Ooty: how to visit top tourist places?

Ooty or Udhagamandalam, the Queen of Hill Stations situated in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu. It offers breathtaking landscapes, picturesque meadows, lush green hills, soothing weather, abundant sightseeing places and incredible ethnic diversity makes it a favorite tourist destination. It is an ultimate heaven for nature lovers, trekkers and wanderers.

Source: Ajay Babu-pixeles.com

Ooty, a centrally located Hill Station in the Tamil Nadu, at a distance of 85 km from Coimbatore. From where, you can undertake day trips to Coonoor Hill Station in Tamil Nadu (25 KM), Wayanad Hill Station in Kerala (126 KM) and Mysuru in Karnataka (125 KM).

Top Tourist places of Ooty:

Many tourist places of Ooty are listed in digital media but ideally you can enjoy only few of them. So it’s better to identify and shortlist your favorite places which fascinates or attracts you the most for your next visit to Ooty and nearby places. So, prepare your itinerary in such a way that you can enjoy them leisurely rather that running from one place to another. Some attractions are summarized below:

  • Ooty lake
  • St. Stephen Church
  • Botanical Garden
  • Toda Temple
  • Tea Factory & Tea Estate Museum
  • Doddabetta Peak
  • Adam’s Fountain
  • Radio Astronomy Centre
  • Emerald Lake
  • Avalanche lake
  • Upper Bhavani Lake
  • Wenlock’s down or 09th Mile shooting ground
  • Pykara Lake
  • Mukurthi National Park
  • Glen Morgan Dam Reservoir
  • Mudumalai National Park

Day 1: Reach Coimbatore from Delhi. Then hire a taxi or opt for Nilgiri Mountain Train to reach Ooty Hill Station.

Hotels can be booked Here.

How to reach Ooty?

Reaching scenic Ooty is not a big problem because it is well connected with Air, Road and Train. It is situated at the junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka so its easy to visit from these places. Both options i.e. the road as well as Nilgiri Mountain Train, are quite good to reach Ooty because both routes are very attractive, picturesque and mesmerizing.

Minimum days required in Ooty?

Minimum 5 days (excluding the journey time) are required to see the main attractions of the Ooty nearby places but you can extend it to 6-7 days for a leisure trip.

Nearest Airport to Ooty:

The Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 85 km from the Ooty.

Suggestion: You can visit Isha Foundation which is 41 Km from the Airport and see the majestic view of the 112 feet statue of Adiyogi Shiva. Shiva is known as “The Destroyer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu.

Source: Prabhuthiru57 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Nearest Railway Station to Ooty:

The Mettupalaiyam Railway Station is just 51 Km away from Ooty. You can either opt to take Taxi or the Nilgiri Mountain Train for Ooty. While the 2nd option of toy train will give you a lifetime experience because takes you uphill, down the valleys, passing through thick forests and dark tunnels etc.

Travel by bus:

You may also take bus from the Coimbatore or Mettupalaiyam Railway Station to reach the Ooty.

Day 2: Ooty lake, Radio Astronomy Centre, Emerald Lake and Avalanche lake, Upper Bhavani Lake View Point.

Ooty Lake

Source: Vinayaraj – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Ooty_lake

It is an artificial lake that was built for fishing purposes but now popular for boating. You can hire boats from Boating house located near the lake. Cycling around the lake is worth experiencing. Purchase some local items from the shops around the lake.

Radio Astronomy Center, Ooty

Image Source: KannanVM – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Radio Astronomy Centre (RAC) is located 06 Km away from Ooty Lake. It is a 530-metre (1,740 ft) long and 30-metre (98 ft) wide Cylindrical Parabolic telescope used in the research of the universe. But entry is restricted and need prior permission to enter into the Radio Astronomy Ooty.

Emerald Lake

Source: RANJINI – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Emerald Lake is located in Silent Valley of Nilgiri District at a distance of 25 km from the Ooty. The beautiful lake is ideal for picnic, Tea estates and views of sunrise and sunset. Here, you can relax in natural environment.

The Avalanche Lake

Image Source: Suraj117 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Avalanche Lake was created due to a massive landslide somewhere around 1800s. It is an ideal picnic spot but its beauty, greenery and landscapes attracts tourist round the year. Indulge in trout fishing, camping and trekking to nearby hilly regions such as Upper Bhavani Lake.

Upper Bhavani Lake View Point

Located around 36 kilometres from Ooty, the Upper Bhavani Lake offers best views of the forest, green mountains and great landscapes. In the early hours, the mist and the fog make a romantic location and give photographers a new life of capturing speechless photographs.

It is a perfect place for a quiet picnic in the nature and the tranquility. Visit the nearby Bhavani Temple and the Sholas (Sholas are the local name for patches of stunted tropical montane (High altitude) forest found in valleys which are usually separated from one another by undulating montane grassland).

Day 3: St. Stephen Church, Botanical Garden, Toda Temple, Tea Factory & Tea Estate Museum, Doddabetta Peak, Adam’s Fountain (evening walk).

St. Stephen Church

Source: Challiyan at ml.wikipedia

It is located on the Mysore road in Ooty and is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris district. It was opened for public in 1831. A painting depicting the Last Supper is displayed on the western wall of Church. It also features stained glass windows depicting, among other scenes, the crucifixion of Christ and Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms.

Ooty Botanical Gardens

Source: Aditya R. Jha from Pexels

The Government Botanical Garden is one of the most popular places of the Ooty. It spreads over 55 acres on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta peak. This garden is divided into five different sections such as Fern House, Lower Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory and Nurseries.

The flower show conducted during Ooty Summer festival is a major attraction in the Ooty. You can also see, a Fossil Tree Trunk, which is said to be around 20 million years old.

Deer Park

Deer Park is located at a distance of 2 km from Ooty Lake which makes an interesting story to kids. Mostly, Sambhar and Chitals are kept here.

Doddabetta Peak

Source: Shanmugamp7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Doddabetta Peak (2623 meters) is the highest peak in the Nilgiris. It is located at the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats which is around 10 km from Ooty. Visit Telescope house to see the mesmerizing landscape of the valley which is very rich in flora and fauna.

Toda Huts, Ooty

Source: Vinayaraj – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Toda Huts are one of the most attractive and unique sightseeing places in Ooty. Toda is the indigenous tribes of Ooty and these huts are the residing place of the Toda people. The huts are made in the shape of a semi-barrel without windows and very low doors. The Toda people mostly depend on cattle herding and farming.

Tea Estate View Point

Source: Ajay Babu from Pexels

The Nilgiri region is renowned for its tea and most of the areas in Ooty are surrounded with the tea plantation. The tourist can go for a walk in the tea estate.

Adam’s Fountain

Source: Sistak from Toyama-ken, Japan

Adam’s fountain is located in one of the most important landmark and beautiful places in Ooty. It looks wonderful during the night.

Day 4: Ooty Toy Train to Coonoor and visit Ketty’s valley view, Dolphin Nose, Sim’s Park, Lamb’s Rock.

Hotels can be booked here.

Coonoor Hill Station:

Coonoor Hill Station is one of the famous Hill Station of the Tamil Nadu. Its proximity to Ooty makes it a must visit Hill Station along with Ooty. The Ooty tour cannot be completed without visiting the Coonoor. You can visit it alone.

Here is an advice, if you are going to Ooty in peak season and facing difficulty in booking hotels there, you may find some better options in Coonoor. And you will also be able to visit Ooty and its nearby place easily.

Top tourist places of Coonoor:

Sim’s Park

Source: PJeganathan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Sim’s Park was established in the year 1847 which is basically a botanical garden, fully surrounded by the shrubs and creepers. It occupies an area of about 12 hectares.

There are numerous temperate plants of India are found in this park along with Queensland Karry Pine, Rudraksha (the bead tree) and Handsome Ornamental tree. The Sim’s Park is a significant and favorite destination of botanists and nature lovers.

Dolphin’s Nose

Source: www.flickr.com/photos/kumaravel

Due to resemblance or appearance of a rock to the Dolphin’s nose, it is named as Dolphin’s Nose view point. It is the very popular tourist spot in Coonoor, located at a distance of 12 km from the Coonoor city near the Tiger hills. From Dolphin’s nose view point, you can see the St.Catherine falls along with the Coonoor River while the deep forest green valleys attracts you very much.

Trek to Hidden Valley, Coonoor

The Hidden Valley is located beyond the Wellington Golf course. It is a true delight for nature lovers and trekkers. Most of the tourists are not aware of this spot because it is hidden and you need to trek through the lush green and dense forests to reach this spot.

Therefore, there is no proper route for this spot. But you can see the panoramic view of the beautiful mountains, picturesque scenery, green vegetation and marvelous landscapes which fill your heart with immense pleasure.

Echo Rock or Lamb’s Rock or Coonoor suicide View point:

Source: Mrunmaikulkarni – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Lamb’s Rock view point is in a reserve forest at about 8 kms from the Coonoor Bus Stand. Watch phenomenal stretches of forests. It is on the way to Dolphin’s Nose.

Day 5: Wenlock’s down or 09th Mile shooting ground, Pykara Lake, Mukurthi National Park, Wayanad Hill Station, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Caves, Soochippara Waterfall.

Wenlock’s down or 09th Mile shooting ground:

It is located at 9 miles away from Ooty city which is one of the best scenic view and most attractive tourist spot. The “Shooting spot” is fully surrounded by green, extensive and dense forest and most of the Indian movies are filmed here due to its natural beauty and scenic view.

Pykara Lake:

Image Source: Shanmugamp7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pykara village and river is around 20 km away from Ooty. The Pykara River is considered very sacred by the Todas who are settled around it. Rises at Mukurthi peak, the river flows through Murkurti, Pykara and Glenmorgan dams, and forms part of an important hydro-electric power project.

The river flows over a series of waterfalls but the last two of 55 metres (180 ft) and 61 metres (200 ft) being known as Pykara Falls. A boat house on the Pykara reservoir is an added attraction for tourists.

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park is a part of Nilgiri Bio-reserve which was previously known as “Nilgiris Tahr National Park”. Its main attraction is the Nilgiri Tahr but it also home to endangered wildlife, including royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant. Leopards, sambhar deer, barking deer, small Indian civet, shrew, soft furred rat are also found.

Besides these, there are some birds including threatened laughing thrush, whistling thrush, woodcock etc. Predatory black-winged kite, kestrel etc. may also be seen in the grasslands. It is a popular site for trekking as well.

Wayanad Hill Station, Kerala:

Wayanad is famous for its natural beauty, rich flora and fauna and picturesque views, from ancient times. Edakkal caves constitute 6000 years-old engravings from Neolithic civilizations.

Source: Nitin Pai from India -CC BY 2.0

However, archaeological evidences prove that forests of Wayanad are inhabited for more than 3000 years. Several Dynasties like the Kutumbiyas, Kadambas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara’s empire etc ruled the Wayanad.

The meaning of Wayanad is the ‘land of paddy fields’ but the Britishers encouraged the production of wealthy crops. Therefore, over the years, tea, coffee and spices are cultivated on the fertile soils of Wayanad.

Following places are famous in Wayanad:

  1. Chembra Peak
  2. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Edakkal Caves
  4. Soochippara Waterfall
  5. Stay in a Tree house
  6. Banasura Dam

Chembra Peak:

Source: Karkiabhijeet – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Chembra Peak is the highest peak of the Wayanad Hill Range with an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. It offers a panoramic view of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Niligiri districts. The view of the Banasura Sagar Dam is also a delightful to the watch.

Experience a three hour trek from Meppady to the peak and view the nature’s another gift in the form of a heart-shaped Lake ‘hridhayathadakam’ which is believed to have never dried up and is a major tourist attraction here.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

Wayanad’s favourable climate facilitates the existence of rich flora and fauna in the Nilgiri region. This Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kerala 344.44 km2 area which was established in 1973 and brought under the Project Elephant in 1991–92.

It has four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty. A variety of large wild animals such as Indian bison, elephant, deer and tiger are found here.

Whereas, Peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers, jungle fowls are a few of the various types of birds seen here. Blue beard bee-eater found in Wayanad is the largest bee eater in the world. These bee-eaters live in low lying forest areas and open hills. It also houses some of the rare and endangered species of both flora and fauna.

Edakkal Caves

Source: EricMathew – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Edakkal caves are of historically and archaeologically significant for its carvings dating back to the Neolithic era, the late Stone Age i.e. around 6000 years old.

Famous for its exquisite rock and wall carvings, measure at a massive length and width of 96 and 22 feet, respectively and lie about 1200 metres above the sea level. Therefore, you have to trek for one and half hour to reach entrance of the cave.

Soochippara Waterfall.

Also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, Soochipara Falls is a three-tiered waterfall situated in Vellarimala, Wayanad. The drive from Meppadi to Sentinel Rock Waterfalls provides visitors with scenic views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad. This enchanting waterfall is 200 meters high and forms a large pool, so one can enjoy swimming and bathing in it.

Tree House:

So many people have a hidden aspiration of living a life like a Tarzan and roam in the jungle and hang from one branch to other. But fulfilling this desire depends upon one’s boldness to do such kind of action in real life.

So, Wayanad Hill Station is the right place to feel the life of the Tarzan by staying in a Tree house. If you want to fulfill this dream or staying in the tree house then Wayanad is one of the best place.

You can choose a best package which suits you as there are several packages available in the city. As a part of the package, you can stay in the beautiful wooden house, enjoy bonfire, if required and indulge in various activities like rock climbing, abseiling or rappelling or nature walks etc.

Banasura Dam:

The picturesque Banasura Sagar dam is lying in the lap of the Banasura hills, Wayanad, Kerala. It is the largest earthen dam in the country and the second-largest in Asia. The view from the top of the dam is breathtaking.

The Speed Boats are ready for your adrenaline rush or fulfilling your adventurous need. Take a trek up to the Banasura Peak which is filled with streams, diverse flora, fauna, lush tropical green and majestic waterfalls.

Day 6: Day trip to Mysuru. Visit Mysore Palace, Brindavan Garden, Karanji Lake, St. Philomena’s Church (2nd Tallest in Asia), Mudumalai National Park etc & Return to Ooty.

Glen Morgan Dam Reservoir:

The Glen Morgan is one of the old tea estate, located at a distance of 25 kilometers from Ooty. It is also famous picnic spot. One of the main attractions here is a 3-kilometre rope way from a power house in Singara to Glen Morgan. It offers beautiful views of the Mudumalai National Park, Mysore, the Moyar valley and the power house at Singara.

Mudumalai National Park

‘Mudumalai’ means ‘situated on the first hill’. It is surrounded by the tropical evergreen forest, shrub and swamp, moist teak forest, moist mixed deciduous, dry teak forest and secondary grassland.

The Mudumalai National Park is a declared Tiger Reserve. It was established in the year 1940 and it covers about 321 kilometers. You may see tigers, leopards, striped hyenas, dholes, sloth bears, Asian elephants and Golden Jackals.

Different species of birds are also found like crested hawk-eagle, the crested serpent eagle, the Malabar Trojan, and the Malabar grey hornbill are some of them.

Bandipur National Park:

Bandipur National Park was established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. It is located in the Karnataka, which is the state with the second highest tiger population in India.

Along with adjacent Nagarhole National Park it is one of the premier Tiger Reserves in the country. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore but has now been upgraded to Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Bandipur is known for its wildlife and has many types of biomes, but dry deciduous forest is dominant. It housed a number of endangered and vulnerable species like Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, jackals and dholes.

Because of its location on the road connecting to Ooty and Mysore, it is very convenient to visit. A lot of tourists visit the National Park every day. There is a ban on traffic from 9 pm to 6 am of dusk to dawn to help bring down the death rate of wildlife.

Mysuru:

Mysuru or Mysore is known for its magnificent palaces, stunning gardens, colourful festivals and exceptional craftsmanship are some special & unique feature to make Mysuru a travel destination.

Mysuru is famous for:

  1. Mysuru Palace or Amba Vilas Palace:
  2. Brindavan Gardens:
  3. Chamundeswari Temple:
  4. Karanji Lake:
  5. St. Phillomera’s Church:

Things to see in Mysuru:

Mysuru Palace or Mysuru Maharaja Palace or Amba Vilas Palace:

Source: Aastha lall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Mysuru Palace is one of the largest Palaces of India. It’s architecture is a blend of Hindu, Rajput, Gothic and Islam style. The stunning interior is a display of intricate craftsmanship.

Karanji Lake:

The lake spreads in 90 acre and is among the biggest lakes in the State of Karnataka. The lake is situated at the foot of Chamundi Hills behind the Zoological Park. Each year about 90 species of migratory birds came here. There is a beautiful park around the lake and it also has a huge enclosure for birds.

Brindavan Garden:

Source: Sugnyan – Own work, CC BY 3.0

It is situated below Krishnaraja Sagar Dam and spread in 150 acres of land. It is one of the best gardens in the Country. It has many fountains of various shapes but musical fountain is one of its main attractions. The ideal to visit this park is after sunset to enjoy the colorful fountains. Boating facility is also available here.

St. Phillomera’s Church:

Source:Bikashrd – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is second largest church in Asia. It was built by the Mysore King for the European residents of Mysore by setting example of religious harmony and brotherhood.

Chamundeswari Temple:

The Dravidian style temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hills. The Goddess Chamundeswari is considered as the deity of Mysore Royal family. The natural beauty around the temple attracts the nature lovers and photographers.

Day 7: Return to your home via Coimbatore.

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