Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam is the "Queen of hill stations" and the capital of Nilgiris district. It is one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. Nilgiris means "Blue Mountains". It is a land of picturesque picnic spots. Used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. An added attraction for the tourists to Udagamandalam is the mountain train journey on a ratchet and pinion track which commences from Kallar, near Mettupalayam and wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels and chugs along beside deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and tea gardens.
One can notice a marvellous change in vegetation, as one goes from Kallar to Coonoor. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers.
|Train Passing on the Bridge beside Mountains - Ooty|
|Tea Gardens - Ooty|
|Tea Gardens - Ooty|
|Snow fall in the Morning - Ooty|
|House at Tea Gardens - Ooty|
Honeymoon Vacations in Ooty
If you are looking for a quaint hill station for your honeymoon consider going to Ooty. Why? Located in Tamil Nadu, and standing at an elevation of 7347 meters Ooty has some of the most exotic locations and natural settings that you can ever find. This hill station was established by the British during their times and it served as their summer headquarters. Today it is a very popular tourist spot and summer vacation resort.
There are many places of interest in Ooty. No where is the beauty of this hill station best brought out than in the Ooty Botanical Gardens. They cover an extensive 22 hectares and include more than 650 species of flora. Another interesting point that you must is the Ooty rose Gardens. Fully of the most exotic rose flowers, this is one romantic place that you simply have got to visit when honeymooning here. The next most interesting place of scenic beauty is the Pykara Falls and the dam at Pykara. Enjoy going boating at Pykara and have a truly wonderful time doing this amidst some of the most beautiful lake settings. While staying here you must also visit Echo Rock, Sims Park and the Hidden valley all of which will awe you completely.
A visit to Ooty is not complete without going to Doddabetta peak. This peak stands at an elevation of 2623 metes and it is the highest point in this district. You can get a wonderful view of the surrounding areas from here.
Ooty is known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. Not surprisingly given it vivid natural beauty and its climate which is very pleasant and refreshing. This hill station is a very popular tourist spot and you can see people coming here from all over, every time of the year, particularly during the summer times. A honeymoon trip to Ooty will be most enjoyable and very memorable because of the hospitality of the people here and also the special interest put in by the hospitality industry in catering to the needs of tourists and visitors.
How to reach Ooty
By Air: The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 100 km away. You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi-Kochi via Mumbai and Coimbatore.
By Train: Nearest broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam (46 kms). Major broadgauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected with all major cities. Mettupalayam to Ooty, is connected by a Mountain Railway which is 4 hours journey. At a height of 2,600m stands Udhagamandalam (Ooty) the Queen of Hill Stations. The 'Nilgiri toy train' connects Ooty to Mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris. The construction of this line was a big challenge as the terrain is rather tricky. It was in 1854 that the first plans were drawn to build a mountain railway from Mettupalayam to the Nilgiri Hills. But it was a good 45 years later in 1899 that the first train chuggd up this track. This itself is a charming blue and cream with wooden coaches and large windows. It is hauled uphill by steam engines, designed and built by the Swiss Locomotive Works. Twelve of such locomotive engines survive even today. The train covers the 46 km to Udhagamandalam in four - and -a half hours. There are five stations between Mettupalayam and Coonoor - Kallar, Adderely, Hill Grove, Runnymede and Kateri - and, at one time, there were five between Coonoor and Ooty too. Though Wellington, Aruvakkadu, Ketti, and Lovedale are still functional, Fern Hill, the last one, was closed down a few years ago. Extensive rice fields surround the 7km stretch between Mettupalayam and Kallar. Soon after is an impressive 21 km section through truly rocky terrain. The track passes over 26 viaducts, and twists and bends through 13 tunnels. After a steep climb, the train enters Coonoor, the little hill station known for its tea plantations. From here, the track is uphill till you reach Fern Hill at a height of 2,218m, the highest point on the railroad. Shortly before Ooty, the line dips downhill. If you enjoy taking pictures, keep your camera ready for a few shots of the viaduct between Kallar and Adderley. This ride is sure to turn the most hardened rail critic into an avid fan. You'll delight in the edge - if -the - seat twists and turns as the train runs across tall girder bridges, and over green hills before gently meandering through rolling tea estates. The exhaust beat of the loco never falters, maintaining a deafening staccato which can be heard for miles around. Truly a journey to remember.
By Road: Ooty is well connected by good roads. It is 535 km from Chennai (via Salem), 89 km from Coimbatore, 18 km from Coonoor (via Gudalur), 155 km from Mysore, 187 km from Calicut, 290 km from Bangalore, 281 km from Kochi (via Coimbatore and Palakkad), 236 km from Kodaikanal (via Coimbatore and Palani) There is a regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari, Thanjavur, Tirupathi and Cochin. Buses ply regularly to Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Kotagiri, Coonoor and Doddabeta.