This is one of Ooty's most-visited places and is 2kms from town. It dates back to the mid-18th century. Covering an area of 22 acres, it was originally meant as a ground to study the vegetation in and around the hills of Nilgiri. Today it functions as a park open to all. It is home to as many as 650 species of plants and trees, and also happens to be a bird watcher's delight. It also has a fossil of a 200 million year old tree.
Ooty Lake and Boat House
This is the most popular tourist hub in the town, just behind the bus-stand. An artificial lake, it was built by John Sullivan in the mid 18th century. One can go for various kinds of boat rides here from morning to evening. There is also a children's park and a deer park nearby.
Another popular tourist spot of Ooty, Rose Garden or Mini garden is around 3-4 kms from the Charring Cross and has a variety of exquisite blooms to see.
This is home to a variety of flowers and what is unique is that these are not natural flowers but made out of threads. It is believed that it took 12 years to create this garden.
This was the first British house built by John Sullivan, which also paved the way for further settlements in Ooty. It is located inside the Government Arts College.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Declared as a World Heritage item, the historic railway gives you a glimpse into the colonial days. It is also a delightful way of experiencing the scenery of the mountains.
Set up in the late 19th century, you could see a variety of things here ranging from tribal objects to the various arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu, as well as ecological details of the district.
Kurthukulli Guiness Record Village
It is this village that has put Ooty in the Guiness Book of World records, for an outstanding event where 42, 184 saplings were planted on 72 acres of land within a time span of 24 hours, with the help of 300 volunteers.
The rulers of many princely states such as Mysore, Vadodara, Jodhpur and Hyderabad, all had their summer palaces here. Arranmore Palace which has been renamed as Thamizhagam and is now used as a Government guest house, was built by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Another palace built by him is Annandale. The beautiful Swiss style villa called Fern Hill Palace was built in the 18th century by the Maharaja of Mysore. In addition you could visit the Baroda Palace and the Elk Hill House.
Hills around ooty:
Standing at an altitude of 2,623 mts, and 10kms from Ooty, it is the highest point in the district and one of the best spots to catch a brilliant view.
This is located at DoddaBetta Peak’s lower bend, and is an excellent place for trekking.
This makes for a great picnic spot and is densely covered with cypress trees.
It is a green paradise, home to many varieties of trees, located 17kms from Ooty.
This scenic spot is 25 kms from Ooty, and has a lake along with the Canada Dam. It is an excellent location for trout fishing and you can get rods on hire from the local fishery centre. For panoramic views visit a spot nearby called the Hawk’s View. Avalance is also the starting point for some excellent treks.
Located at a distance of 13kms from Ooty, on the Kalhatty slopes, the cascading waterfall stands 40 mts tall, and once again is great for some adventurous trekking.
Ketti Valley View
This is an idyllic spot on the road to Coonoor from where you could see clusters of villages in the green hill-side, said to be one of the most expansive valley views in India.
Pykara is the largest river in the district, and was considered a holy river and worshipped by the Todas. This river starts from the peak of Mukurthi and descends down the plateau, in the form of two lovely waterfalls, called Pykara Falls. This scenic spot is 19 km from Ooty.
Ooty offers you a variety of activities, so you can take your pick according to your taste. Travel in the Nilgiri Hill Railway; or visit a tea plantation; or play Golf at the club.
Trekking is one of the main pleasures in and around the hill-side. You could also take up some Hang Gliding courses especially if you are there during March to May.
Angling is another sport that you could try at the various lakes and streams, once of course you have to get the required licence for it.
Ooty is a great place to shop for Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils, etc. And if you are lucky you can catch the Summer Festival held at the Botanical Gardens which hosts the Flower Show, or the annual Tea & Tourism Festival.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is 64kms from Ooty and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is now under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. It is rich in flora and fauna, home to three different types of forests and also a bird watcher's haven.