Botonical Garden Overview

Perched in the foot of the Doddabetta peak, this sprawling botanical garden in Ooty was established in 1848. The garden as designed by an English architect, William Graham McIvor and it took him ten years to complete the layout of the garden due to various reasons like funds, rarity of horticulturists at that time, and difficulty in procuring the sapling.

Under the sheer commitment of William Graham McIvor, the mind-blowing landscape of Ooty Botanical Garden as successfully laid out. Today, the garden looks spectacular with verdant lawns, flowering plants of more than 50,000 varieties, man-made ponds with lilies and lotuses, an Italian style garden, rate orchids, exotic woods and, numerous medicinal herbs and plants.

The biggest attraction of the garden is the fossil tree trunk that is put on display. The trunk dates back to a whopping 20 million years ago and was presented by the Geological Survey of India, from the National Fossil Park, Thiruvakkarai. 

The annual flower show at Ooty Botanical Garden is the biggest summer festival of Ooty that draws about 150,000 tourists each year from all parts of the world. The magnificent collection of flowering plants attracts photographers and nature enthusiasts and the Rose Garden includes almost all the rose varieties and sis undeniably a visual treat.

Toda hill or Toda mund within the park which gives the visitors an insight into the lives and culture of Todas, the native tribe of the Nilgiris. Ooty Botanical Garden has a snack shop, a souvenir shop, and another shop selling products that indigenous to Ooty like Eucalyptus oil, and spices.

How To Reach

From City Centre

Autos and taxis are the preferred modes of local transportation within Ooty. While you can book an auto from the city centre to Ooty Botanical Garden, the rates are usually spiked up for tourists. The best way is to hire a taxi on a daily basis or to book one through the hotel you stay to strike a fair deal. Please note that online cabs do not have their service in Ooty.

The other option is to rent a bike/scooter from an offline bike rental shop near the city centre and to head towards Ooty Botanical Garden.

Best Time To Visit

Being a hill station, Ooty enjoys a pleasant climate all through the year and one can visit the Botanical Garden in all the seasons. The ideal time is from October to June when the skies are usually clear which lets you enjoy an unhindered day of sightseeing at the Botanical Garden.

You can also plan your visit during the Flower Show which usually happens in the month of May to bask in the beauty of the flowers put on display.

Other Essential Information

Location: Vaannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643002

Timings: 7.00 AM - 7.00 PM (Mon - Sun)

Entry Fee

Adults: INR 30

Kids: INR 15

Still Photography: INR 50

Camera Videography: INR 100

Distance from City Centre: 3.2 km

Layout of Ooty Botanical Garden

Sprawling across 55 acres of land, This garden was laid out in 1897 by the Marquis of Tweedale under the guidance of the architect, William Graham Mcivor. This garden has a terraced layout and is divided into 5 sections-

1. Lower Garden: Comprising of the lush Kikuyu lawns and the main entrance, the prominent trees species in this segment are Eucalyptus maculata, Dracena lanuginosa, Salix babylonica, Eucalyptus citriodora, Cedrus deodara, Quercus Montana, Salix heterophylla and many more. The main attraction here is the carpet design of the Indian continent made with mixed plant varieties and the fossil tree trunk which is 20 million years old.

2. New Garden: This is the relatively newer garden that is decked up with a variety of rose plants as hybrid roses, Floribunda and Polyantha rose varieties. The trees that dominate this segment of Ooty Botanical Garden include Eucalyptus eugenioides, Pinus wallichiana, Photinia lindleyana, Pinus canariensis, Ginkgo biloba, and many others. The highlight attraction of this segment is the carpet bed emblems of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India.

3. Italian Garden: This part of the garden was made by Italian war prisoners during World War 1. Italian Garden is dominated by flowering plants like Astres, ageratum, balsam, begonia, petunia, pansy, phlox, cosmos, zinnia, salvia, delphinium, larkspur, and dahlia that bloom in a myriad of colors. The crescent-shaped lake at this segment has lotus and other water plants.

4. The Conservatory: The public conservatory houses colorful flowering annuals and perennials such as Geranium, Tydea, Gloxinia, Cineraria, Calceolaria, Tuberous begonia, Chrysanthemums and many more. The bog garden has many marsh plants such as hydrangea, Arum, Hedychium, and weeping willow.

5. The Nurseries: Eight glasshouses and terrace gardens consisting of rare and attention-seeking plants such as ferns, cacti, orchids, succulents, and bulbous plants find their place in the nurseries.

Flower Show at Ooty Botanical Garden

The Ooty Flower Show in an annual event that has been happening ever since 1896 fascinating its visitors year on year. During this annual fest, more than 15,000 flower pots of over 150 types will feature around 3,00,000 flower saplings. There are flowers of almost all the colours and hues that one can think of. 

The flower miniatures of structures like Chennai Central and various other iconic structures draw thousands of visitors every single day. Usually, this summer festival is held for 3 days and sometimes for 5 days. Apart from the exotic collection of flowering plants, several other alluring plants, ferns, shrubs, trees, herbal, and bonsai plants can also be found during the flower show.

The Ooty Flower Show includes Indian and Japanese flower arrangements, flower rangoli, vegetable carvings, and bonsai among others. Many public and private gardens also book for cut flower stalls during this flower festival. Other than flowers and plants, music and dance also happen in the garden during the Flower Show.

There are also garden competitions conducted before the start of the show to create awareness amongst the public on gardening.Tickets for the Flower Show can be booked online from the horticulture department’s website or can be bought at the counter. However, during the flower festival, queues at the counter are serpentine.

Travellers' Tip before visiting Ooty Botanical Garden

1. Keep yourself warm with thermals and woolen clothes.

2. Do not pluck flowers from the plants.

3. Do not miss carrying your camera. The Ooty Botanical Garden is a photographer's bounty.

4. Book tickets online for the Flower Show as the queue at the counter looks never-ending.

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Botonical Garden FAQs

How much time does one usually spend in the Botanical Gardens?

Spread across 55 hectares of land, it usually takes 2 to 3 hours to stroll around the Botanical Garden comprehensively. For those who frequently stop by to bask in the beauty of the flowers or for photo sessions, it might take a little longer.

Are there any shops inside the Botanical Garden?

Yes, there are three stalls inside the Botanical Garden. One sells products like Nilgiris Eucalyptus Oil, aromatic spices, mountain honey, and similar products. Another stall within the garden sells souvenirs like ornaments and handmade items made by Todas, the native tribal people of Ooty.

Is there a nursery in the Garden?

Yes, there are nurseries inside the Ooty Botanical Garden which sell plant cuttings and sapling. The prices at the nurseries within the garden are competitive than their rivals.

Are photography and videography allowed inside the garden?

Yes, photography and videography are permitted inside the garden. One needs to buy photography and videography tickets at the counter.

Are there any restricted items that one should not carry into the Garden?

There are a few items that tourists are refrained from carrying inside the garden - 

1. Cigars and other smoking-related products..

2. Alcoholic beverages.

3. Plastic covers and polythene bags.

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