Finding Heaven in the Nilgiris

One of the most popular hill stations in the south of India, Ooty, or Udhagamandalam, is a haven for tourists visiting Tamil Nadu. Located amidst the lush green settings of the Nilgiri Hills, this hill station was set up by the British in the early 19th century as a way of beating the heat of the cities. Ooty has a charming vintage feel to it which is reminiscent of the colonial era. It is also home to verdant hills, pine woods, coffee and tea plantations and eucalyptus trees.

Best time to visit:

Find relief from the scorching heat of the plains by visiting this town during April to June and September to November, when the cool clime is sure to set you at ease. Stay in a resort in Ooty and let the environment relax your body and mind.

Getting there:

Conveniently connected to all the major cities of the country, Ooty can easily be reached by air, rail or road. The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport, which is approximately 96 km away. With three railway stations in Ooty, you can take your pick from Udhagamandalam, Mettupalayam and Nilgiri Mountain Railway Stations. Even though Mettupalayam Railway Station is a roughly 50 km drive from Ooty, taking a train to reach the town is always a good option as you get to see stunning vistas of the hills rolling by. However, if you have time to spare, taking a road trip to Ooty will prove to be advantageous as the scenic landscape will provide you with plenty of pit stops for photo opportunities.

Must see:

St. Stephen’s Church – this is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris and is embedded with a rich history. Located in the town centre, the quaint church is an architectural delight with its panelled doors and beautiful stained-glass windows.

Doddabetta Lookout – this highest point in the Nilgiri Hills offers you breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Approximately 7 km from the town centre, you can take a Kotagiri bus to the Doddabetta Junction and walk to the ‘View-point’, or hire a taxi at a good price. When you reach the ‘View-point’, feast your eyes on the sprawling green hills and revel in nature’s bounty.

Government Botanical Garden – As you come down from the Doddabetta slopes, stop over at the gorgeous Botanical Garden. Created with terraced steps, the garden is home to a bouquet of vibrant and colourful flowers. Stroll around or sit back and relax amidst all the flora.

Other than the above, you should also visit the Tribal Museum, Wax World, Pykara River, Ooty Golf Course and Mudumalai National Park during your stay in Ooty.

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