Ooty , Tamil Nadu
Hill-station, Trekking, Scenic
The queen of hill stations, Ooty or Udhagamandalam is the district capital of the Nilgiris. Ooty in Tamil Nadu, is located at the southern tip of Nilgiri Mountain ranges. Many would say that the name is self-explanatory given its fame for its exquisite beauty and magnificence. This place looks like a painting by Robert Finale, only he is yet to paint a piece that looks as breath-taking as Ooty. This capital city of Nilgiri district is one of the top hill stations in southern India.
The name of this gorgeous hill station refers to the blue smoky haze from the eucalyptus trees but I’d say that it perhaps refers to the extraordinarily blue horizons that dazzle the eyes like nothing else. This land was wooed by the colonizers and the mighty sultan Tipu. It’s really no wonder that men should fight over something so beautiful. They have done it since forever. This place is a paradise for painters. There are plenty of places to to visit in Ooty for traveler of every kind.
With its alluring beauty, pristine natural settings, invigorating weather and serene surroundings Ooty which is now a bustling city is almost always crowded with tourists. The enchanting journey to Ooty starts with a ride in the famous toy train, one of the very few steam engines in the world, that are still up and running. The Ooty Mountain railway is a fabulous fun ride. A World Heritage Site, it keeps the Steam Engines alive. The long ride from Mettupalayam station to Ooty is a ride that will be etched in your hearts forever. One cannot help but notice the beautiful yet gradual change of vegetation starting from dry tropical to subtropical and at the end where it fills with mist hanging pines and coniferous trees.
Ooty is a paradise designed for Indian summer, with its comfortably chilled breeze that is so rejuvenating to both your body and soul. The clean eucalyptus tinted air will freshen up all tired souls.
One must not miss visiting the Thoda settlements where you can get a glimpse of their tribal culture and the rich and colorful tradition, which is also found evident in their artifacts. Ooty city offers you with a huge choice of shopping as well.
Let’s take a look at all that they can paint. There’s the Government Rose Garden on the slopes of the Elk Hill for starters. With the largest and most mind-blowing collection of roses, this place is a playground for butterflies. Then, there’s the Ooty Botanical Gardens. With its 20 million years fossilized tree and ample exotic plants, it is a perfect place to put the mind at rest. Next, we have the Ooty Lake made up of the surrounding mountain streams. It is a wonderful hangout zone for families given the excellent boat-ride facilities. The Stone House, which is the official building of the Government Arts College, is quite a treat for students of architecture and history. It is the first constructed bunglow of Ooty built by Mr John Sullivan.
One of the oldest churches of the Nilgiris, the St Stephens has a very impressive pre-Victorian architecture. There’s the one and a half centuries old bunglow called the Wax World housing fantastic life size statues of popular personalities. The history and anthropology enthusiasts have a treat in store for them at the Tribal Museum, dedicated to the tribal heritage of the area that is an integral part of Ooty’s culture. Lastly, kids can have a jazz at the deer park. Besides, there are more in store for nature lovers by way of Dodabetta, Nilgiri’s highest Peak. The charm and magic of Ooty woos people from around the country and outside the country who flock in hundreds to balk in the beauty and enjoy the summer in this paradise. You must come here if you want to pamper your mind and senses.