hamitragus hilocrius) is the dominant flora.  The  area  is chained by innummerable beautiful and perennial little streams, which fall into Bhavani  Puzha allowing opportunities for boating and fishing. The  Silent Valley  in  the  Western  Ghat is located on the Western side  of  these  ranges. 

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary 

   67 Km from Ooty enroute to Mysore, this Sanctuary lies at an elevation of 1140 mts. Extending over an area of about 320 it is located at the trijunction of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A variety of habitats ranging  from tropical ever green forest, moist teak forest, secondary grass lands and swamps are found. Mudumalai has one of the largest populations of elephants in India. A safari through the sanctuary provides a good possibility of sighting wild dogs, gaur (Indian bison), Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaque, jackal, hyena, and sloth bear. It even has a few tigers and panthers. The avifauna is varied, with Minivets. Hornbills, Fairy Blue Birds, Jungle Fowls etc. 


Ootacamund Club

The Ootacamund Club still has the old colonial ambience. It is the best preserved of all the former British
clubs in India. Enjoy a relaxing game of golf at the Wenlock Downs, or try out the Ooty Hunt offered by the Club in its list of activities.

Other Attractions

Mariamman Temple, Valley Park, Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose, Tea Garden, Catherine Falls, Hindustan Photofilms Factory, Kamaraja Sagar Dam, Peimundh, Pykara Dam and waterfalls, Kalhetty Falls


Go for some antique Toda jewellery sold in the main bazaar and also at the Savoy Hotel. Ooty also has lovely embroidered Toda shawls, a variety of teas (eucalyptus, geranium, lemon grass, camphor) and Nilgiri honey. Maps and guidebooks can be purchased at the Higginbothams bookshop. Also try out the cheddar, Wenleydale cheese and Planter's Special cigars made of Indian tobacco, at Spencer's Store.



Hotels Phone No
Hotel Savoy (Taj Group) 44142-47
Monarch Hotel 44408
Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC) 44370
Hotel Tamil Nadu Youth Hostel 43665
Hotel Blue Hill International 44466
Hotel Mount View 43307
Lake View Cottage 43580-82
Green Valley View 44219


Author's Diary:

Ooty, the soul healing escapade: One of the favourite summer retreats of people in South India, Ooty or Udhagamandalam is nestled in the brilliant green hills of the Nilgiris. The inspiration of many Bollywood directors, Ooty is a typical hill station in many ways.... Orchards of peaches and plums, terraced tea plantations, eucalyptus, pine and wattle lining the landscape…

"…such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud" is how Lord Lytton-Viceroy of India from 1876-1880 described Ooty to his wife! Founded by the British in the early part of the 19th century, Ooty is home to many Britons who have fallen in love with this hill station where they discovered a little bit of England. The British influence is visible in the handrolled cigars, chocolate and cheese one enjoys here. You also have the popular derby, and 'hunt' held annually.

A hill station with a landscape perpetually enveloped in mist, Ooty's beauty has a timeless appeal.


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