From the exceptionally beautiful Nilgiri Hills to the mesmerizing meadows and soothing weather, Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is a hill station situated in Tamil Nadu. Of the many places to visit in South India, Ooty is a definite favorite among tourists. Ooty tourist places are many to make one exhausted if they plan to visit the place only once.
Here’s a list with the 14 top tourists places to visit in Ooty-
1. Ooty Lake:
One of the most beautiful and peaceful places to visit when in Ooty, Ooty Lake is an artificially constructed lake with breath- taking view. Originally constructed for fishing, this place has now become an important landmark of this area. The Ooty summer festival which takes place witnesses a number of boat races which take place here.
Timings: The Lake is open all day from 10 a.m. in the morning to 6:30 p.m. in the evening.
Entry Fee: The entry fee is Rs. 10 (Indians) and Rs. 560 (foreigners).
Activities to do: There are a number of fun activities to do here. One can get a bicycle on rent for a ride around the area or one can even go on a walk around the Lake. There are pedal and motorboats available as well whose rates vary according to the seater one chooses. (Pedal boat- from Rs. 160 to Rs. 200; Motorboat- from Rs. 180 to Rs. 450).
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2. Botanical Gardens:
No one can leave Ooty without visiting the well maintained Ooty Botanical Gardens. Spread over 55 acres and maintained by the Horticulture Department of Tamil Nadu, the garden is divided into various sections- Lower Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Nurseries.
Other Major attraction:
- Fossil Tree Trunk which is twenty million years old.
- Toda mund or Toda hill.
- The Monkey Puzzle (which even the monkeys cannot climb!)
Timings: The Ooty Botanical Gardens is open from 7:00 am to 6:30pm every day.
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs.15 per child and Rs. 30 per person with extra amount chargeable for still camera and videography.
Activities to do: People come here to enjoy the fresh air and the soothing weather. The Flower Show held as a part of the Summer Festival in Ooty is one of the main attractions here during that time.
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3. Deer Park:
Located at a distance of one kilometer from the Ooty Lake, this park dedicated to wildlife is one of the most visited Ooty attractions. It is easily accessible and it is not just deer that one can find here.
It is a well-maintained park with the animals taken care of. After strolling around the Lake, one can walk ahead to the park and after which they can visit some nearby restaurants and resorts.
Timings: The park opens from 10:00 in the morning and closes at 5:00 in the evening.
Entry Fees: There is no entry fee to be paid.
Activities to do: One can find various species such as Sambar and Chitral. There are a number of wild hares and rabbits on the run as well. One can even spot a variety of birds also.
4. Doddabetta Peak:
The highest peak of the Nilgiris- Doddabetta is a trekker’s delight. From beauty surrounding the peak to a breath- taking view of the hill station from the top, a trek to the highest point makes the traveler satisfied.
One of the top places to visit in Ooty, Doddabetta Peak, located at the intersection of the Western and the Eastern Ghats, gives one an opportunity to view the highlands of Mysore and Coimbatore as well.
Doddabetta peak is one among the top 7 trekking trails in India.
Timings: The timings are from 7:00 in the morning till 6:00 in the evening. It is open to visitors every day.
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs. 6 for people above the age of five. Rs. 10 for still camera and Rs. 50 for the video camera.
Activities to do: One can get a marvelous view from the top, with this being a photographer’s delight. One can even find some flora on the slopes of Doddabetta as well. The Ooty Botanical Gardens is located at the lower slopes. The best views of the places can be enjoyed from the Telescope House. A number of other Ooty sightseeing are located near the place as well.
5. Kalhatti Waterfalls:
Believed to be the place where Saint Agastya used to live, Kalahatti Waterfalls will make one feel blessed to witness such beauty.
It is located at a distance of 15 kilometers from the Kalahatti village and is a two-mile trek from there. This place has beauty redefined with a variety of flora and fauna. Surrounded by trees and forests, one can spot some wild animals as well.
Timings: It is usually open from 8:00 in the morning till 6:00 in the evening.
Entry Fees: There is no entry fee chargeable.
Activities to do: Seeing the Sambar deer is an obvious phenomenon here.
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6. Mudumalai National Park:
Located in the Ooty Mysore route, this national park was recently declared a Tiger Reserve is home to 50 tigers. It is located in the Nilgiri district, border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It can be reached from both Ooty and Mysore. It was the first forest ranger to be declared as a national park.
Timings: It is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:00am- 9:00am and 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Owing to the tropical climate, it is best to visit this tourist place during summer or after the monsoon.
Entry Fees: Rs. 15 is the entry fee with Rs. 25 for still camera and Rs. 150 for the video camera. Rs. 135/person for Jeep Safari.
Activities to do: Visiting a national park, one does not have to decide on what to do beforehand. When in Mudumalai National Park, one can see elephants roaming around or a deer enjoying the warm sun. Endangered species and variety of snakes and reptiles can also be seen.
The Moyar River which runs through the reserve serves as an opportunity for animal sightseeing as a number of them come here to quench their thirst. The Forest Department even maintains forest houses which can be served on first come first serve basis.
7. Thunder World:
A big hit among tourists coming in with their families, especially kids, Thunder World also known as Dinosaur Park and Bigfoot, is an amusement park with more than 20 different models of dinosaurs along with sound and special effects.
Timings: It is open from 9:00 am till 7:00 pm (Monday- Friday) and 9:00 am till 6:00 pm (Saturday- Sunday)
Entry Fees: Fee is chargeable at Rs. 210/person for adults and Rs. 130/person for children.
Activities to do: The main attraction here is the 5D theatre and the Third Eye Camera Museum. This place also has an artificially constructed rain forest and a haunted house, which bring in huge footfall.
8. Tea Museum:
As the name suggests this place is a heaven for the tea lovers. Spread across 1 acre, filled with the aromatic smell of the tea leaves and surrounded by the green meadows, this museum should be a must-see place on the list of Ooty tourist places. One can witness the tea making process and get the chance of tasting some of the best flavors.
Timings: It is open to visitors from 10:00am till 6:00pm.
Entry Fees: For visiting the factory and the museum, a person has to pay Rs. 10.
Activities to do: Apart from tasting the exotic tea flavors, one can even get a souvenir from nearby shops.
9. St. Stephens Church:
A place displaying the colonial-era charm and commendable architectural beauty, this 200- year old structure is a perfect example of it. Built-in the 19th century using the timber acquired from the palace of Tipu Sultan, the church has some really beautiful window glass paintings.
This church welcomes a number of tourists every year due to which there are many hotels and accommodation nearby. It is one of the main Ooty sightseeing places.
Timings: It is accessible to the visitors from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm (Monday- Saturday). It remains closed during Sundays.
Entry Fees: It is free of entry cost.
Activities to do: Visiting a holy place doesn’t require any reason to attract visitors, it is the case with this church. Still, the key attraction of this place is the painting of the Last Supper.
10. Rose Garden:
One of the best well- maintained and appealing tourist place of Ooty, the Rose Garden has been awarded the Garden of Excellence Award for South Asia from the World Federation of Rose Societies. Owing to the pleasant weather and the unmatched care of the staff, the garden has a huge variety of roses, from all across the globe.
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Timings: Visitors can have a visual delight anytime from 8:30am to 6:00pm every day.
Entry Fees: Rs. 20/person and Rs. 30 for still camera and Rs. 75 for the video camera.
Activities to do: From black rose to green rose, from tea rose to miniature rose, there is every variety here!
11. Avalanche Lake:
Surrounded by the lush green carpet and adorned by the hill mountains with the still water lake in the middle, Avalanche Lake, created by a landslide is a perfect spot for a group gathering. One can visit the lake after the monsoon to have a view of flowers blooming on sides of the river, such as rhododendrons.
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Timings: It is open from 8:00am to 6:00pm (Monday to Sunday).
Entry Fees: No entry fee is charged.
Activities to do: One can go around for having a walk and watch the beautiful flowers bloom.
The lake is available for fishing as well. In the morning one can go for fishing with a trout hatchery located nearby, providing with the fishing essentials. One can spend the night by putting up a tent with tent pitching facilities being provided.
The mountains surrounding the lake has good trekking facilities as well. Therefore, one can go up trekking also. One has to be careful when it gets dark and should also carry warm clothes, in case it gets cold at night.
12. Kamaraj Sagar Dam:
A must visit place when planning a trip to Ooty with family, Kamaraj Sagar Dam is famous as a picnic spot. It is frequented by people who want to come and relax on their holiday. This place is a great option for bird watchers.
Timings: It is open from 9:00 in the morning till 6:00 in the evening.
Entry Fees: It is free of any cost.
Activities to do: One can spend quality time with their family and also witness different species of fish and a variety of birds coming here.
13. Ooty Stone House:
Not many find this place interesting but for some, visiting this place is worth their time. Also considered the first residence of “modern” Ooty, it was because of the construction of this house that exploration and thus, settlement started taking place here. Currently, it is the official residence of the Principal of Government Arts College.
Timings: It is open to tourist sightseeing from 10:00am till 5:00pm.
Entry Fees: No entry fee.
Activities to do: It is a well- known tourist place for the history it holds. Also, the location works as an add- on for attracting many to this place.
14. Pykara Lake:
Pykara Lake, located 20 kilometers from Ooty, on the Ooty- Mysore Road is another famous picnic spot. The Pykara River and the waterfalls the river produces is great view not to be missed. It has been declared as a heritage site and the dam and powerhouse built across the river ensure hydroelectricity to the surrounding area. One has to be careful of the water level, especially during the rainy season.
Timings: The timings range from 8:30am till 5:00pm.
Entry Fees: Rs. 175 is charged for boating per person.
Activities to do: There are boat houses available. The surrounding of Pykara is famous for Toda settlement, which is very rare in number.
Best Time to Visit Ooty:
Ooty can be visited all-round the year as the weather here is pleasant and comfortable throughout. Usually, the tourists come here during April- June (summer) and September- November (winter).
Summer: During summers, the maximum temperature goes up to 20 degree Celsius. Almost all the activities and places are open during this season.
Winter: Winters here are chilly and have their own charm. The temperature falls and makes the region have a completely different view. Many couples visit Ooty during this time.
Monsoon: Monsoons are to be avoided as the rainfall here is heavy which in turn leads to closure of many activities and places. In spite of this, Ooty wears on a spectacular view making this a photographer’s delight.
How to Reach Ooty:
By Air: The nearest airport to Ooty is Coimbatore which is at a distance of 88 km. Coimbatore, itself is connected to many main cities such as Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. After reaching the airport one can take the bus or taxi.
By Train: The nearest railhead to Ooty is Mettupalyam, 40 km from Ooty. There are trains from Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, and Coimbatore. One can take a cab or bus from there but the best option is the heritage train, Nilgiri Mountain train which makes the journey all the more exciting and picturesque.
By Bus: Being one of the most visited hill stations of South India, Ooty finds a number of luxury and government buses traveling to and fro. There are buses available from Chennai, Mysore, and Bangalore. It is an overnight journey from the bus. A special government bus leaves Calicut at 5pm and 7pm and takes six hours to reach Ooty.
Apart from the above-mentioned travel modes, one can even opt for reaching Ooty by road.
Best Places to Stay in Ooty:
There are many hotels and cottages available for tourists to stay. Homestay options are available as well. Chalking out a few names is hard but some of the famous stays are-
Gem Park Resort: Located at the heart of the town, this resort is near to all the major tourist attraction of the area. They have categories of rooms on offer with each furnished with proper amenities.
Safari Land Resort: One of the best resorts on offer in Ooty, Safari Land Resort gives one an opportunity to relax among the beauty and serenity of nature. There are options available for staying at treehouses as well. This is easily accessible from the airport and railway station.
These are just a glimpse of the stays available in Ooty to make the experience all the more enriching. There are many more to see and one can find them online as well on Funstay!
Ooty as a honeymoon destination:
With easy transportation facilities and good accommodation, half the journey hassle is solved itself. There are a number of sightseeing places and tourist places (already listed above!) to make the trip with your better half memorable. Honeymoon packages are also available to make the experience a happy one.
A number of honeymooners visit this town to experience the soothing weather and spectacular landscape. This place has all that is needed for a honeymoon destination- satisfactory facilities, sightseeing locations, delicious food, romantic weather, and a great photography backdrop!
So, pack your backpack and hop on the train! We are waiting!