One of the biggest draws of Ooty is its large number of places that allow vacationers to do more than just relaxing in the soothing weather of the Western Ghats. These spots give tourists a chance to learn about the regional history, satisfy the devotee inside, try adventure sports and explore the bounties of nature. Here is a description of all the amazing attractions you can explore on your next trip to Ooty.
The long list of tourist attractions in the town consists of Ooty Lake, the mesmerising waterbody around which it is settled. Besides being a feast for the eyes, it also presents boating opportunities. If you are coming here in May, then you can attend the two-day fest, wherein boat pageantry and several races are organised here. Another such waterbody is Pykara Lake, about 22 km from the town. While on your visit here, do not forget to capture the beauty of Pykara Falls in your camera. Additionally, nature admirers can also head to Emerald Lake, known for the hue of its water. A short drive from here takes you to Avalanche Lake, another charming waterbody.
If seeking solace is on your mind during Ooty holiday, then you can head to one of the shrines here. Arulmigu Mariamman Temple, an epitome of Dravidian architecture, is richly decorated with sculptures of Hindu deities. If you are coming to Ooty in February, then make it a point to attend the month-long car festival at the temple. St Stephens Church is not just a frequented place of worship, but also a significant monument. The timber used to build the edifice was taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan after he was defeated by the British.
Your visit to Elk Hill Murugan Temple will be like a trip to Malaysia as it is quite similar to the Batu Caves in the Southeast Asian country. The highlight of the shrine is the 40-feet tall statue of Lord Murugan.
Gardens and Wildlife Reserves
If you are a nature lover, then you can spend some time in sprawling gardens. Owing to their awe-inspiring beauty, these have become a part of almost all Ooty packages. One such site, Government Rose Garden is nothing short of an ocean of flowers. This 4-hectare property boasts thousands of species of the flower in a range of hues. Even many rare roses like a black one can be admired here. In case your heart is still not content after feasting on the sight and aroma of roses, you can head to the 22-hectare Government Botanical Garden. There is a plethora of things you can behold here, like a fossil, which is about 20 million years old, and monkey-puzzle tree – a tree no monkey can climb. In the month of May, a flower show is held here, exhibiting rare species.
Those, who are looking to spot animals in the wild, can drive to Mudumalai National Park, about 41 km away. A part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the 10800-hectare park is home to tigers, sambars, panthers, leopard cats, stripped hyenas, sloth bears, jackals and gaurs. While on a safari here, you can also spot myriad birds, including the paradise flycatcher, grey francolin, racket-tailed drongo, streak-throated woodpecker, emerald dove, grey-bellied cuckoo and forest wagtail.
Museums and Monuments
A visit to museums will give you a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Ooty
. Among the most fascinating ones is the Tea Museum, where you can learn about the origin and evolution of tea in the region. You can head to the M & N Chocolate Museum to learn about the most consumed sweet on earth. The items in its display section include a chocolate model of boat and horse cart.
Another such intriguing place in the town is the Wax World Museum. Here, you can see wax statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Mother Teresa and other significant historical, cultural and political personalities. The Tribal Museum and Second World War Memorial Pillar can also be visited during a holiday. A major draw for tourists is the UNESCO-listed Nilgiri Mountain Railway
, the 46-km single track railway opened in 1899. To learn more about the history of Ooty
, you can head to Stone House – the first bungalow built in the town.
Besides, the map of Ooty
is also dotted with several vantage points that command magnificent views of the rolling hills. Shooting Point and Ketti Valley View are two such well-known spots. Thrill seekers can head to Doddabetta, which is a great trekking destination. Some picnic spots in and around town include Thunder World and Lake Park.
Whenever you come to the town, you can visit all these places for a wonderful time.