Udagamandalam (also known as Ootacamund, and abbreviated as Udhagai and popularly known as Ooty, is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 86 km north of Coimbatore and 128 km south of Mysore and is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district. It is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills.
Originally occupied by the Toda people, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. The economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with the manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected by the Nilgiri ghats road and Nilgiri Mountain Railway Its natural environment attracts tourists and it is a popular summer destination. In 2011, the town had a population of 88,430.
Ooty features a subtropical highland climate. Despite its location in the tropics, in contrast with most of South India, Ooty generally features mild conditions throughout the year. However, night time in the months of January and February is typically cold. Generally, the town appears to be eternally stuck in the spring season. Temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year, with average high temperatures ranging from about 17–20 °C (63–68 °F) and average low temperatures between approximately 5–12 °C (41–54 °F).
The highest temperature ever recorded in Ooty was 25 °C (77 °F), which by South Asian standards is uncharacteristically low for an all-time record high temperature. The rainy season in Ooty is generally cool and windy with high humidity. The wind chill may fall to as low as 5 °C (41 °F) during the day time. The wind is always high throughout the year. The lowest temperature was −2 °C (28 °F). The city sees on average about 125 cm (49 in) of precipitation annually, with a marked drier season from December through March.
How to reach Ooty?
As now you know what must in your bucket list while visiting Ooty, let’s see how to get to this hill station.
Roadways are by far the best way to get to Ooty as the town is well connected with major cities of the state.
- Self Drive:
- Road ride to Ooty will be quite rewarding as one will get to experience the natural forest area. Private rides from Coimbatore are easily available with a ride time of approximate 3hours.
- One can reach Ooty from Wayanad, Munnar. Kannur cities of Kerala by taking a private cab or minibus
- State-run, as well as private bus services, connect Ooty with nearby towns like Coonoor, Kotagiri and Masinagudi with an approximate travel time of an hour.
- Major cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Trichi and Chennai also have bus services to Ooty.
Udagamandalam railway station is a terminus station in Ooty, which itself is a World Heritage Site but is just connected with Coonoor.
The nearest domestic airport is Coimbatore which is around 96 km away from Ooty. There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Coimbatore.
The international airport of Bangalore is well connected with major cities around the globe. One can opt for bus or taxi from Bangalore to reach Ooty.
List Of 25 Must-See Places in Ooty:
01. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
World Heritage Site also known as The Toy Train, built by the British, is an unparalleled activity to experience in our list of the best places to visit in Ooty. A journey in the toy train gives its passengers a lifetime experience as the ride offers you the captivating landscapes, dense forests, flowing river and the sun shining beautifully over them.
It is the steepest track in Asia and as the train takes you to the higher altitudes, you will experience how treasured Nilgiri is. You’re going to witness a whole lot of panoramas on the ride. The 5 hours long Journey to Ooty is the time you won’t regret spending on this 46 Km track as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Location and timings: The one-way journey starts from Metupalaiyam at 7:10 am, and from Ooty at 3 pm.
Charges: The ticket, costing INR 205, can be booked from the IRCTC website.
02. Rose Garden
Who does not love roses? Lying in the heart of Ooty, this garden will not fail in taking your heart away. Located on the slopes of Elk Hills, it has a wide variety of roses and other flowers which not only attracts tourists but also botany students. It is known by multiple names like Centenary Rose Park, the Jayalalithaa Rose Garden and the Nootranju Roja Poonga. The stretched lush area offers a great place for a family picnic.
Being maintained by Horticulture Department it is also famous for the flower show during which the most number of flowers are grown here. Do not forget to buy a bouquet from here on your next visit to Ooty!
Location: Horticulture House, Bombay Castle
Charges: Rs. 20 per person
Timings: 08:30 AM to 06:00 PM
03. Ooty Lake
A lake, artificially constructed just for the fishing purpose has now become one of the most popular tourist places in Ooty which has scenic views in every direction you see. It is a place you just cannot miss on your trip to Ooty. Also, the famous summer festival organised here in which the boat races and other such games attract the crowd.
There is also a boathouse, boating in it is the favourite thing of tourists. You can always spend peaceful and quality time here with your close people. Plus you can do cycling here by taking a cycle on rent. If you want to take something with you from here, there’re shops selling shawls and other stuff you might like
Location: The Nilgiris
Charges: Rs. 10 for Indians, Rs. 560 for foreigners
Timings: 09:00 AM to 06:30 PM
04. Botanical Garden
Divided into sections, these gardens give you a variety of ferns, flowers, and orchids. People also visit the place for their research purposes.
The uniqueness of this place is in its trees, whose names are heard for the first time when tourists visit there, the trees include–The monkey puzzle tree, which the monkeys can’t climb and that’s how it got its name, the cork tree and the Paperbark tree.
Timings: 07:00 AM to 06:30 PM
Charges: Rs. 30 per person
Camera Charges: Rs 50
05. Emerald Lake
If you’re someone for whom the holiday is an escape from the crowd then this is one of the must-visit tourist places in Ooty for you. It is just 17 Km from Ooty and has the blue waters of emeralds, the backdrop of Nilgiri slopes and the forest so dense is what feels like heaven. Sunset and sunrise are the most enjoyable time here.
As said it is an escape, you will not find amenities nearby except for a resort named The Red Hill Nature Resort. Trekking is also one of the many things you can indulge in.
Location: Emerald Village
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Charges: No entry fee.
06. Needle View Hillpoint
Also famous by the name of Oosi Malai, it’s one of the preferred places to visit in Ooty if you are planning a picnic with your loved ones or simply want to spend some time in the lap of nature. Away from the hustle and bustle of city-life, Needle View Hill Point serves as an ideal place to calm your soul.
You can climb up the rocks and get a panoramic view of the splendid scenery spread here. The cool breeze and the setting sun will make the whole experience more pleasant. It will bring out the romantic in you and make you fall in love with nature if you aren’t already.
Timings: From 08:00 AM – 06:00 PM every day.
07. Kalhatty Waterfalls
About 14 km from Ooty, Kalhasti waterfall is another name for this place. It lies in Kalhatty village, where water graciously descends down from a height of 120-122 feet. You’re going to spot a wide variety of hill birds. Wildlife here includes Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars, and monkeys.
Also, it is a house of various spices like cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, sandalwood, pepper, and rosewood. It is also one of the perfect places for trekking in Ooty. Kalhatty Hills are going to be a lot to your beautiful memories from Ooty.
Location: Ooty-Mysore Road
Timings: 06:00 AM to 10:00 PM
08. Kamraj Sagar Dam
Ooty is full of must-visit places and Kamraj Sagar Dam is surely one of them. In the lap of Nilgiri village, the dam has become the favorite picnic spot to go with family and friends. A quiet place surrounded by hills, there are a variety of fishes, mostly trout, in the reservoir.
Also known as the Sandynalla Reservoir, this place is famous for film-shooting. You also can’t resist capturing the charm of this place in your camera. This place won’t take much of time but it definitely offers picturesque views to your eyes, making it one of the most serene tourist places in Ooty.
Location: Coimbatore-Ooty-Gundlupet Highway
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
09. Mudumalai National Park
It has been declared as a tiger reserve thereby increasing its importance and making it a must in the best places to visit in Ooty if you are a wildlife enthusiast. To see around, you can either use your own vehicle or hire one. You can enjoy the shades of nature from Needle Rock View Point and Frog Hill View Point.
There’s a Spice Garden to visit and also Chanadanmalai Temple to satisfy you spiritually. If you love treks, this place won’t disappoint you in the least. You’d be offered to go on a jungle safari and elephant safari. You’re strongly recommended to take it.
Location: It’s a 3 km journey from Gudalur; or go via the NH- 67.
Timings: 07:00 AM – 09:00 AM and 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Charges: Rs.15/person. Additional charges for camera and safari.
10. Stone House
It is one of the oldest buildings of the British Empire in Ooty characterized by ancient architecture and beauty. It stores a lot of artefacts and heritage and you can also have a look at the weapons used by Nilgiri residents in ancient times. Historians, archaeologists, and art lovers would love it here.
The place is clean and well kept. You can learn about animals, coins, postal stamps, utensils and agriculture techniques used by them. It is pretty interesting and informative.
Location: Stone House Area, Stone House, Ooty
Timings: All days except Monday from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Charges: Rs. 5 for adults.
11. Pykara Waterfalls
Sacred to the Todas, the river of Pykara running along the village of Pykara is a beautiful place to be at. You are given the luxury to spend some time here in the boathouse or forest rest house. They make for an ideal holiday package for you, taking you to the most attractive places to visit in Ooty.
It will be spiritually uplifting to be here. The clean meadows and interesting animals are a major attraction. The Pykara waterfalls will leave you spell-bound and you will leave only to come back again. The food served here is absolutely delicious. Photographers will love it here.
Location: Pykara, Sholur, Tamil Nadu.
Timings: Open all day from 08:30 AM to 05:00 PM
Charges: Rs. 175/ person for boating.
12. St. Stephen’s Church
This place is all about a peaceful atmosphere and good vibes to heal you spiritually. Being a place of worship, it’s very calm and quiet and offers positive vibes to make you feel comfortable. The architecture is very elegant and intricate. The details will blow your mind away with its intrinsic carving, which will make you appreciate the structure.
The Church holds within its premises an aesthetic garden with various flowers that adds more beauty and charm and further pacify the environment, allowing you some time with nature. The church also houses a cemetery in its backyard.
Location: Club Road, Ooty.
Timings: Open on all days except Sunday. Mass timings from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM and from 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM
13. The Tea Factory and the Tea Museum
Residing in the lap of appeasing Nilgiris and spreading over an area of 1 acre, it is a highly recommended place for nature lovers and especially tea lovers. The Tea Museum will let you in on the facts about tea, like its origin, its evolution over time and other notable details that will blow your mind and you’ll never look at this refreshing beverage the same way as before.
You’ll be intrigued by it. The Tea Factory will show you the mechanical and technical details of the entire procedure of tea making. You will get to taste it too.
Location: Dodabetta Road, Mel Koddapmund, Ooty.
Timings: Every day from 09:00 AM to 05:30 PM.
Charges: Rs. 10/ person for a factory visit and Rs. 10/ person for Museum visit
14. Doddabeta Peak
Witnessing the junction of Coimbatore plains and highlands of Mysore, Doddabeta peak is one of the highest peaks of South India and the highest in Ooty. Tourists reach up to the summit and get to see the forests of Bandipur National Park, with the birds singing and chirping during the beautiful sunset and sunrise. Apart from the stunning views, this peak is also famous for the rich medicinal plants and trees here which are used to make various medicines and herbal tea.
One of the various things to do here is peeping through the Telescope house. Also, it is the ideal place for trekking. In huge numbers, trekkers come here and admire this natural marvel, making it one of the most exciting tourist places to visit in Ooty.
Timing: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Charges: Rs 6 per person only
Camera Charges: Rs. 10
15. Tribal Research Centre
If you are looking for a change in your daily routine yet want it to be productive or if you are a lover of art, artifacts, and architecture, then this place is for you. It also houses interesting plants and trees. You’ll be shown around the place and will get to learn a lot about the history, mechanism, cultures, and traditions of the tribes.
It will be intriguing to know what the world was like for them with no electricity and technology yet everything was well managed. It has a rich library to give you more details
Location: Nanjanad Road, Muttorai Palada, Ooty.
Timings: All days except Fridays and national holidays from 10:00 AM – 01:00 PM and 02:00 PM – 05:00 PM.
16. Mukurthi National Park
Located in Nilgiri, this place offers a spectacular view of varied flora and fauna. It treasures the Nilgiri Tahr and other endangered animals like the Asian Elephant and the Bengal Tiger. The park is about montane grasslands decorated with sholas lined with shrubs.
The area is windy and cold, giving it a mystic touch. It experiences high rainfall so you should come prepared. You can trek your way to happiness. Take a tour around and observe the details it hides. It has an uncanny resemblance to the Himalayas and proves to be a soothing escape from your hectic schedule.
Location: The Ooty-Gudalur-Mysore route is the easiest to get in.
Timings: From 09:00 AM – 05:30 PM. Closed on Tuesday.
Charges: Rs.15/person. Rs.2 for students. Additional charges for the camera.
17. Deer Park
Interested a little in wildlife? Then, visiting deer park should be there in your list of places to visit in Ooty. Easy to find, Deer Park is on the edge of Ooty Lake. This park is also famous for the different species of fauna.
As per its name, there exists a variety of deer including the species of the Sambar Deer and Chital AKA Cheetal Deer and a few other animals like Hares, Rabbits and water birds.
Location: Near Ooty Lake
Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
18. Avalanche Lake
It is a naturally created lake because of a landslide and unlike the misnomer name suggests, it is a perfect place for a family outing. It is one of the mandatory places to visit in Ooty on your trip here if you are a nature lover. Although it is located 28 km away from Ooty, the distance is worth covering as it offers an opportunity to do trout fishing, activities like trekking and camping.
Also, you can spend the night here because everything here is perfect to pitch tents. Apart from activities nature has painted this place so well with flowers and everything beautiful.
Location: 28 km from Ooty
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
19. Dolphin’s Nose
It is the go-to place for nature lovers. The panoramic view it gives you is unquestionably beautiful. Adventure lovers and photographers would love it here, adding an adventurous blend to the places to visit in Ooty. The vast scenery decorated with Catherine Falls, Nilgiri Hills and lots of greenery is purely spectacular.
You are offered a telescope to have a better experience of the beauty spread in front of you. It is mesmerizing. Coonoor tea served here will energize you. March to May is the best time to visit as it gets extremely cold in winter. One thing is guaranteed; this mystical place is going to leave you awestruck.
Location: Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
Timings: Visit during the day to avoid fog blocking the view.
20. Tiger Hill
Located in the beautiful city of Ooty, Tiger Hill is an awe-inspiring point to have a grand view of the scenic beauty around this place. On the hill, there is a cave and a water body that adds to the beauty and gives fresh water to the people here.
It is situated away from the chaotic atmosphere of the city and will give you peace and liberate your mind. The sunrise looks breathtakingly beautiful from here and so do sunsets. The hill allows trekking and adventurers are surely going to love it.
Location: Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
Timings: Avoid going in early mornings and late evenings because of fog.
21. Wenlock Downs
On your way to Pykara, you will come across Wenlock Downs which will soothe your mind and calm yourself, which makes Wemclock Downs one of the most quaint places to visit in Ooty if you are an offbeat traveler. You should take the time to see around here.
It will satisfy the photographer in you and will be an ideal place to break your journey and rest for some time. The downs are spread over a vast area of 20,000 acres making it look endless. This land has its own stories to tell and is historically important. The Pykara backwaters form a lake that looks beautiful when seen from Wenlock Downs.
Location: 16 km from Ooty.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 06:30 PM
22. Thread Garden
The artful creation of plants and flowers from something as underrated as threads is totally going to amaze you. Its beauty lies in how realistic it all looks. The thread is woven magically in the shape of petals and leaves and it’s so incredible that you will be stupefied.
The technique they adopted is called “Four-Dimensional Hand Wound Embroidery”. It was done without any mechanical help which is stunning in itself. If you call yourself a lover of arts and artifacts, there is no way you can skip this beauty when you are visiting Ooty.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Charges: Rs. 30/ person and additional charges for the camera.
23. Adam’s Fountain
Established in the year 1886, it is a historical landmark made in the loving memory of a Governor who rendered his remarkable services in Ooty at that time. The fountain is pretty detailed and intricate and the beauty of it attracts the tourists.
The night view of the fountain looks ineffable with the spring of water glowing in the dainty lights. The photographers have a special liking for this spot due to its photogenic look. If you are in Ooty, you would surely want to have a picture of you with your loved ones with the magnificent fountain in the background.
Location: Charring Cross, Ooty.
Timings: Open at all times.
24. Katary Falls
It is a breathtaking place and will have you enchanted by its beauty and charm. It is situated around 10 km away from Coonoor and is the third-largest waterfall in the blue hills of Nilgiris. To go near the waterfall, you need to take special permission from the Defence.
Once you have it, you can go close to this mystical fall and experience its magical view from up close. You can reach there by trekking which is fun and quite photoshoots. It can give you some mind-blowing photographs to make your friends swoon over.
Timings: It is recommended to visit during the afternoons.
25. Elk Hill Murugan Temple
It is a Hindu temple located in the stunning city of Ooty. There are no charges or permissions needed as it is a place of worship. In order to see the Lord Murugan statue and go to the temple, you will have to climb 108 steps barefoot which is quite fun with family and friends.
It will leave you with loads of memories to cherish throughout your life. This place is a dazing blend of spirituality and natural beauty that will steal your heart. It is a beautiful way to escape your busy life and hectic schedule. It will bless you with new zeal and enthusiasm. You must visit and see around here.
Location: Elk Hill, Ooty
So If one is looking for a mind-blowing opportunity to partake in an exciting trekking trip, camping, abundant natural beauty and forest, close to nature, Ooty is the best place to visit. Arrive with your family and friends for a fun-filled time.