Map Of Ooty

Below is the map of Ootacamund (short for Ooty). Use the scroller to enlarge.
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Videos Of Ooty

Botanical Garden Of Ooty Part 1:

The Botanical Garden is situated 2 km east of the Ooty Railway and Bus Stations and is maintained by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu by its Horticultural Dept.

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Botanical Garden Of Ooty Part 2:

A variety of exotic and ornamental plants can be seen here. They are well maintained.

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Pykara Lake:

This is a short video showing the Pykara Lake.

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Thread Garden Of Ooty:

An artificial embroidery garden bearing natural models of plants and flowers fully developed of embroidery threads using our self developed technology of hand wound embroidery without needles or machineries taking 12 years with the effort of 50 lady artists.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Festivals and other attractions of Ooty

Ooty is also known for some attractions and celebrations such as the boat races and boat pageantry in Ooty. This is held in the month of May. It can get pretty exciting and interesting. Another attraction is the flower show in Ooty which draws throngs of people who love the fauna. This too is held in the month of May. If you were to visit in the month of February you could attend the Thaipoosam at the Elk Hill Murugan temple as well as the Bookkapuram Mariamman annual festival. Alternatively in April you could visit the Mariamman temple festival.

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Cultural programs, dog shows, fashion parades are other things to enjoy during the summers. Tea lovers need not feel left out as there is something for them here too in the form of a tea festival. This is held in the month of January.

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The Madumalai sanctuary in the luxuriantly forested foothills of the Nilgiris is 321 kilometers and is only a fraction of the 3000 kilometers larger reserve. This reserve includes Bandipur and Wynad extending to the states of Kerala and Karnataka. In Tamil, the word Madumalai means Old hill.

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The range of vegetation in the larger reserve spans from semi-evergreen forests to grasslands and swamps. On the other hand, Madumalai is mostly densely wooded. It is home to the spotted deer, the Indian bison, tiger, panther, wild boar and the sloth bear. The Moyar River is home to crocodiles and otters. Madumalai is largely populated with wild elephants. However you won’t spot them so easily. The domesticated variety is what you will probably catch sight of. The ideal time to visit Madumalai is between the months of February and June.

Not very much is made locally. Ever since Eucalyptus was introduced in the 19th century, it has thrived into a small oil-extraction industry in this area. The Toda men and women wear homespun shawls called puthikuzhi. These have black and red embroidery on them. They are tied around the waist with one end extending over the shoulder. It could be compared to the Roman toga. One could avail of these as a souvenir in the market.

Ooty is well connected to other parts of the state. Buses leave for Kotagiri every twenty minutes. This journey takes one hour. Buses to Coonoor leave every hour. Buses ply to Coimbatore every thirty minutes. It takes three hours for this journey to Coimbatore, which is ninety kilometers away. Seven buses leave for Bangalore everyday. It is three hundred kilometers away and takes eight hours to complete this journey. This bus goes via Mysore. It takes five hours to cover a distance of one hundred and sixty kilometers. You can take a bus to Madumalai, which is sixty-seven kilometers away and takes two and half hours to reach. Alternatively you could take of the small buses which go via the narrow and twisting Sighur Ghat road.

Sight Seeing Places in Ooty

The most exciting part of visiting Ooty could well be your journey in the toy train. Ooty is connected to the lowlands by miniature railway just as in Darjeeling and Matheran. The toothed central rail onto which the locomotives lock on the sleeper slopes is a distinctive element of the railway line. Another unusual feature is that the locomotive pushes the carriages from the back instead of pulling it from the front. The railway journey commences at Mettupalayam and goes to Ooty via Coonoor. The journey offers you some breathtaking views. All things considered it is an amusing trip for the outdoor lover. The winding tracks up with its many spine chilling curves and terrifying tunnels as it passes the deep ravines and tea gardens. The landscape is incredible and overwhelming. The sights keep changing as the train wends its way up the mountain.

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A visit to the Botanical gardens is an absolute must. There is veritable cultivation of trees with a wealth of knowledge provided on each one, including scientific information. Ooty is an ideal place to visit if you wish to connect with nature. It is a good place to forget the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy the environment. Ooty is a wonderful place for outdoor activities. A good starting point for a trek would be the road to Kotagiri on the Kotagiri Pass. The highest peak in Tamil Nadu is 3 km’s east of this pass. It is called Doddabetta. It stands at a height of 2623 meters. Doddabetta is 10 km’s away from Ooty.

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There is plenty for those who enjoy the outdoors. You could hire horses to ride on. One could enjoy a boat ride on the lake. The lake there is picturesque surrounded with the majestic towering trees.

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Madumalai is on the main road between Ooty and Mysore. The Park has elephant camps if you like riding on them. The animals you will most likely see here are the spotted deer, wild boar, monkeys, gaur and elephants. The wildlife tours within the confines of the sanctuary are limited to travel on elephant back, minibuses and jeeps. One could also take a night safari in a jeep. Elephant back rides can be booked on an hourly basis. It would be advisable to book your accommodation and elephant rides in advance if you plan on visiting the sanctuary. Dorms and lodges are maintained here by the Forest department. The Log house here, which is a 5 minute walk from the river, is a good option.

Another interesting activity is that the horse races are held at the racecourse during the monsoon season but the betting is pretty tame. Ooty doesn’t have much of a night life though, so don’t expect to paint the town red at night!

History and historical places of Ooty

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Traveling to Ooty

If you wish to visit Ooty, it is very well connected by various transport options:

By Flight:

The nearest airport to Ooty is Coimbatore, 100 Km away. Coimbatore can be reached from Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kozhikode.

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By Railway:

Coimbatore is the nearest major broadgauge railway junction from Ooty (100 km) which is connected to all major cities, while Mettupalayam is the nearest broadgauge railway head from Ooty (46 km). If you can reach Mettupalayam directly, you can catch the Nilgiri toy train of the Mountain Railway which takes about 4 hours to reach Ooty. As per our sources, the initial plans to build a mountain railway were made way back in 1954. Finally, 45 years later (1899) the dream was converted into reality with the help of Swiss Locomotive Works. It was a wooden coach train with large windows and coloured blue and cream, using steam engines. Some of the stations you will come across when chugging up the rocky terrain track are – Kallar, Adderely, Hill Grove, Runnymede, Katery, Coonoor, Wellington, Aruvakkadu, Ketti and Lovedale.

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By Road:

Ooty is about 535 km from Chennai via Salem, 187 km from Calicut, 290 km from Bangalore, 236 km from Kodaikanal via Coimbatore and Palani, 89 km from Coimbatore, 237 km from Yercaud, 281 km from Kochi via Coimbatore and Palakkad, 155 km from Mysore and 18 km from Coonoor via Gudalur. If you prefer public transport, there are several bus services (including Govt. and private) from Mysore, Bangalore, Cochin, Tirupathi, Thanjavur, Kanyakumari, Calicut, Palghat, Trichi.

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