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.
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.
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.
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.