About Botonical Garden
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 Botonical Garden
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 Botonical Garden
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.
What Not to Miss at Botonical Garden
Attractions near Ooty Botanical Garden
1. The Tea Factory & The Tea Museum:
The Tea Museum is an encyclopedia about tea and gives an insight into - Origins of World tea, Tea history in India and finally Evolution of Tea in the Nilgiris. The Tea Factory currently produces 30 tonnes of processed tea per month and visitors are enlightened about the process that the tea leaves undergo before filling one's cup.
The Tea Factory & The Tea Museum also has a souvenir shop where visitors can buy teacups with Tea Museum Logo, plates, teapots, and many interesting collections of tea varieties like Chocolate Tea, Cardamom Tea, and String CTC Tea.
Distance from Ooty Botanical Garden: 3.0 km
2. Doddabetta Peak:
Rising as high as 2,637 meters above mean sea level, Doddabetta Peak is the highest peak of the Nilgiri Mountains. The peak looks surreal with dense shola trees, and verdant meadows all around. One can hike or ride all the way to the summit of the peak and enjoy the surrounding scenic beauty.
Enroute, you can also spot animals like Bison, Panther, Hare, Wild Boar, and Barking Deer. The place is frequented by wildlife photographers, nature enthusiasts, honeymooners, and trekkers.
Distance from Ooty Botanical Garden: 6.8 km
3. Rose Garden:
Located at a stone's throw away distance from the Botanical Garden, the Rose Garden in Ooty is one of the largest rose gardens in Asia. The garden boasts of 20,000 varieties of roses with many exotic species collected from various parts of the world. The garden also has an amazing exhibit of statues that are made completely of roses. The slopes of the garden also feature
The Nila Maadam, an observation platform at the garden promises a visual delight of the blooming landscape that is adorned with rose tunnels, pergolas, and bowers with rose creepers. To see these fascinating flowers in a riot of colors is undeniably enthralling.
Distance from Ooty Botanical Garden: 1.9 km
Other Essential Information About Botonical Garden
Location: Vaannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643002
Timings: 7.00 AM - 7.00 PM (Mon - Sun)
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.