Ooty, has been in my bucket-list for long time and so a weekend trip to this place was a mesmerising one for me. It is one of South India’s most beautiful locations and is snuggled in the lap of the lush Western Ghats. The landscape is fragrant with lush green tea plantation. Beautiful mountain trails are accessible for hiking. Nature lovers, honeymoon couples and people who just want to relax, are attracted by the salubrious atmosphere throughout the year. The hill town is a frequented by the tourists round the year. Here are the top things that I really liked while exploring Ooty.
- Rose Garden; a buffet of fragrance
The Rose Garden, located in the heart of this hill town, is spread over 10 acres and is one of the most popular attractions in Ooty. If you want to experience a plethora of blooms and charming fragrances, this is the place that you need to be at. With over 3600 varieties, this garden houses India’s largest array of roses. Some of the variety of roses here, which are worth highlighting include the miniature rose, hybrid tea rose, ramblers, floribunda, and roses in shades such as green and black. Maintained by the Department of Horticulture of Tamil Nadu, the garden has a captivating layout. This garden was awarded with ‘Garden of Excellence’ in the year 2006 by the World Federation of Rose Societies.
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- Catch the view from the Nose of the Dolphin
The Nose of the Dolphin is basically a gigantic rock that resembles a dolphin’s nose. The viewpoint at Ooty is located at a height of 1000 feet. On either side of the viewpoint, there are ravines, including St. Catherine Falls. The views at sunset and sunrise are great. The route from Ooty towards Dolphin’s Nose, is quite exciting as well as scenic. The lovely views of the lush plantations from this point, are a treat to the eyes. It’s also a good spot to see Lamb’s Nose on the way.
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- Hiking to Kalhatti Falls
Kalhatti Water Falls is considered to be an ideal hiking destination around Ooty. The waterfall is situated at an altitude of around 2,000 metres above sea level and falls down from the height of 40 metres. The water fall, situated on the slopes of the Kalhatti Mountains, has numerous rivulets and other water bodies. The place is popular for bird watching, picnics and trekking. You have to take a prior permission from the forest department, because the trekking trails passes through wildlife reserves. During the months of September through November, rare birds are spotted here and so it’s the best time to visit this place.
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- The Botanical Gardens
Visiting the Botanical Gardens, one of the most famous gardens in Ooty, is one of the top things to do in Ooty. The gardens are situated in the lower slopes of Doddabetta Hill and are a treat for nature lovers. You can get to see a precious selection of flowers along with other exotic species of plants. The building of the park dates back to the British regime. The gardens are divided into the Italian Garden, Lower Garden, New Garden, Fountain Terrace, Conservatory and Nurseries. The Botanical garden in Ooty, stands out among other places and offers a soothing experience of commuting with nature.
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- Avalanche Lake Camping
Avalanche Lake in Ooty is an attraction that you should not miss if you are here. Around 28 kilometres from the main town, the lake is a nice getaway for tourists as well as locals. There was a massive landslide in 18th century due to which this lake was formed, hence the name. The lake and its surrounding areas are popular for mountain trekking. The trekking trails are simple and so all lovers of nature can enjoy them. There is thick forest surrounding Avalanche Lake. Trout fishing is permitted during the monsoon months and during that time it’s a common activity while camping on the banks of the lake. As the lake is situated in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one needs to have permission from local forest authorities to camp around this place.
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- A fun ride in the Toy Train
The Mountain Railways of Nilgiri are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This toy train links Ooty to Mettupalayam , and is one among the few railways in the world which uses steam locomotives. The train travels across the beautiful and lush green mountains. This train covers a distance of 46 km, sailing through the exuberant beauty of the Nilgiri Hills. You will come across 16 tunnels, 250 bridges and 208 curves during the exciting journey. Built in 1908 by the British, the Toy Train ride in Ooty is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Ooty.
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