Location: Nilgiri District, Tamil
Discovered By: British In 1800
Famous Festivals: Summer Festival And
The Tea And Tourism Festival
the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the "Queen
of hill stations' among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a
distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. The height of the hills
in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 m, the
highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 m.
History Of This
Beautiful Hill Resort
It is believed that
the name Nila, has been in use for over 800 years since, the King
of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana, who ruled from 1104 to 1141 AD
seized the Nilgiris Plateau. His general Ponisia recorded this
fact in 1117 AD with mention of Todas. The name Nilgiri was due to
the blue haze, which envelops the range with most distant hills of
territory came into possession of the East India Company as part
of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of
Srirangapatnam in 1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was the first
European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released his notes about
the place and people of Nilgiris. In 1812 surveyor William Keys
and Macmohan visited at the top of the plateau.
In 1818, Wishand
Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to Collector of
Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience report
to the Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan. Settlement in
Udhagamandalam began in 1822 with the construction of the Stone
House by John Sullivan, the Collector of Coimbatore. The
bungalow, which is locally called "Kal Bangla", is one of the
landmarks of Udhagamandalam and is now the Chamber of the
Principal of the Government Arts College.
of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense
forest, sprawling grasslands and miles of tea gardens
greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism
Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. Visit Ooty during this
festival, when tea lovers from all over the world converge. An
occasion not to be missed!
Botanical gardens are the major tourist attraction for those who
visit Ooty, one of the most popular hill stations of India. They
sprawl over 50-acre and lie on the lower slopes of Doddabetta
peak, which is the highest point in Ooty. Marquis of Tweeddale
established these gardens in the year 1848.
The gardens are
formally laid out with lily ponds, and there are clipped bushes in
the form of elephants, with raised trunks. One can find a thousand
different species of plants including some thirty types of
eucalyptus in these gardens. There is also a fossilized tree
trunk, which is said to be 20 million years old. Towards the
eastern part of the garden there is a wooden house made of logs
known as "Toda Mund", which provides an excellent view.
Rose Garden is
situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. They are spread
over an area of 10 acres of land with 2000 variety of roses. Rose
Gardens lie on the way to the boathouse.
Mini garden is also
situated on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement
park is housed. A snack bar is also available. Tamil Nadu Tourism
Development Corporation Limited maintains these gardens.
About 1-km distance there
is an artificial lake with a charming look, which was formed in
1824 by Mr. John Sullivan, the Collector of Coimbatore.
Situated in the hilly area on Club Road, St Stephens
Church is said to be the oldest in the Nilgiris. The church was
built in 1829 and consecrated in 1830. The beam of the church was
taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatnam. The
cemetery close by houses the grave of John Sullivan, the founder
Doddabetta is the highest peak (2623 meters) in the Nilgiris,
which is about 10-km from Ooty. It is a beautiful place lying
between the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats and offers a
beautiful view of the Nilgiri hill ranges. It is surrounded by
a distance of 1-km from the Lake there is a Deer Park, which is
The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of
tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative
sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989,
with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and
visiting population of Nilgiris district.
The Nilgiris are a trekker's paradise. Landscaped by nature, the
hills abound in trek for lovers of nature. There are treks and
treks in whichever direction you turn and from whichever point you
start. A trek can be full of thrill, excitement and adventure and
a way of seeing and enjoying nature in all its beauty and
Udhagamandalam (Ooty) offers several trek routes, which vary in
distance, altitudes and terrain. There is a base camp at Parsons
valley, from where one can start trekking to various points within
Western Ghats. The down hills of Western Ghats on the North ends
up with meeting the extensions of Eastern Ghats, where the
sprawling Mudumalai Sanctuary lies which opens vistas for
Trekking pamphlets are available with the Nilgiri Wildlife and
Environment Association (NWLEA). There are guides who have sound
knowledge of certain areas. If necessary, their services may be
hired. And for further details contact the Tourist Information
Office at Charring Cross, Ooty.
Hang-gliding courses are also organized during March to May every
year, with the assistance of the Department of Tourism. Contact
the Tourist Officer, Ooty for assistance.
HOW TO GET THERE
105 km from Ooty, is the nearest airport.
Rail: Ooty is on
the narrow gauge railway, connected to Mettupalayam (47 km), which
is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy
train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
Road: A good
network of roads and national highways connect Ooty with all major
towns and cities. There are regular bus services to and from
Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore,
Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important destinations in
South India. Ooty is also well connected with major cities of
Kerala and Karnataka.
WHERE TO STAY
available at the luxurious and economy class hotels, lodges, and
resorts in Ooty. Both Indian and Western style of accommodation and
food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially during
the summer months.