When you are on a tour of Ooty, relaxing in the hotel room should be the last thing on your mind because there is a plethora of activities to do. From exploring the bounties of nature and paying homage at shrines to learning about the history of Ooty at museums and trying adventure sports, the list of choices goes on. Keep reading to know about the different ways to make your holiday in Ooty
Boating on Ooty Lake
One experience, which you just cannot afford to miss in the hill station, is boating on the mesmerising Ooty Lake. The artificial waterbody, sprawling over 65 acres, was built in 1824. There is a boat house, from where you can rent a row, paddle or motor boat. Adjacent to the waterbody, you will find Lake Park, a favourite picnic spot among tourists as well as the people of Ooty
. There are many more charming lakes near the town like Pykara, Emerald and Avalanche that you can explore.
Learning the Art of Making Tea
immensely aromatic, dark and flavourful. If you are a connoisseur of the delicious beverage, then you must take a tour of the tea plantations that carpet the rolling hills here. In case you want to see the journey of the leaves from gardens to a cup, you can head to the Tea Factory. The 1-acre property is situated at the foot of Doddabetta, the highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills.
A tour of the site will tell you everything about the origin of tea as a beverage, its evolution in the world and its history in the Nilgiris. You will also learn how tea as a trade commodity and beverage influenced societies, economies and cultures all across the globe.
Admiring Manicured Gardens
On the map of Ooty, you will see a number of aesthetic gardens that add to its already overwhelming beauty. A must-visit is the 55-acre Government Botanical Garden. Besides numerous species of flowers, there is a lot more to see here like a 20-million-year-old fossil. It also has a fern house, boasting a wide range of orchids and ferns. Among the numerous rare trees, you will see a monkey-puzzle tree that primates are unable to climb. Another such site, Government Rose Garden has more than 2000 varieties of the flower. The Nila Madam view point commands magnificent vistas of the entire park.
Trekking to Doddabetta and Mukurthi
One activity, which every thrill seeker must undertake in Ooty is trekking to Doddabetta. Its name translates into the Big Mountain in the language of Ooty
. Situated at an altitude of more than 2600 metres above sea level, the peak draws hikers by the loads. Telescope House, built on the flat summit of the mountain, offers 360-degree views of the Nilgiris district.
Another scenic spot, offering trekking opportunities near Ooty, is Mukurthi Peak. The summit lies in the famous Mukurthi National Park, where you can come face to face with the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats. Some animals that can be spotted here are Nilgiri tahrs, jungle cats, elephants, barking deer and jackals. The bird species found here include the kestrel, black eagle, grey junglefowl, woodcock and thrush.
Riding on Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The 46-km Nilgiri Mountain Railway
is one of the three high-altitude railway systems in India that have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. A treasure of South India, it will take you on more than 250 small and large bridges, and through 16 tunnels, all of which are in a great condition.
Feeling Dwarfed by a 40-feet Statue
There is one place in Ooty, which will make you feel like you have travelled to Malaysia; it is not a high-rise building but a temple. Elk Hill Murugan Temple, with its humongous statue of Lord Murugan, resembles the Batu Caves in Southeast Asia. In honour of the presiding deity, the festival of Thaipusam is celebrated here every year in the month of January or February.
Go on a Wildlife Safari in Mudumalai National Park
About 41 km from Ooty, Mudumalai National Park is home to tigers, sambars, panthers and sloth bears. If you want to give a touch of adventure to your Ooty vacation, then you can come here. Apart from animals, a host of birds can also be spotted in the park. This list includes the grey francolin, paradise flycatcher, racket-tailed drongo, emerald dove and streak-throated woodpecker.
Whatever you plan to do in the scenic hill station of Ooty, these are some experiences that will become a highlight of your trip.