Saturday, October 10, 2009

Udagamandalam - Ooty - Queen of Hills


Unforgettable Udagamandalam, the ‘QUEEN OF HILLS’ is perched at an altitude of 7500 feet above sea level.
It is a land of picturesque picnic spots. Used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. . 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.  This charming resort is ideally suited for a truly enchanting holiday, hunting the forests, fishing the streams, boating on the lake, hiking on the downs, meandering through lovely gardens, playing a game of golf, visiting   settlements...

About Ooty:      
Total Area:            36  sq kms
Altitude:                2240mts
Climate:                 Summer – Max. 25 C, Min. 10 C
                             Winter – Max. 21 C, min. 5 C
Season:                  April to June and September to November.
Rainfall:                121cms
Languages:             Badaga, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi,Malayam and English.
Clothing:                Heavy Woollen in winter
                             Light Woollen in summer
Route Map:

How to reach:
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:
Ooty is connected to Mettupalayam by the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Coimbatore is the nearest important broad gauge railway station and is linked by rail with Mettupalayam. The enchanting 4 hour journey from Mettupalayam to Udagamandalam is very popular among tourists.

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, 287 km from Cochin, (via Coimbatore and Palakkad), 236 km from Kodaikanal (via Coimbatore and Palani)
There is regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari, Tanjavur, Tirupathi & Cochin. Buses ply regularly to Mudhumalai wildlife sanctuary, Kotagiri, Coonoor& Doddabeta.

Interesting places in Ooty:
Botanical Garden: 

The Botanical Garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu and has a very wide variety of plants that include different types of roses, imported shrubs, rare flowering plants, eucalyptus trees, several old trees and even a fossilized tree trunk that is 20 million years old. There is also a beautiful Italian floral garden and for those who simply want to relax, there's always the green carpet of the well-maintained lawns. The "Summer Festivals" is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Garden and is an added attraction for tourists. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organized for those interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure spots like trekking also form part of the festival.

Ooty Lake:

The picturesque lake set amidst the blue hills was built between 1823 and 1825by John Sullivan. It has fine boating facilities with row boats, paddle boats and motor boats available on hire. The lake garden and toy train rides are other attractions.

Rose Garden:

It is the largest Rose Garden of India, perched on the lower slopes of Elk Hill at Vijayanagaram Farms; the garden was designed to commemorate centenary flower festival. It sprawls over an area of 6 hectares and has been landscaped over 5 terraces. It has 17526 rose plants from 1919 varieties of roses. Sure you will loose your heart in their serene beauty.

Wenlock Downs:

It is a landscape of about 20000 acres of grassland with Sholas or ‘gallery forest’on the Gudalur road. This scenic beauty is rich in vegetation. The Gymkhana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and Hindustan Photo Films Company are located here.

The Government Museum:
The Government Museum, Mysore Road,, Udhagamandalam has items of tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamilnadu.
Admission is Free.
Timings: 10.00 a.m to 1.00 p.m and 2.00 p.m to 5.00 p.m.
Holiday: Friday, Second Saturday and National Holidays.

Doddabeta Peak

This highest peak (2638 m) of Nilgiris is located just 10 km from Udagamandalam. It is easily accessible by road on a clear day and offers beautiful vistas of the Nilgiri hill ranges. The peak has a telescope house urn by the TTDC.

Law’s Falls:
The falls are located near the confluence of Kateri and Coonoor rivers on the Coonoor- Mettupalayam ghat road.

Sim’s Park:

The Park-cum botanical garden is an annex to the Government Botanical Gardens at Ooty. The annual fruit and vegetable show is held here during May.

 It is 31 Kms. from Udhagamandalam. The climate is very salubrious which 6503 feet above sea level is. Kotagiri is shielded by the Doddabeta ranges which receive much of its rain from North West monsoon. One can enjoy a pleasure ride on road flanked by green tea beds on either side.

Kodanadu view point:

 It is about 16 Kms. from Kotagiri on the eastern edges of the Nilgiris. On either side of the road one can see the panoramic view of the tea estates and the river Moyar is breath taking. A watch tower is there to view the panoramic view of Rangasamy peak and pillar. From Kotagiri bus services are available. 

St. Catherine Water Falls:
 From Dolphin's Nose of Coonoor one can have a magnificent view of St. Catherine Water falls which is about 250 feet height. But it can be reached from Kotagiri at a distance of 8 Kms. To reach the top of the hills tourist should take a diversion at Aravenu on Kotagiri - Mettupalayam road.


It is the Gateway to Nilgiris from Kerala and Karnataka. Udhagamandalam, Coonoor and Kotagiri lie in the upper plateau of Nilgiris and Gudalur lies in the lower plateau. Udhagamandalam to Calicut road and Udhagamandalam Mysore road meet at Gudalur town. Population of Gudalur is 32,605 (1991 census). Most of the Gudalur area is green carpeted. It is 51 Kms. from Udhagamandalam.

Frog hill view point:
It is 14 Kms. from Gudalur on the way to Udhagamandalam-/ Gudalur road. From here one can see gigantic Frog shape of a hill view.

Needle point rock view:

 It is 12 Kms. on the way to Udhagamandalam - Gudalur from here one can enjoy panoramic view of Mudhumalai wildlife sanctuary and Gudalur town.

 8 Kms. from Gudalur. A shrine of Battarayaswamy (Lord of the hunts) with sub-shrine built in Kerala style is here. Wynad scenes are visible from here.
Nellakotta: It is 15 Kms. from Gudalur. A dilapidated fort is there.
Nelliyalayam: 20 Kms. from Gudalur. A few ruins of historical dynasty can be seen here.
Cherambadi: 35 Kms. from Gudalur. It is extreme western corner which has plantations and mica mines. Sultan battery is very near.
Hanging Bridges: Located on the way to Mudhumalai wildlife sanctuary. It is 14 Kms. from Gudalur
The other tourist places are Siva Temple at Baro'wood valley, Maravakandy Dam at Masinagudi and Moyar Water falls.

Where to stay:

Where to Eat:
Blue hills
Chandan Vihar
Tandoor Mahal
Ooty Coffee House
Chinkos Chinese Restaurant
Hills Palace

Similar places of Interest:


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