Ooty – A Complete Travel Guide

Ooty - A Complete Travel Guide

Table of Contents

About Ooty Hill Station

Ooty

The quaint and quiet hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu is one of the most popular mountain destinations in South India. Traditionally called Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund, abbreviated as Udhagai, Ooty is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district, with Doddabetta as the highest point. It is located 86 km from Coimbatore and 128 km from Mysore.

Until the 18th century, the town was inhabited by the native ethnic Bagada and Toda people. Post colonization, it became a part of the Madras Presidency and a summer capital of the East India Company. With this handy Ooty travel guide, you can explore the wonders of this Nilgiri town.

What is Ooty famous for?

ooty-travel-guide-everything-you-need-to-know

The town of Ooty is tucked into the heart of the Nilgiris, making it a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Owing to its perfect geographical location on the hills, it has remained an all-time favorite retreat for travelers of all kinds, from the colonial days to the current times. The lush landscape with tea estates, valleys, and forested lands on one hand and the classic vibes of the good old days make this hill station the perfect place to escape. The expansive greenery, the pleasant weather, and the endless adventure options are what Ooty is famous for.

Places to visit in Ooty

From hills and valleys to lakes, waterfalls, and forests, there’s no dearth of Ooty attractions for you to see and explore. All of the places make for the perfect premise for a delightful vacation for every kind of traveler.

Here are some of the best Ooty tourist places and things to see in Ooty 

Ketty Valley & Falls: 

Ketty Valley
  • How to Reach – The waterfalls are located at 8 KM from the town center. You can book a cab or rent a car to reach. 
  • Timings – 9AM – 6.30PM
  • Entry Fee – Free for falls, Telescope room – INR 10
  • Time Required – 3-4 Hours 

Ooty Lake & Boat Club/Ooty Boathouse

Ooty Lake
Ooty Lake
  • How to Reach – The lake area is only 1.5 KM from bus stand and takes 4 minutes to reach. You can take a local auto or book a cab to reach.
  • Timings – 8AM – 5.30PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 10, INR 20 for camera, boating charges separate
  • Time Required – 2-3 Hours

St. Stephen’s Church

  • How to Reach – The church is located 2 KM from the town center. You can walk from any other local tourist spot or take an auto, bus, or local cab to reach.
  • Timings – 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Kamaraj Sagar Dam/ Sandynalla Reservoir 

Kamaraj Sagar Dam
Kamaraj Sagar Dam
  • How to Reach – The lake area is located at 9 KM from the town center and you can book a local cab or rent a car to reach.
  • Timings – 9AM – 6PM
  • Entry Fee – NA
  • Time Required – 3-4 Hours

Nilgiri Mountain Railway 

  • How to Reach – The railway line is located 28 KM from the town center. You can book a cab or rent a local car to reach.
  • Timings – Train departures at 7.10 AM and 2 PM.
  • Entry Fee – First Class: INR 205, Second Class: INR 30, Unreserved Category: INR 15
  • Time Required – 5-6 Hours

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden Ooty
Botanical Garden Ooty
  • How to Reach – The public garden is located is 2.5 kms from the Ooty railway station and You can walk or take a local auto, bus, or hire a cab to reach.
  • Timings – 7AM – 6.30PM
  • Entry Fee – Adults: INR 30; Kids: INR 15; Still Photography: INR 50; Camera Videography: INR 100
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Wenlock Downs

  • How to Reach – The hunting grounds and meadows are located 14.4 KM from the main town. You can book a cab to reach. 
  • Timings – 9AM – 6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 10
  • Time Required – 5-6 Hours

Pine Forest 

Pine Forest Ooty
Pine Forest Ooty 
  • How to Reach – The forests are located at 9 KM from the main town. You can book a cab or rent a private car to reach. 
  • Timings – 8AM – 6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 5, INR 30 for camera
  • Time Required – 5-6 Hours

Places to visit near Ooty

Apart from the famous tourist attractions in Ooty, there are other interesting places to visit. Include these sites to explore, in your Ooty tour guide. 

Pykara Lake & Dam

Pykara Lake & Dam
Pykara Lake & Dam
  • How to Reach – The lake and the adjacent dam areas are located at 22 KM from the hill station. You can rent a car or book a local cab to reach. 
  • Timings – 10AM – 5.30 PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 10, boating charges separate
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Catherine Falls

  • How to Reach – The falls are in Coonoor, at 38 KM from the town and takes 1.5 Hours to reach. You can book an outstation cab or rent a private car to travel to Coonoor. 
  • Timings – Sunrise to Sunset
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Kotagiri Hills

  • How to Reach – The hills of Kotagiri are located at 29 KM from the town. You can book an outstation cab or rent a private car to travel. 
  • Timings – NA
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 4-5 Hours

Mudumalai National Park

  • How to Reach – The forest is 41KM from the town. You can book an outstation cab or rent a private car to travel. 
  • Timings – 6AM to 6PM (All days)
  • Entry Fee – INR 30, INR 53 for camera, safari charges separate
  • Time Required – 1 day

Best time to visit Ooty

Nestled in the Nilgiris, the weather is that of a classic tropical mountainous region. The temperature remains pleasant all year round with cool, breezy summers and chilly winters. You can visit any time of the year. But the best time to visit is between October to April

Things to do in Ooty

trekking in Ooty

Other than famous Ooty sightseeing places, Ooty tourism also includes a host of adventures and interesting activities that you can explore. 

  1. Explore the nearby Avalanche and Emerald Lakes, for day picnics, treks, and walkthroughs of the surrounding villages. You can also hike through the nearby tribal hamlet of Mullimunth of the Toda people. The 3KM trek takes 5 hours and passes through wooded areas and streams along the settlements.
  2. Take the famous Ooty treks. Some of the most popular routes are Doddabetta Peak trek, Glenmorgan trek, Kotagiri-Elk Falls trek, and Parsons Dam trek. 
  3. Visit the huge lake area of Pykara and its namesake dam and waterfall or take photos at the Needle Rock point in Gudalur. 
  4. Spend a day at the forests of the Mudumalai National Park and enjoy a safari or a hike through the forest trails. On the way, also stop at Sholur to catch the raw beauty of the Nilgiris.
  5. Take a tour of the Dodabetta Tea Factory and Museum and explore the different kinds of teas grown in the region, historical tea accessories, and tea production process.

[Also Read: Coonoor – Darjeeling of Nilgiris: A Complete Travel Guide]

Ooty-travel-guide-infographic

How to reach Ooty

By Train

The nearest railway station is in Coimbatore, about 89 KM away. There are many trains to Coimbatore from other major towns and cities of South India. From there you have to book a cab or hire a car to reach Ooty. 

By Road

The hill station is well connected to all major cities across South India by the Nilgiri ghat roads and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. There are several state-run and private buses from Coonoor to Ooty, Kodaikanal to Ooty, and Mysore to Ooty. But the best option is to rent a private car or outstation cab to reach the town from any of these places.

By Flight

Ooty is served by Coimbatore domestic airport, about 88 KM away. You can fly to Coimbatore from any major city/town across India and then book a Coimbatore airport taxi to travel to the hill station.

Credits: Soul and Fuel Youtube Channel

Places to stay in Ooty

Make your travel more exciting with these best hotels in Ooty to stay – 

  • Hotel Lakeview 
  • Accord Highland
  • The Bungalow by Tranquilitea
  • The Tamarillo
  • Turrett House
  • Oxygen Resorts
  • Snowdrops
  • Aurora Light Residency 
  • Tea Stay Redford Villa 
  • WelcomHeritage Fernhills Royal Palace
  • Lymond House

Places to eat in Ooty

Despite being a part of Tamil Nadu, Ooty’s food culture is very distinctive. A fusion of the ethnic Tamil culinary heritage and colonial flavors, there’s a wide variety of food that you can find and sample in Ooty. There are a host of both classic and contemporary restaurants serving the same. Traditional colonial patisserie and bread are Ooty’s famous foods while traditional dosa, Pongal etc. are also popular.

On your tour, explore some of these best restaurants in Ooty –

  • Earl’s Secret, Havlock Road.
  • Cliff Top International Cuisine, Wellbeck Circle, Club Road.
  • Toda Café, Sheddon Rd, Gempark.
  • Place to Bee, Club Road, Near Hill Bunk.
  • Fat Duck’s, Bygada Road, Yellakhandi Village.
  • Willy’s Coffee Pub, KCR Arcade, Walsham Road
  • Ooty Bakery, Charing Cross Adams Fountain
  • Le Café, Littlearth Square, Oriental Buildings Commissioner’s Road
  • Kluney Manor Restaurant, 196/197 Patna House, Mount Pleasant
  • The Fern, Kundah House Road, Fern Hill

Download our Savaari car Booking app for a smooth and pleasant journey. 

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Ooty - The Complete Travel Guide
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Ooty - The Complete Travel Guide
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The quaint and quiet hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu is one of the most popular mountain destinations in South India known for its lush greenery.
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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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