Ooty or Blue Mountain, is one of the most beautiful and famous hill stations in India. Ooty alias Udhagamandalam or Udhagai is at a distance of 86 kilometers from Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu state.
Ootacamund, is part of Nilgiri mountains or Blue mountains.
A brief history about Ooty
In 1818, the then Collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan, wrote that it Nilgiri resembles Switzerland. He constructed a bungalow near Kotagiri near Coonoor (at 18 kilometers distance) in 1819 and worked with the local tribes to ensure than they get their land rights and keep their cultural identity.
It was John Sullivan who started the construction of the road from Sirumugai near to Mattupalayam to Dimbhatti in the same year and was completed in 4 years. The work for the road route to Coonoor was started in 1830 and was completed in around two years.
Nilgiri Railway work was started after much delays in 1891 by “Nilgiri Railway Company”. Mettupalayam-Coonoor section was completed in 1899 and trains were introduced in this section. Coonoor-Udhagamandalam line was completed in 1908 by the “South Indian Railways” which acquired the railway line from “Nilgiri Railway Company” and trains started operating from Mettupalaym to Udhagamandalam in 1908.
Udhagamandalam was the summer capital of Madras regiment during British rule in India. “StoneHouse”, constructed by John Sullivan was the first building in this hill station, which was constructed in the year 1822.
Tourist places in and around Ooty
The 65 acre Ooty lake and the boat house was also constructed by John Sullivan, who was the first collector of the district. Ooty lake is one of the main tourist attractions with its Eucalyptus trees and toy train railway line. An adventure water theme park (water park) was opened at the entrance to the lake a few years ago, which is a major attraction for kids. Water zorbing is available here.
The 22 acre Ooty Botanical Gardens another major tourist spot. There is an annual flower show in May every year, which attracts lacks of visitors. There is a 20 million year old fossilized tree inside the botanical garden.
Doddabetta, the highest peak at 2,623 meters altitude in the Nilgiris mountains is at 10 kilometers distance and is among the must-see places in Udhagamandalam. Pykara river, Pykara lake, Pykara boat house run by TTDC and Pykara dam are some of the other places to visit in the Blue Mountain Hills. Pykara river is very sacred for the local Toda tribes.
There are numerous other places to visit in and around Udhagamandalam, Coonoor and Kotagiri. There are regular sightseeing packages from Hotel Tamilmadu (TTDC Hotel) premises at Ooty. It covers many of the tourist places in and around Ooty, at affordable rates.
Mudumalai is a nearby Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park, which is a little away from Ooty, on the Ooty – Mysore road.
How Do I Go to Ooty Hill Station?
Ooty is well connected to the rest of India by road. Coimbatore is just 86 kilometers away which takes around 3 hours drive through Coimbatore – Mettupalayam – Ooty road.
Udhagamandalam is connected by train to Mettupalayam by the the UNESCO Heritage train service, Nilgiiri Mountain Raiilway NMR. The railway station codes for Mettupalam, Udhagamandalam and Coimbatore are MTP,UAM and CBE respectively.
Coimbatore is the nearest airport for those who wish to go to Ooty by air.
Ooty Hotels and Resorts
There are many hotels and resorts at Udhagamandalam and surrounding areas. Hotel Tamilnadu is a leading government hotel on a small hill top at the heart of the city.
Wild Planet Nilgiris is a jungle resort situated at Devala, on the Wyanad – Mudumali route. This resort is spread over 100 acres of land. It is at around 60 kilometers from Calicut or Kozhikode. Hotel Lakeview is a hotel with fireplace (They seems to charge for the fireplace consumables).
Karnataka Horticulture Park and Accommodation
The Karnataka Horticulture Department has a beautiful Horticulture park with ornamental gardens, lawns, nursery and fruit orchards near Fern Hill area.
Accommodation facilities for tourists are also offered in this 30 acres of land under Karnataka Horticulture Department. Prior Reservation is a must. Reservations can be done at the office of Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Protocol), Vidhana Soudha (Karnataka state secretariat), Bangalore. Details found at http://horticulture.kar.nic.in/ooty.htm is added below.
On-season Booking ( April to July ) The Director of Horticulture, Lalbagh, Bangalore - 560 004. Ph: +91 - 80 -26579231 Fax : +91 - 80 – 6570181 Off-season Booking (August–March) The Assistant Director of Horticulture, Karnataka Horticulture Department, Fern Hill, Ooty. Ph: +91 - 423 - 2441942