OOTY- “Queen of the Nilgiris”
May 18, 2022
Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a hill station in Tamil Nadu which serves as a top-rated tourist destination. Once regarded as the summer headquarters of the East India Company, the Queen of the hills is a picturesque getaway.
Nestled amidst Nilgiri hills, dotted with tea gardens, serene waterfalls, winding country lanes and charming colonial architecture, Ooty is the perfect respite everyone. Ooty allures its visitors with the panoramic views of the Nilgiri mountains. Once the summer capital of Madras Presidency under the British, can be safely regarded as “India’s Switzerland”. After independence, Ooty was developed into a major tourist destination and understandably so, given its qualification for the same, owing to nature’s abundant blessings in terms of climate, scenic splendour, local sights and sounds, its wealth of flora and fauna ,and of-course its homegrown beverages of tea and coffee.
From nature walks in gardens that makes one wonder whether Paradise, as depicted in scriptures of various cultures, have actually been derived from such sensory experiences to relaxing over a cup of tea from the tea plantations dotting the hillside, only to realize most humbly of nature’s gifts as a bountiful provider. Ooty can be expected to resuscitate the soul, depleted of its spiritual reserves through the trials of everyday existence.
The wooded hills of the Western Ghats with its canopy of unkempt, untouched vegetation interspersed with maintained and cultivated tea gardens offer a rare view of the symbiotic existence of man and nature where one can see and learn what sustainable use of natural resources should ideally look like. The botanical garden and rose garden curate much of the bounty of nature at Ooty to mesmerizing effect. One has to see the tourist places in Ooty it to believe in the gifts of life, otherwise often conveniently overlooked.
Places to Visit.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Since 1908 people have been travelling through the single track railway to experience the unique journey to Ooty. The exclusive toy train was built by Britishers who travelled to the magnificent hill station seeking relief from the heat and enjoying its salubrious weather.
The 1000mm meter gauge railway slowly ascends the Nilgiri hills, moving through tunnels and curves offering its passengers a ride they would relish for lifetime. Dense forests, wide spectrum of foliage, mist clad hills, diverse species of birds, lush grasslands, and narrow valleys boasts the milieu of this mystifying destination also known as Udagamandalam. Nilgiri Mountain Railway exemplifies the marvels of engineering and induces a nostalgic appeal to train travel. The fleet of steam locomotives are replaced by diesel locomotives between Coonoor and Udagamandalam.
Rising from the Mukurthi peak, north of Ooty, the Pykara River gives birth to a series of fine waterfalls and the large Pykara Lake. While the drive towards the lake is an idyllic experience in itself, the boating inside is no less joyful.
Situated amidst a lush green shola forest, A few hundred meters north of the lake, the river tumbles down the rocks to form the famed Pykara Falls. The Boat Club in the vicinity, adds to the charm of this little panoramic tourist complex among the hills.
It is unique rock of tremendous proportions, jutting out of the face of hill side in the formation which its name suggests. The view here is extremely grand and well repays the exertion of getting there. Left and right are great ravines; on the one side is seen an excellent view of the magnificent St. Catherine’s Falls with their stream continuing several thousand metres below, while on the other, the familiar Coonoor stream meets the stream from Kotagiri. They together tribute to the great Bhavani river. In fact, we are metres away from the Nose opposite to it and separated in between by the deep valley that is covered with the beautiful greenary and mash of tree tops.
Ooty Botanical Gardens
Spread over an area of 55 acres, the Government Botanical Gardens is undoubtedly one of the most sought after tourist attractions not just in Ooty but in the entire Tamil Nadu. Another main attraction in the Botanical Garden, Ooty is the Fossil Tree trunk which is twenty million years old and the Toda mund or the Toda hill. On any day you will find an innumerable number of families just chilling and enjoying the warm sun and children playing around in the gardens. You are filled with a sense of inner peace when the cool summer breeze caresses your body bringing an unknown vigor within yourself. It is not an exaggeration if at that very moment you feel like you are in heaven.
Surrounded by mountains and covered by lovely flowers, Avalanche Lake is a famous tourist spot in the Nilgiris district, away from the bustling traffic. Avalanche Lake makes the perfect setting for a family and adventure package.
Lake is named as such because it was formed by a huge landslide and not an avalanche. You find large varieties of flowers, like magnolias and rhododendrons blooming on all sides of the lake. The waterfalls rushing down the nearby mountains further add to the beauty of this stunning spot,along with its blue, clear water and lush greenery all around. The hillside with its undulating landscape, along with the colorful flowers which decorate the premises, have got to be definitely witnessed indeed. The almost untouched habitat maintained by the tribal people along with the government is a must visit for any nature lover.
The majestic “Queen of the Hills” forms part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, reputed for its fragile and exquisite ecosystem. In the ecological parlance, it is best known as a “hotspot”, the label justifying the designation of the section of the Western Ghats as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ooty has been developed to offer a rare glimpse to tourists of the essence of the rest of the reserve, much of which are out of bounds as part of conservation efforts.
The Nilgiri mountain railway is the steepest track in all of Asia. Remember the hit song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ where Shahrukh Khan and Malaika Arora matching steps on top of a train? Remember the breathtaking locales as the train chugged its way across lush greenery? Yes, that was the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, and the Nilgiri Mountains all along.
Booking outstation cab from RideAlly, is the best way to enjoy the trip to Ooty and be a part of the other activities around. Do check us out at Google or on RideAlly pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You may connect to our 24/7 customer care on 080 4600 4600 / 97398 26789 or WhatsApp at 97398 26789 to avail the service.
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