Bangalore to Ooty is certainly one of the most picturesque road trips in all of South India. Nestled in the ‘Blue Mountains’ of the Nilgiris, Ooty is undoubtedly all about its undulating hills, lush valleys and beautiful lakes.
Once regarded as the summer headquarters of the East India Company; Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a hill station in Tamil Nadu which serves as a very popular tourist destination for anyone looking for a picturesque place to relax and unwind.
The amazing natural exquisiteness of Ooty along with its misty green trails continues to attract thousands of nature lovers who bask amidst its pristine surroundings. With cool temperatures all through the year and the inviting setting amidst verdant green hills has rightfully earned Ooty the moniker, ‘Queen of the Hills’.
Besides visiting the sprawling tea plantations and admiring the red-roofed bungalows, there are plenty of things to do in Ooty that will fill you with memories of a lifetime.
Traveling from Bangalore to Ooty by Car
Traveling from Bangalore to Ooty by car is one of the most wholesome ways covering this distance. The 280 km journey is dotted with magnificent sights of the awe-inspiring Nilgiri hills, tea gardens, and serene waterfalls.
By taking a road trip from Bangalore to Ooty, one gets to plan their journey well in advance which is a great way to explore the places nearby. It is fun, interesting and also quite flexible given you have the space to plan your travel accordingly.
One gets to every nook and corner, experience every detail of the local culture and also take detours according to one’s convenience and travel plans. This flexibility is often limited when choosing the other two options, which is flight and train.
Therefore, experience the joy of being on the road by booking a cab with Savaari, and let our expert chauffeurs take you around like tour guides aka travel experts so you take home only the best experience.
Best time to take a road trip
As a hill station, Ooty enjoys a cool and pleasant climate round the year. However, the best time to visit happens to be the summer months – from early March to early June, when the weather is absolutely at its best.
Ooty enjoys a moderate rainfall during the monsoons and winters are not too harsh either. Though the temperature may fall to 2°C or 3°C, despite that, exploring Ooty in winters has its own charm.
Let us help you discover some popular routes which will take you on an epic road trip from Bangalore to Ooty –
Route 1: Bangalore to Ooty via Mysore Road
|Bangalore — Ramanagara — Channapatna — Mandya — Mysore — Nanjagud — Begur — Gundlupete — Ooty|
Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality
Popular places along the way:
- Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary, Ramanagara – This place is also home to various critical birds who are on the verge of extinction such as the Long-billed vulture, Egyptian vulture and Yellow-throated bulbul.
- Ramdevara Temple, Ramanagara – Atop a hill and a 30 minutes climb away, is a significant religious center of the area, said to be more than a 1000 years old.
- Channapatna – Around 58 km from Bangalore, Channapatna is a small town famous for wooden toys. These are extremely safe, colorful, good quality & eco-friendly toys. The wooden toys manufactured here are also world-famous.
- Thonnur Lake, Mandya – Spend hours just contemplating the beauty of the Thonnur lake in the Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district. Dotting the lake there are three stellar temples of Sri Nambinarayana, Sri Parthasarathy and Sri Narasimha. This exceptionally beautiful lake was once so beautiful that each and every pebble in the lake was visible from above.
- Mysore Palace, Mysore – Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it is the former palace of the royal family of Mysore and is still their official residence. Referred to as the ‘City of Palaces’, Mysore houses seven other places, but none come close to awe-inspiring grandeur of this palace.
- St. Philomena’s Church, Mysore – Recognized as the second tallest church of Asia, St. Philomena’s Church is beautiful and one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. Neo-Gothic style of architecture makes it all the more famous amongst the masses.
- Nanjundeshwara Temple, Nanjagud – The architecture of the temple is worth a visit. The temple town is known as ‘Dakshina Kashi’ or ‘Varanasi of the South’.
- Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Gundlupete – Only half and an hour from Gundlupete, the jungle safari at Bandipur Tiger Reserve is the star attraction here. Conducted from 6.30 am to 4.30 pm daily, the tiger safari is an experience unlike any other.
Places to eat along the way:
- Rasta Cafe, Mysore Road – Rasta Cafe is open 24*7. You can stop here for tea, coffee or their very famous English Breakfast.
- Gayatri Tiffin Room, Mysore – Stop here for a quick meal of South Indian delights and wash it down with filter coffee.
- Sampurna Complex, Nanjagud – A decent restaurant to stop for a wholesome meal. Their vegetarian, as well as non-vegetarian options, are good for every type of traveler.
- New Malabar Restaurant, Kurahatti – Their Keralan delicacies are worth trying. A great alternative, in case the first restaurant is full.
- Cafe Coffee Day, Gundlupete – Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee here before continuing the road trip.
Route 2: Bangalore to Ooty via Mysuru – Ooty Road
|Bengaluru — Shoolagiri — Krishnagiri — Dharmapuri — Mettur — Poonachi — Mettupalayam — Coonoor — Ooty|
Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality
Popular places along the way:
- Shoolagiri – When you arrive at the foothills of Shoolagiri, you will observe that the hills look like the shoola or trident of Lord Shiva. You can also visit the Varadaraja Perumal temple built during the Vijayanagara period.
- Krishnagiri Dam, Krishnagiri – One of the major places to visit in Krishnagiri happens to be the Krishnagiri Reservoir Dam also known as the KRP Dam. While it meets the irrigation purpose of all the nearby villages, over time it has turned out to be one of the major tourist attractions of Krishnagiri and is a major picnic spot.
- Hogenakkal Falls, Dharmapuri – You will have to take a slight detour, but it is worth all the traveling. The Hogenakkal Fall is often referred to as the Niagara of India. Surrounded by lush greenery and continuous streams, the route stretching up to the falls offers stunning scenery. Indulge in medicinal baths or go for a boat ride.
- Kottai Kovil, Dharmapuri – Also referred to as Mallikarjuneswara Temple, the Kottai Kovil is a prominent place of worship and sightseeing in Dharmapuri. The temple is located on the northern part of Dharmapuri. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the shrine is popular for its unique architecture, rare sculpture and beautiful paintings that adorn its walls. A major highlight of the temple happens to be a unique piece architecture known as the ‘hanging pillar’.
- Mettur Dam, Mettur – Mettur Dam is one of the largest dams in India. The dam is surrounded by verdant hills and picturesque natural beauty and is quite popular among tourists. One of the most extraordinary features of the dam is its design, which is a testament to the country’s engineering genius.
- Dolphin’s Nose, Coonoor – Situated about 10 km from Coonoor, Dolphin’s Nose is regarded as a must-visit place if you happen to be in Coonoor. It is known to provide the most amazing panoramic view of the Nilgiri Hills.
Places to eat along the way:
- Mcdonald’s, Shoolagiri – Stop here for a quick breakfast. The fast-food joint is open 24 hours.
- Adyar Ananda Bhavan Sweets and A2B Veg Restaurant, Dharmapuri – A clean and hygienic option for a wholesome vegetarian meal. Their offer South Indian, North Indian as well as Chinese cuisines. You can also pick up some sweets and savories for the road trip.
- Coffee Stop Degree Filter Coffee, Kerakodhihalli – A small highway-side coffee shop that serves amazing filter coffee. If you are passing by, stop here for a quick cup of freshly brewed coffee. Please note – they only accept cash payments.
- Naveen Hotel, Mettur – An excellent place to devour nicely cooked fish and crabs.
Other means of traveling
There are no direct trains from Bangalore to Ooty. Coimbatore and Tiruppur are the two nearest stations, which have connectivity to Mettupalayam from where you can get the Ooty Toy Train which is an exclusive train service from Mettupalayam to Ooty and a few other small stations. Therefore, for more details, visit the IRCTC website.
The nearest airport to Ooty happens to be Coimbatore, located at a distance of 88 kilometres. Once you reach the airport, buses and cars are easily available that can take you to Ooty. You can easily book your tickets from the website of the airline you choose to travel with or any online travel portal for the best deals.
Explore Ooty like a local – A handy guide
The summer capital of the Madras Presidency during the Raj, Ooty is a nature lover’s paradise. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Ooty (also known as Udhagamandalam) is a perfect destination for those looking for a break from the one-dimensional city life. Therefore, from picturesque valleys to mystic waterfalls, and from fascinating grasslands to lush green tea estates, the place has it all.
The green cover is not just a treat for eyes but also to the soul. The hill station beckons tourists in large numbers every year to soak in its charm. While its hugely popular botanical gardens attract those looking for serenity, it has plenty of options for adventure enthusiasts too.
Be it a road trip, a trekking holiday or a relaxing retreat that you’re looking for, ‘The Queen of Hills’, as it is rightly called, has something for everyone. Not just Ooty, but its sister town, Coonoor, also has lots to see.
Popular sightseeing in Ooty
Among the most popular and serene places to visit in Ooty is the Ooty Lake. Surrounded by lush mountains, the landscape is magical, especially with the mist lingering around the green cover. A boat ride in this scenic setting is an absolute must. There are also other recreational activities around the lake like an amusement park, toy trains for children and horse riders. There is also a flea market to engage the shopaholics in addition to a food court serving various cuisines.
To enjoy panoramic views of the Nilgiris hills, take a trip to Doddabetta Peak. Located just 10 km from Ooty, Doddabetta is the highest peak of the Nilgiris. Enjoy the view and then a meal at the al fresco cafeteria. There’s also a small market, selling spices, tea, fresh carrots, corn and roasted peanuts. And if you are a trekker, you are going to love this place.
Located just about 20 km from Ooty, Pykara Falls makes for an ideal picnic spot. The best thing about this tourist place in Ooty is that it is still unspoiled by commercialization.
St Stephen’s Church is one of the most popular places to visit in Ooty and displays amazing architectural charm. This is one of the oldest churches of the region that features painted window glasses, wooden elephants procured from the palace of Tipu Sultan, and plaques of the colonial era. Those who have a thing for history should definitely come to this church to satiate their curiosity.
And finally, your trip to Ooty will be incomplete without taking a jeep safari in Mudumalai National Park. It lies in the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. Also, it comes on the way between Ooty and Mysore. It has recently been declared as a tiger reserve owing to the presence of around 50 tigers. The best time to come here is during the beginning of summer or towards the end of the monsoon.
Places to eat in Ooty
As George Bernard Shaw said that there is no sincere love than the love of food, these Ooty restaurants prove it just right.
Some places serve awesome home-made chocolates, strawberry chocolates, cakes and buns, and white chocolates that you might just not be able to stop at round 1.
Tea plantations are also quite popular. Therefore, a hot cup of tea with the flavors of your choice will rejuvenate your tired bones without any second thought. Here is our compilation of some of the best restaurants. Check them out!
- Sidewalk Cafe – Vegetarian Italian
- Garden Restaurant – South Indian, Chinese and North Indian
- Ooty Coffee House – Filter Coffee, Ghee roast dosa
- Kingstar Confectionery – Cookies and Ooty chocolates
- Shinkows – Chinese
- Hyderabad Biryani House – Andhra
- Kabab Corner – Mughlai, Continental, Italian and Chinese
- Earl’s Secret – Continental, Italian, Oriental and Mughlai
Hotels and Resorts – Accommodation in Ooty
|Sterling Ooty Fern Hill||73, Kundah House Road, Fern Hill, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643004 PH: 084899 33770|
|Hotel Lakeview||West Lake Road, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643004 PH: 0423 244 3580|
|Fortune Retreats||Belmont Terrace, Elk Hill, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001 PH: 0423 244 4615|
|Sanctuary Boutique Hotel Ooty||Opp to Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Havelock Rd, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001 PH: 094420 69255|