Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is one of the popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu. Situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet, Ooty is popularly called as ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. It was served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency during Places to Visit in Ooty
British rule. Its rolling green hills and pleasant weather make it one of the best hill stations in India and also one of the top summer destinations in South India.
Apart from the pleasant climate, Ooty is home to several tourist attractions. Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Wenlock Downs, Pine Forest, Doddabetta Peak, Emerald Lake, Pykara Dam, Pykara Falls, and Avalanche Lake are the top places to visit in Ooty. The toy train, also known as Nilgiri Mountain Railway that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must be experienced as part of Ooty trip. Mudumalai and Bandipur sanctuaries provide ample opportunity to explore the wildlife. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival (Jan) and Summer Festival (May) attract visitors in huge numbers.
Ooty Lake is a manmade lake built in 1824 by John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. Situated amidst beautiful valleys, Ooty Lake is a major landmark in the town and also one of the top places to experience Ooty Tourism. Covers an area of 65 acres, Ooty Lake is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty. The average depth of this lake is 40 feet and the lake is fed by the mountain streams in the Ooty valley. The Boat house offers various boating facilities include row boats, pedal boats, motor boats etc. There is a Mini Garden with an amusement park for children with a toy train next to the Lake.
Botanical Garden is the most popular tourist places in Ooty. In 1847 CE, Marquis of Tweedale laid the foundation of this garden and is presently maintained by Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. It spreads over an area of 22 hectares with more than 650 species of flowers and trees. This is one of the top places to visit in Ooty and also one of the best botanical gardens in India. The highlight of the garden is a fossil tree that is believed to be 20 million years old. A summary festival held here in every year May with a grand flower show.
Wenlock Downs is a vast expanse of grassy meadow and is a favorite picnic spot around Ooty. The downs spread across 20,000 acres of rolling lands that seems to be stretching endlessly. The Wenlock Downs are perfect for walking and hiking trails amidst this elegant landscape. The peak offers breathtaking views of mighty Nilgiris and the lake formed by the backwaters of Pykara.
Doddabetta (Big Mountain) is the highest point in Nilgiri Mountains and second highest peak in South India after Anamudi Peak near Munnar. Situated at an altitude of 2623 m, it is the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats. One can have a magnificent view of the landscape and the whole of Nilgiri district. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty. The tourism department of Tamilnadu manages a Telescope House in the Doddabetta Peak which enables the visitors to get a better view. This TTDC Telescope gives a complete view of the surrounding landscape.
Kamraj Sagar Dam, also known as Sandynalla Reservoir, is a favorite picnic spot situated on the way to Wenlock Downs & Pykara in Ooty. The Dam and the serene location make it a heavenly place. This is one of the top places to visit in Ooty and a favorite haunt for the nature lovers. There is a Pine Forest adjacent to the main road through which the reservoir is accessed. The Pine Forest spread across several acres and is a nice place to take snaps & famous shooting spot as well.
Pykara Dam, built on Pykara River amidst dense forest, is a beautiful place offering breathtaking scenery. This is one of the best Ooty tourist places and an ideal place to experience beautiful boat ride. Pykara Falls is a majestic falls formed by Pykara River on downstream of the reservoir. The falls cascade down through multiple layers on the rocky bed providing a unique beauty to the stream. This is one of the best waterfalls in Ooty and also one of the most popular tourist places in Ooty. There is a boat house, rest house and a restaurant that is run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. Boating in Pykara Lake is a memorable experience.
The Government Rose Garden, formerly known as the Jayalalitha Rose Garden or Centenary Rose Park, was established in 1995 to commemorate the centenary of Ooty flower show. It is situated at an altitude of 2200 m on the slopes of the Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram area of Ooty town. This garden comprises five terraces in an area of 10 acres and houses some of the largest collections of roses in the country including miniature roses, hybrid tea roses, floribunda, ramblers, black and green roses and many other unique varieties.