OOTY, the queen of hills, possesses many folded beauty and you can enjoy the climate and the beauty for days. OOTY situated in the NILGIRI district of TAMIL NADU is one of the places that attracts tourist from world- wide for its scenic beauty. It is a heavy of honey moon couples. The green meadows botanical garden, waterfalls, river, lakes and boat houses, sight- seeing spots and parks are the major attractions of the place. The three paces OOTY, COONOR and KOTHAGIRI are often visited by the tourists. COONOOR is at 19 Km and KOTHAGIRI is at 31 Km from OOTY.
The important spots to be seen at OOTY:
1. Botanical Garden: The Govt. botanical Garden was established in 1847 in 55 acres of land. Rare trees, creepers, plants and flowers are found here. Annual flower show is held on May 21 and 22 evrey year. South Indian Kennel club Dog show is also held here. The appropriate season is April, May and September months of every year.
2. Rose Garden
3. Boat house: OOTY boat house was established in 1824 by the then District Collector of Nilgiris, John Sullivan. Everyone likes to row boats there. Pedalling boats, rowing boats and motor boats are available .
4. Deers park
5. Govt. Museum
6. Community Hall, Lalit Kala Academy
7. Mukurthi National Park
8. Mukurthi Hills
9. Cathy Vel view: Cathy vel view point is at 7 Kms from OOTY on the OOTY COONOR road The 14 villages of Paduga tribes can be seen from here. It is a wonderous scene to see the clouds that pass very low so as to be touched by us.
10. Pykara : Pykara water falls is situated at 21 KMS from OOTY on the OOTY- Mysore road. The water comes to this falls from Pykara dam. Pykara boat house is also there. Because of its natural atmosphere, everyone likes to visit it.
11. Clen Morgam
12. Upper Bhavani
14. Dodabeta: It is the highest peak in the Nilgiris. It is at 2623 feet above sea level. It is at the junction of Eastern Ghat and Western Ghat and is situated at 10Kms from OOTY. No word can describe the scene that the clouds embrace the peak. Sun set is clearly seen from this peak with the micro telescope functioning in the observatory. One can see the whole of Nilgiris and Mettupalayam.
15. Kalhatti watter falls : It is about 13 Kms from OOTY on the Mysore road. The water of this water falls, falls on the flowers and spreads fragrance. The scenery is marvellous in the months of September and November. One can see Karnataka and Wayanad to the right and left respectively.
16. Wenlock Downs
17. Western Kochmund
18. Care hill
19. Kurusadi Thiruthalam
21. Mudamalai Wildlife Sanctuary: It is the first sanctuary of India. It is at 36 Kms from OOTY via Kalhatti hills, 67 Kms from Gudalur and 91 Kms from Mysore on the OOTY-Mysore highway, very near to the Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka states. The total area of Sanctuary is 321 Sq. Kms at an elevation of 100mts. Mayor Gargo falls is also located in this area. It is situated about 22 Kms from Gudalur. It is 30 mts, deep providing an amazing sight during rainy season. Animals are ever seen here.
22. Elephant Race.
Places to visit in COONOOR:
1. Dolphin’s Nose: It seems to be the Nose of a Dolphin. It is 11 Kms from COONOOR bus station. St. Catherine water falls can be viewed from here. This is the second largest falls in Nilgiris. There are two falls. The upper falls is 250 feet high. It is at 5 Kms from Kothagiri in Aravenu area. Water rolls on the rocks like sliver.
2. Lambs Rock: It is situated at a distance of 8 Kms from COONOOR bus station. Coimbatore and surroundings valleys can be viewed from here.
3. Laus falls: It is at 7 Kms from COONOOR on the Mettupalayam road. This water falls is situated at the pleasant natural region.
4. Kateri falls: It is situated on the Mettupallayam – Kundha road about 3 Kms from COONOOR. The Water comes to this falls from Keteri Dam. This is the highest of all falls in Nilgiris.
5. Sim’s Park: In Sim’s park of COONOOR, rare kinds of tall trees are found. Various trees like Rudraksha trees and herbal trees are found here. Fruits and vegetables show is held here every year during May. Appropriate months for tour are April, May and September every year.
Places to visit in KOTHAGIRI:
3. Thavalai (frog) Hill: It is at 11 KMS from Gudalaur on the OOTY Gudalur road. It resembles like a frog is sitting and so named.
4. Needle rock view point: This needle rock view point is at 40 KMS from OOTY on the OOTY Mysore road. It is at 360 degree from here. One can see the Mudumalai wild life sanctuary, Gudalur city and the thick forest.
Tourist from other states or from other countries should reach Coimbatore. There are ample flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Madurai. OOTY is at 100 KMS from Coimbatore. One can reach OOTY from Coimbatore Airport by car or bus. Those who prefer rail can come to Mettupalayam from Coimbatore and tehn by trains to OOTY. It is thrilling to experience that the train seems to go carving the hills.
Steepest in Asia, is the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Built in 1899 it begins at Mettupalayam at 1700 ft, Mean Sea Level (MSL) .Originally The NMR was modelled on the Rigi System invented by rack railway pioneer Nicholas Riggenbach in 1871. Riggenbach himself travelled to the Nilgiris to push the project. However, finally the Abt system invented by Riggenbach’s apprentice was preferred as it was less costly and safer for Asia’s steepest mountain railway.
NMR day is celebrated every year to mark the first train service to OOTY on October 15, 1908. The NMR got the Heritage Status on July 15-2005 at Durban in Africa. First service came to COONOR in 1897 and it took 10 years to complete OOTY –COONOOR line. The train starts from Mettupalayam, chugs through scenic locations crossing Kallar, Runneymede, Adderly, Hillgrove, Coonoor, Wellington, Aravankadu, Ketti, Lovedale and OOTY covering a distance of 46.6 KM.
Enjoy the ride!