Places to Visit in Ooty

  • Post last modified:11 April 2022
  • Reading time:21 mins read

Nestled amidst the majestic Nilgiri Hills lies the Switzerland of India — Ooty. One of the most popular summer destinations in the country, Ooty goes by various other names like Udhagamandalam and Ootacamund. The numerous places to visit in Ooty will leave you mesmerized. It is called the Queen of Western Ghats. Ooty was the summer capital of Madras Presidency.

Ooty is located 86 kilometres northwest of Coimbatore, a major city of Tamil Nadu. The city was the summer capital of the Madras Presidency and served as the hub of the East India Company operations during the late 18th century.

The picturesque features and rich history makes Ooty one of the most famous places to visit in India. Ooty is a major honeymoon destination. Tourists mostly visit this city to bask in the soothing climate. Along with enjoying the flora and fauna of Ooty, tourists can also treat themselves to widely popular homegrown beverages of tea and coffee.


10 Places to Visit in Ooty

  1. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
  2. Ooty Lake
  3. Emerald Lake
  4. Ooty Rose Garden
  5. Ooty Tea Museum
  6. Government Botanical Garden
  7. Doddabetta Peak
  8. St. Stephen’s Church
  9. Thunder World Ooty
  10. Avalanche Lake

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The train service between Mettupalayam and Udhagamandalam aka Ooty is one of the must-visit attractions in Ooty. Built-in 1908 by the British, Nilgiri Mountain Railway is the sole rack-railway in India. The toy train that manoeuvres through the laps of the Nilgiris runs on the steepest track in Asia. Powered by a steam locomotive, the wagon experience is seemingly unmatchable for anybody visiting the quaint town of Ooty.

Passing between tunnels and steep slopes, the Ooty toy train provides more of a joyride than transportation. The start (Mettupalayam) to end (Ooty) journey takes up about 5 hours. Nilgiri Mountain Railway is listed under the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Nilgiri Mountain Railway should certainly be a part of your places to visit in Ooty.

Best Time to visit: All round the year

Major Attractions: Steam engine, rack-rails

Ideal duration to explore: 4-5 hours

Things to do: Enjoy the scenic view of the Nilgiri

Ooty Lake

Ooty Lake
Ooty Lake

Encircled by Eucalyptus trees and enchanting greenery, Ooty Lake is a family, fun and romantic destination all into one. The artificial lake that was constructed in 1824 could beat any natural water body with its near-perfect look. The Ooty Lake, also called the Ooty Boat House, provides boating facilities to tourists. One can pick a motor or paddle boat at their convenience.

Initially built as a fishing spot, Ooty lake later developed into one of the renowned attractions in Tamil Nadu. From taking a walk amidst the Eucalyptus vegetation or sitting by the lakeside with loved ones, there is a lot to do around this spot. The lake also houses a racecourse and a children’s amusement park nearby. Ooty Lake experiences a lot of footfall due to one of Ooty Toy Train’s stops passing through its banks.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Major Attractions: Toy Train stop, boat race

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours

Things to do: Boating, picnicking

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake Ooty
Emerald Lake Ooty

Located in Silent Valley, the beautiful Emerald Lake is just a stone’s throw away from the heart of Ooty. The lake rests away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is relatively less visited by tourists. The same makes Emerald Lake one of the peaceful and calming tourist spots in Ooty. This water body is home to many varieties of fish and one could easily find different kinds of birds in the vicinity.

A visit to Emerald Lake is certain to lift one’s spirits. The serene atmosphere around the lake comes as a blessing for tourists travelling from metro cities. Visitors can experience mesmerising sunset and sunrise views from this spot. Tourists can choose from many activities found around. Cycling, picnicking and evening strolls are a few of those.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 06:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Major Attractions: Wide variety of birds and fish

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours

Things to do: Cycling, evening walks, bird-watching, watch sunset and sunrise

Ooty Rose Garden

Ooty Rose Garden
Ooty Rose Garden

Ooty Rose Garden or, popularly known as Government Rose Garden is one of the top-rated flower gardens from across the world. Home to over twenty thousand varieties of Roses, the Ooty Rose Garden comes as a boon to one’s olfactory senses. The meticulously cut garden is a shutterbug’s haven. The Rose Garden is located at 2200 metres above sea level on the slopes of Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram, Ooty.

The cold and adequate rainfall makes Ooty’s climate favourable for the roses. The flowers experience a full and elongated bloom in this city. The same make Ooty Rose Garden one of the most famous places in Ooty and around the globe. The ideal time to visit this garden would be between March and June. The flowers are in full bloom usually during this period. If visiting in May, tourists can also witness the magical flower show.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 07:30 AM to 06:30 PM

Major Attractions: Wide variety of roses, flower show

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours

Things to do: Photography, evening walks

Ooty Tea Museum

Ooty Tea Museum
Ooty Tea Museum

Apart from the natural beauty, flora and fauna, Ooty also holds quite a reputation for its homegrown beverages of tea and coffee. Hence, a visit to the Tea Museum will make your trip complete. The Tea Museum in Ooty is located on Doddabetta road, right next to the Doddabetta tea plantation. Along with treating your eyes to breathtaking views of the tea plantation around, travellers can also learn quite a few things about tea, from this museum.

Make sure your list includes learning about the origin of tea, the history of tea in India, the preparation process and its evolution in the Nilgiris. A visit to the souvenir shop close to the Ooty Team Museum is highly recommended. Tourists can purchase various souvenirs and high-quality tea powder and tea leaves. The Ooty Tea Museum is a certain inclusion in the list of places to visit in Ooty.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm

Major Attractions: Doddabetta tea plantation

Ideal duration to explore: 1 hour

Things to do: Learn tea history and making process

Government Botanical Garden

Government Botanical Garden
Government Botanical Garden

Established in 1848, the Government Botanical Garden is a famous tourist spot in Ooty that can’t be missed by any visitor. Located on the lower slopes of Doddabetta peak, it rests about 2500 metres above sea level. This wonderfully maintained garden is under the control of the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. The garden boasts a temperate climate throughout the year. Tourists can make the most chilly nights between November to February.

The garden is divided into five sections namely — Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, The Conservatory and The Nurseries. Hugging about 55 acres of land, the Government Botanical Garden is home to over a thousand species of plants. At the heart of the garden is a fossilised tree trunk which is believed to be about 20 million years old. Other attractions within the Government Botanical Garden include ferns, flower beds, fountains, ponds, etc.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 07:00 am to 06:30 pm

Major Attractions: 20 million years old fossilised tree trunk, thousands of varieties of plants

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 hours

Things to do: Evening walk, explore wide variety of flora

Doddabetta Peak

Doddabetta Peak
Doddabetta Peak

At the pinnacle of the Nilgiri mountains lie the great Doddabetta Peak. Translating literally to the big (Dodda) mountain (betta) as per the local Badaga language, this peak is the ultimate destination of thrill-seekers. Tourists can endure an adrenaline-pumping trek to the top of the Doddabetta Peak and treat themselves to the jaw-dropping view from up above. From the summit, one can witness the woods of the Bandipur National Park and plains of Coimbatore and Mysore.

The summit which measures 2,637 metres (8,652 feet) has road access and is surrounded by a reserved forest area. The slopes of the peak are blanketed by thick sub-alpine shrubs and thick grass. There is an observatory at the top of the mountain with two telescopes. A combination of thrill plus calmness makes Doddabetta Peak one of the unavoidable places to visit in Ooty.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm

Major Attractions: Observatory, sub-pine vegetation

Ideal duration to explore: 3-4 hours

Things to do: Enjoy the panoramic view, trekking

St. Stephen’s Church

St. Stephen’s Church Ooty
St. Stephen’s Church Ooty

Dating back to the 19th century, St. Stephens Church is one of the oldest churches within the district. It is located on the Ooty-Mysuru road. The chapel is a reflection of British architectural marvel. The church was mainly constructed using timber from Tipu Sultan’s palace. St. Stephen’s Church has a picture of the Last Supper to the western side and that of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus.

Tourists from all over the country flock to this shrine that stands tall without any damage even after two centennials. The magnificent beauty and historical values make St. Stephen’s Church one of the most popular places to visit in Tamil Nadu. The church sees a lot of visitors due to its location. Travellers passing between Ooty and Mysuru often take a stop at St. Stephen’s Church.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 01:00 pm; Monday to Sunday from 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm

Major Attractions: The painting of the Last Supper

Ideal duration to explore: 1 hour

Thunder World Ooty

Thunder World Ooty
Thunder World Ooty

From honeymooners to solo backpackers to families, Ooty is a destination for everyone and kids are not excluded too. A quick trip to Thunder World might make the little travellers’ day. Wander through the history of the beasts that walked the Earth before mankind in this park. The Thunder World, also known as the Dinosaur Park, is divided into three major sections. Thunder World is a place worth sightseeing in Ooty. It is also an educational experience combined into a fun one.

Along with kids, the adults too got a lot to look forward to. One can visit the Vortex section and experience state-of-the-art 3D paintings or The World of Spirits for an unmatchable 5D experience. The amusement park also houses various joyrides and a Snow World. Do not forget to take your cameras as tourists can also click pictures with 3D models of famous Indian monuments.

Opening hours: April to October – Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 07:00 PM, November to March – Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 05:30 PM

Major Attractions: 3D paintings, 5D viewing experience, 3D monuments

Ideal duration to explore: 3-4 hours

Things to do: Enjoy joy rides, experience snow

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake Ooty
Avalanche Lake Ooty

Adding to Ooty’s alluring beauty, Avalanche Lake rests calmly between mountains and flower beds. Avalanche Lake is a crown jewel of tourism in Ooty. Formed following a landslide, Avalanche Lake attracts travellers of all ages and kinds. One could face difficulty in choosing a favourite spot as the vicinity of the lake is pure bliss wherever they could lay their eyes on. The lake falls under the protected area and is open almost all time of the year.

Avalanche Lake is a perfect spot for relaxation and engaging activities. Trout fishing is a favourite pass-time activity of the visitors of the lake. Make sure you do not miss out on star-gazing and carry a tent without fail as there are provisions at the lake to set up the same. This destination is also close to several other tourist spots in Ooty. Hence, Avalanche Lake just can’t be omitted from your itinerary.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 am to 03:00 PM

Major Attractions: Trout fish

Ideal duration to explore: 2-4 hours

Things to do: Camping, fishing, star gazing

To conclude, Ooty is indeed heaven on Earth and one would need a well-planned trip to make the most of it. A mix of pleasant climate, breathtaking views and serenity, Ooty is a place that one would want to re-visit. Multiple facets of Ooty tourism makes it a destination for all.


FAQ

Which is the best month to visit Ooty?

It can be ideally visited during any time of the year. However, if you are a lover of chilly climates then November to February is recommended. Or else, April to June is a nice time to visit as well.

Are 2 days enough for Ooty?

It’d need somewhere about 3-4 days to make the most of Ooty. However, if properly planned, 2 days are enough too. Just ensure you have a well-planned itinerary in place.

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