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Places to Visit Ooty

The Nilgiris of the south are a class by them selves. They contain excellent summer resorts such as Coonoor and Kotagiri The chain of mountains lies between Mysore in the north and Coimbator in the south. The highest point is an altitude of 2619 metres. Udagamandalam, Popularly called Ooty is known as the Queen of the Hill Station. It nestles on the Nilgiri range – at an altitude of 2286 metres. The extraordinary scenic beauty of this place matched by the salubrious climate makes it a most favored hill station in the south.

The rolling meadows, lush gardens and placid lakes are all reminiscent of the British. Ooty still retains something Indian in its cottage and stone arches, and offers many profiles of nature, each imbued with a distinctive grandeur. The original inhabitants of Ooty. Were todas, a colorful pastoral tribe. Other forest tribes found around the Nilgiris are Kotas, Kurubas, Irulas and Panias. Perhaps no other hill station has so much to offers are Ooty does. There are quite a number of interesting places to visit in Ooty.

Places to Visit in Ooty

Botanical Gardens : The beautifully landscaped Botanical gardens was developed in 1847 as a small kitchen garden by the Marquis of Tweedale. Today a variety of exotic and ornamental plant adorn the garden. A fossil tree trunk which is said to be 20 million years old is faound in the midst of the garden. There are spacious lawns of Kikiu grass, giant exotic trees and huge flower beds. A sprawling Cedrus Deodora tree dating back to 1893 is a favorite of visitors. The hundred year old Fern House is another attraction in the garden. The summer festival of flower show is held every year in May, which attracts a large number of tourists this garden is favorite of the botany enthusiasts.

Ooty Lake : The artificial lake was constructed in 1824 by the then collector John Sullivan. Set amidst scenic surroundings, the lake offers facilities for boating. Pony rides along the road are also popular. A toy train is another attraction to the children. The children’s garden is located close by.

St Stephen’s Church : Located at the highest point a little away from the residential area, is this church, one of the oldest noted for its stained glass paintings and Gothic style.

Coonoor : (18kms) Situated at an altitude of 1712 metres Coonoor is the Popular retreat for many as its climate is slightly milder than Ooty. Set amidst the backdrop of the Nilgiri mountains, the beautiful plantation of Coonoor is the Botanical Garden popularly known as Sim’s Park which was established in 1874. There are lovely flower beds, lawns rockeries. Many rare commercial trees and herbs are grown here. Breathtaking view points are Dolphin’s Nose, Lamb’s Rock and Lady Canning’s Seat. Some of the ancient churches at Coonoor are worth visiting, particularly for their gothic art and stained glass panels. The Fruits Research Station located here conducts annual fruit shows.

Doddabetta Peak : (10 kms) A much frequented place, the highest peak of the Nilgiri, 2633 metres high, Doddabetta offers a breathtaking view of the hill ranges, Plateau and plain around At the top of the peak, there is an observatory fitted with telescopes to facilitate clear view of the distant valleys.

Kalhatti Water Falls : (14 kms). A mountain stream cascading down into the valley from a height of 36 metres, provides an enchanting view in the calm and quiet surroundings. It is an ideal place for picnic and trekking.

Avalanche Lake : (28 kms) A beautiful reservoir surrounded by thick Sholas which abound in many species of birds. It is not only a nature lover’s paradise but also a popular place excellent for Bird Watching and photography.

Glenmorgan Valley : (17 kms.0 This is a deep valley which has the famous electric power generating station of Tamilnadu. There is an electrically driven winch of the Electricity Board to go down and reach the Pykara power houses at Singara. This is a unique hydro-electric project in Asia utilizing a steep fall of 1030 metres. The Moyar power house is a little away form Singara. Kundah hydro-electric project can be reached by a motor able road. Prior permission is necessary to visit these places.

Mudumalai Wild life Sanctuary : (64 kms) Situated on the way to Mysore adjacent to the Bandipur and Wynad Sanctuaries, This has a variety of wild animals including rare species of dear like Musk deer and braking deer. Many species of birds also can be seen here Very popular for herds of elephants, bisons, antelopes and many others. Tourists can go into Teppakadu in the heart of the sanctuary to see the wealth of wild life. Watch towers have been constructed to enable wild life enthusiasts to stay overnight in the forest. There is an elephant training camp at Teppakadu. Prior permission in necessary to go in to the interior of the forest.

Mukurthi National Park : (40 kms) This national park situated to the west of Ooty is one of the most picturesque wild life reserves. Bordering kerala and spread over an area of 78 sq kms., Mukurti is the house of rarest of wild life. The scenic splendour along its path is unparalleled. This park holds the highest population of Nilgiri Tahr in the world, next only to Ernakulam National Park in Kerala. The park is a paradise for bird lovers and abounds in a wide variety of birds, Mukurti and its surrounding forests offer some of the toughest but most scenic trekking paths in South India. Prior permission is necessary to enter the park.

Wellington : On the way to Coonoor, The Defence Services Staff College is situated at Wellington, Amidst the cool green Atmosphere of the Nilgiris. It is an institution of pride which has served as a model fro the British also. Started in 1947, the DSSC is a unique Institution of international repute, which trains personnel from the three forces together and thus has set up a model for other countries

Pasteur Institute : Coonoor’s most famous institute is the Pasteur Institute established in 1907, where research work on Rabies is carried on regarding treatment for the victims suffering from the attack. It also produces the anti-serum vaccine for rabies given to pet dogs and other animals. Walk and drives at Coonoor include those of Tiger’s Hill and Walker’s Hill and Love dale.

Kotagiri : 20 kms. from Coonoor. Visitors who prefer a milder climate choose to a stay at Kotagiri. The winding roads afford excellent view of the valleys. This is called as the Little Pearl of the Nilgiris. Kotagiri has lovely green fields and a fine golf course. This was the first spot to be developed as a summer resort.

Rangaswamy Peak : 19 kms. from Kotagiri. This is a peculiar formation of rock naturally located at an altitude of 1785 metres. Local tradition ascribes divine sanctity to this rock calling it as Rangaswamy Pillar.

Udagamandalam can be reached easily by road from Coimbatore of from Mysore. The nearest airport is Coimbatore. All the places around Ooty are connected by excellent roads. State and private buses operate on routes at regular intervals. Taxis are available for hire. A number of luxury and moderate lodgings. Tourist Rest Houses and Youth Hostel provide accommodation to the visitors. The best season to visit these hill station would be from March to June and from September to October..

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