Ooty is one of the most visited hill stations of South India. There are umpteen things to do in Ooty and a whole lot of sightseeing options for the tourists. Located in the Nilgiris this Queen of the Hills has won hearts of many and continues to be one of the most sought-after hill stations for tourists looking for weekend breaks. It is observed that the hill station enjoys pleasant weather all the year around which makes the hill station all the more favorable for families and honeymoon couples.
This divine hill station gives a lot of reasons to any visitor to make his holiday memorable. From tall eucalyptus trees to lush green gardens, from ancient heritage to modern plantations, Ooty has its basket full. Ooty is blessed with beautiful landscapes, acres of tea plantations and man-made gardens.
From January to December and from Saturday to Sunday this place always delights you with its charming beauty, pleasant weather, high mountains, and the luscious homemade chocolates. Be it a technocrat from an MNC or a newly wedded couple they all find solace in the eternal bliss of this charming place and above all with so many activities and things to do Ooty never loses its charm and is still one of the most visited hill stations of South India.
This beautiful place has a rich history where most of the landmarks have been developed by the Britishers during the pre-independence era. The rich culture and heritage have been preserved intact it has been beautifully woven with some modern elements of lifestyle also.
With fast growing transportation it has become all the more easy to reach Ooty. A pleasant drive from Mysore or Bangalore however shall be ideal. There are private buses, taxis also. State run buses can also be taken.
This pearl of Nilgiri will amaze you at every moment and make you feel more closer to Mother Nature.
Here is a list of 12 best things to do in Ooty
1. Nilgiri train ride
This five-hour steam journey started by Britishers way back in 1908is a vacation in itself. It has been accorded as the steepest track in Asia. The Blue Mountain as it is fondly named starts its journey at 7:10 am from Mettupalayam and takes the passengers through 250 bridges and 16 tunnels and 208 curves to reach Ooty.
The distance covered is only 46 km but what the passenger’s experience is pure bliss. They are the spectators to lush greenery, misty mountains and some picturesque valleys. There are other Heritage trains also in our countries such as in Shimla and Darjeeling but this beauty en route is truly mesmerizing for any human soul.
The tourists should ensure advance booking as the tickets get easily sold out during the peak season. The famous Chayian Chayian song on Shahrukh Khan was shot on this train.
2. An evening stroll in Rose Garden
Spread across ten acres this garden is a feast for eyes. With more than 20,000 roses this garden is one of the biggest of its kind in the country. Owing to the temperate climate of Ooty it is ideal for rose cultivation. A quiet Saturday evening with your loved one is what any couple would wish for.
This Garden is also the hot pick for the Horticulturists. Visitors can get customized bouquets and also take a sapling with them. The layout of the garden has been aesthetically planned and a raised platform has been made from where the tourists can have a full view of the garden.
This garden is frequented by the love birds after all that can be more romantic than spending special moments with thousands of roses around you. An evening stroll in the garden is one of the most romantic things to do in Ooty for couples.
Check out the list of 21 Best Ooty Resorts…
3. Boating in Ooty Lake
A prime time attraction in Ooty, though artificially built, this lake has a huge footfall. The boating here can be done at nominal rates. There are options of a paddle boat, steamboat and motorboat. The tourists can also rent a cycle and enjoy a cycle ride in the evening.
This lake is an ideal picnic spot where a lot of activities, rides, and games are there for the kids. Evenings are the best time here where one can see large families enjoying with their children. It is one of the fun things to do in Ooty.
After all what else do the kids want: good food, games, and rides. This place is a perfect combination of all three. The best part is the Boating in the lake is open all over the year-round except in case of very heavy rainfall.
4. A stroll in Botanical Garden
Ooty has many gardens and lakes since the time of the Britishers. During the pre-independence era this garden was cultivated by the Europeans for the purpose of getting vegetables at a nominal cost, today however the Botanical Garden is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Govt and is home to more than thousands of species of plants, herbs, medicinal plants.
If you love nature, this should be on top of your list of things to do in Ooty. Almost all the tours and travels do have it in their plan. There have so many movies and song sequences which have been shot here.
There is a fossil tree in the center of the Garden which is one of the main attractions for all the visitors. Overall the garden has been divided into six sections-Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace and Nurseries
5. Get clicked at Needle view Hill Point
Soochimalai is what they call in the local language, this point deserves a special mention and is worthy of a visit for a lone trekker. No hustle bustle, no crowd, no maddening noise of mobs as this place is very less frequented. One can spot this place while coming back from Ooty towards Mysore.
This place is densely forested and it is advisable to visit this spot during the day time. There are chances of wild animals to be seen hence the trip should be planned accordingly.
The temperature drops drastically during the night so one should carry warm clothes also. For adventure enthusiasts, this should be in the list of top things to do in Ooty.
There is a big rock shaped in the form of a cone, hence this name is given. An ideal location for the loved ones to get some instant worthy pics with this beautiful background.
Here is the list of 96 unique stays in Ooty.
6. Spice plantation visit
Going for a spice plantation visit is one of the best things to do in Ooty in March. Ooty’s close neighbor Connor offers well planned guided plantation tours to the visitors. The tea and spice plantations are a must visit for any tourist visiting Ooty.
The aroma of clove and pepper is bound to sweep away the senses. The vast tea plantations are a perfect background for some memorable pictures. One can just be lost amidst the greenery.
The added advantage here is that many accommodation options are available such as private estates, tea estate bungalows which are just a click away from you. These stay options come in all budgets and they are usually managed by the locals.
The locals give a detailed tour of their plantation and its really amazing to see the spices on the tress what we see in our kitchen. Black pepper and Cardamom are the most famous of all the spices.
7. Trekking at Doddabeta Peak
Ooty rests in the laps of the Nilgiris Mountains and this peak is the highest in the range. It stands tall at 8652 feet. This peak is just a few kilometers away from the main city limit of Ooty. What makes this peak different from others is that it has got a flattened curve at its peak.
This peak fascinates the trekkers, though not a very challenging trek yet it may seem a little tough for the beginners. The trekking requires an entry ticket, which can be taken for a group or for an individual also.
What awaits at the top is a Telescope house from where the trekkers can have the complete view of the valley, the far off plantations, the lakes, and the waterfalls. A warm cup of aromatic tea is what soothes. A camera will be the best friend for such a trek. If you are looking for some best things to do in Ooty in April, you must visit Doddabeta Peak.
8. Visit St.Stephen Church
A classic example of the pre-independence era, this church is located on the Mysore Ooty road. It was primarily built for the Britishers but later it was open for public in the 19th century.
The ceilings are adorned with beautiful paintings such that of Last Supper and the statues are simply masterpieces of sculpture. The timber used in the construction of the Church was brought from the palace of the mighty Tipu Sultan, the majestic ruler of Srirangapatna.
Visitors can stop here while en route Ooty and seek blessings from Mary and Jesus. Visiting this place is among the best things to do during festival seasons.
9. Tea tasting at Tea Factory
This queen of Hills has one of the largest tea growing belts in India. There are huge tea plantations and all the tourists do carry with them the aromatic tea leaves of Ooty all across the globe. A large number of tea factories are there in Ooty among the Nilgiri Hills.
A tea Museum has been established and there are options of taking a tour around the museum as well as the Tea Factory. The visitors are given a complete insight into the history of Tea, how it originated, its evolution in the Nilgiris.
The tea factory tour is one of the best things to do in Ooty in August. The tourists are taken on a complete tour of the history of tea in India. They are taken through the exciting journey of manufacture of tea, right from the time the leaves are picked up till the time they are sorted, graded and then finally packed and are ready for transportation.
10. Outing at Avalanche Lake
This fabulous place is located around 25kms from Ooty in the Nilgiris. A natural formation in this place is especially meant for those who are true nature lovers and love to spend time in the green under the blue sky.
This is a restricted area and the visitors need to pay a fee to visit this lake. The lake water is pristine and the Government is taking all steps to preserve its beauty. This place is great for camping and fishing. Camping at Avalanche Lake is one of the most adventurous things to do in Ooty at night.
Families can enjoy with their kids as it is an ideal picnic spot. The visitors are advised to reach early morning as the afternoon heat may dampen the spirit in some cases.
11. A pious 108 steps climb to Elk Hill Murugan Temple
Murugan Temple in Ooty is quite a frequented spot. A flight of 108 steps awaits the pilgrims at the entrance of the temple. The main deity is Lord Murugan whose statue is 40 feet tall and located in the open space within the temple premises.
The other statues are those of elephant God Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. This temple has striking architecture and has many devotees coming to the temple in large numbers.
The devotees carry milk in large decorated containers on their shoulders for Abhisheka. Since this temple is located at the hill top, the visitors can enjoy a pleasant view of the valley beneath and at the same time spot some rare species of flora and fauna. Many devotees also take mediation sessions here.
12. A family trip to Mudumalai National Park
This biodiversity park is located at an hour drive from Ooty. Located in the Nilgiris this National Park is home to Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger, leopards and some rare species of birds. Bandipur National Park forms the northern boundary of this wildlife reserve.
Since this park is located on Mysore route it can be entered both from Mysore as well as Ooty. The entire park is spread over 321kms and has been divided into five different regions namely Masinagudi, Kargudi, Mudumalai, Nellakota and Thepakadu.
Mudumalai is the core area where the tourists can spot rare species of mammals and birds. There are some restricted areas for open jeep safari. Kids enjoy the most at such places.