The original name of Ooty in Tamil is Udhagamandalam. This is a prominent hill station in the south of India. It is situated in the Nilgiri hills close to the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Nilgiri literally means blue hills. Ooty served as the summer headquarters of the Chennai Government. Prior to that, the area was inhabited only by tribal people, which comprised of a mixture of 18 different tribes. The majority of these were the Todas. The legend is that the Todas believed that goddess Tekirshy and her brother waved a magic wand to create a buffalo. After that they created the Toda man. The first Toda woman was created using a rib from the man. Their animalist shrines exist even today serving as reminders. Ooty is positioned at a height of 2240 meters. Ooty attracts tourists in the summer for its cool weather.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru once visited this hill station and very aptly described it as the queen of hill stations. The British first discovered Ooty when the British first set up the East India Company in the Nilgiris. John Sullivan was the first British to construct a stone house here.
Ooty is spread over a total area of 36 square kilometers. The ideal season to visit would be from April to June and from September to November. In the summers the mercury usually hits a high of 25 degrees Celsius and it dips to 10 degrees Celsius. Whereas in the winters it could go as high as 21 degrees Celsius and come down to as low as 5 degrees Celsius. A word of caution: The overnight temperature in Ooty could drop to as low 0 degrees Celsius. Ooty receives an approximate of 121 centimeters of rainfall.
People who are religiously inclined can visit an abundant number of churches, which are worth seeing. Some of these are Sacred Heart church, Saint Teresa’s church, the Kandal shrine, Holy Trinity church, Saint Stephen’s church, Thomas church, Saint Mary’s church and the Union church.
You will find several temples in Ooty. Some of them are the Jain temple, The Kandal, Venkateshwara Perumal temple, Muniswarar temple, Mariamman temple, Mooyaulaka Arasiamman temple, Subramania Swami temple, Vithoba temple, Elk hill and Murugan temple. You could also visit the big mosque on your trip out there.
Conversely those who are looking for some peace and spiritual experience could pay a visit to the ashrams there. Ramakrishna math, Raghvendra math and Sampoorna ashram are some of these places.
However most of the folks going to Ooty are out for a good time and/or their honeymoon. They need not despair as there is plenty for you to set eyes on and enjoy in Ooty. The Madhumalai Park, the lake and the Botanical gardens, Doddabetta and Pykara Falls are some of the most prominent places. If you are in Ooty, we would recommend you not miss any of these sites. Whether you want to spend a romantic evening or have fun, the lake is a wonderful place to be. Taking a boat ride is a pleasant experience. The lake appears beautifully serene with Eucalyptus trees surrounding it. It is so picturesque, you wouldn’t want to leave!