Photo Credit : Sandeep Somashekar
The picturesque hills present a beautiful landscape as well as awe-inspiring sights in Ooty, which is an ideal vacationing destination during summers. You can explore all the beautiful colours of South India by visiting this fascinating place. Delight in scenic vistas ranging from Pykkara Waterfalls to St. Stephen’s Church. So, if you are planning a peaceful break in the summers then here is list of all the major attractions which can be discovered and travelled in and around Ooty.
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Here are a few destinations for sightseeing in Ooty :
1. Pykkara Waterfalls
The breathtaking Pykkara Waterfalls is one of the most famous Ooty sightseeing places located just 19 kilometres away from Ooty. Both the Pykkara Lake as well as Pykkara Waterfalls are located on the road connecting Ooty with Bangalore. The majestic Pykkara Waterfalls are located very close to Mudumalai. The huge power plant and the dam built on the river at Pykkara falls present a scenic picture. The falls can be easily accessed from the bridge which is located on the main road. The ideal time to visit these stunning waterfalls is in the months of July and August till December.
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The Pykkara Lake is an amazing natural beauty which is a must-see sight in Ooty. Boating in the Lake is a wonderful experience in itself. The Pykkara Waterfalls located near the lake is a nice picture postcard place where you can capture natural paradise on earth on your camera. The timings for Pykkara Lake and falls are from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and the last entry is allowed at 4:00 pm. Another added attraction at the Pykkara Waterfalls is boat house.
2. Botanical Gardens
Imbibe the lush green natural beauty of Ooty at the Botanical Gardens which are spread over a wide 55 acres of landscape. This is a striking destination for sightseeing in Ooty which was laid by Marquis Tweedale in 1847. Botanical Gardens of Ooty are quite famous in the country and are located on a hillock spread all along the highest peak of Dodabetta in the Ooty region.
All the lawns of the garden are well maintained by the government as well as the horticulture department. The botanical garden boasts of rare tree species like the cork tree, the monkey puzzle tree and the paper bark tree.
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During the month of May every year a flower show and an exhibition is organised of rare plant species, ferns and orchids. Another added attraction for the tourists is the Summer Festival which is held every year at the botanical garden in May.
3. Wax Museum
"You can also find toda huts in Ooty which belongs to toda tribes."
Ooty sightseeing packages takes you to the attractive and vast corridors of wax museum which is India’s very own Madam Tussaud’s. Wax World Museum of Ooty is one of the only three wax museums located in India. It gives you a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with the nation’s who’s who and explore the memory lane of Indian history, culture and heritage.
Experience seekers can watch almost-alive wax statues of the most eminent personalities of Indian history. All the statues are almost life-size and the number is still growing, which makes it the best wax museum.
Located on National Highway No. 67 just 2 kilometres from city, this wax museum is the brainchild of Shreeji Bhaskaran. The timings for the museum are 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. Tourists seeking something different can pay a visit to this exquisite museum which takes around one hour to tour.
4. Coonoor Tea Garden
The most attractive place near Ooty is Coonoor Tea Estate or tea gardens. In these widespread tea gardens the most famous Nilgiri tea plants are grown. The vast expanses of Coonoor tea gardens are jam packed with tea plantations and provide a picture perfect view while on a visit to Ooty sightseeing places. In between these tea gardens you will find some tall trees which are called Silver Hawk trees. They are very helpful in holding the soil as well as rain water for the tea plantations.
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The tea gardens of Coonoor make all the resorts eco-friendly and nestled in lush green surroundings. Destination Coonoor is located just 19 kilometres from Ooty and tourists can enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning Nilgiri Hills. It is not just the tea gardens but this area is also well-known for various aromatic and therapeutic oils like eucalyptus oils, almond oil, henna oil, citridora oil, olive oil, Nilgiri spices and lemon grass oil. The tea estates have exclusive shops which offer varied flavoured teas like chocolate tea and various spices, oils and other specialities.
5. Tribal Museum
Photo Credit : Mikko Koponen
The Tribal Museum is the main attraction at the Tribal Research Centre located near Ooty and is a must-see for art and history lovers. Ooty sightseeing packages give you a unique opportunity to visit and explore this wonderful museum which is full of rare artefacts along with pictures related to ancient tribal groups which ventured in Tamil Nadu as well as Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The Tribal Research Centre is totally dedicated to various aspects of tribal communities dwelling in Tamil Nadu and it also plays a very vital role in the development of the local tribes. The museum located in the research centre premises displays life-size replicas of the ancient tribes like Paniyas, Todas and Kotas. The tourists love to explore the primitive tribal heritage as well as ancient tribal culture.
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The museum also houses open air tribal houses which belong to ancient tribes of Todas, Kurumba, Kanikaran and Paniya. The descriptions about the tribes are very informative and well written by anthropologists. The museum is easily accessible either through a bus which is heading towards Palada or you can hire a rickshaw from Ooty to visit the museum.
6. Rose Garden
The truly majestic Rose Garden of Ooty is a worthy sightseeing destination of Ooty. It is the largest rose garden of the country and has been designated as the best rose garden in whole of South Asia. This exquisite piece of beauty is located in the very heart of Ooty and is maintained by the government.
This sprawling and charming rose garden is spread over 10 acres of area and is home of the country’s largest collection of roses. This magnificent bed of roses is spread on the slopes of Elk Hills. The breathtaking rose collection which this garden boasts of includes 20,000 varieties of roses ranging from miniature roses, floribunda, black and green roses, and hybrid tea roses to ramblers.
This garden is a true paradise on earth which is open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm every day and is a delight for the eyes of nature lovers. The tourists who have special interest in horticulture must visit this remarkable garden which also has a statue of an angel. The entry fee is nominal.
7. Doddabetta Peak
Photo Credit : Keshav Mukund Kandhadai
This is the highest vantage point which is located in Ooty at an altitude of 2623 metres. While taking one of the Ooty sightseeing packages do visit this breathtaking peak of Ooty, which offers a panoramic view of the city of Coimbatore. From this highest point of Nilgiri Mountains that is Doddabetta Peak you can get a landscape view of the whole region which is covered with lush green carpet as well as nature perfect walking trails. The peak is located at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats.
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At the height of 8650 feet, the peak offers a bird’s eye view of not just Coimbatore but also the various nearby regions too. This makes it an ideal destination to click some amazing snaps of the region.
The best time when you can visit Doddabetta Peak is during the early morning, as you can see the astonishing sight of the rising sun. You can also visit Doddabetta in the evening to catch a glimpse of the incredible sunset. It is located on the Ooty Kotagiri route around 10 kilometres away from Ooty. To get an enchanting view of the slopes as well as the Chamundi Hills one must visit the Telescope House which is located at the peak.
8. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The majestic Nilgiri Mountain Railway which recently celebrated its 106th anniversary in October 2013 is a must-visit tourist destination when you are out sightseeing in Ooty. This miraculous railway was built by the Britishers connecting Ooty to Mettupalayam. This toy train is regarded as a marvel of engineering. Earlier it ran by steam engine and covers a total distance of 41.8 kilometres and now operates on an oil-fired engine. Recently the UNESCO has given a Heritage Status to the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
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This charming blue and cream coloured train is made up of wooden coaches and has large windows. Due to safety reasons and to give its travellers a heart-full view of the route the train travels at an average speed of 10.4 km/hr. The train leaves the Mettupalayam station at 7:45 am and reaches its final destination Ooty at noon.
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The 7 km track between Mettupalyam and Kallar is the starting track full of vast rice and paddy fields. It is followed by an impressive rocky terrain covering a section of 21 kilometres. Then the track passes through twists and blends of 13 tunnels and over 26 viaducts. Then the train enters the Coonoor tea plantations followed by Fern Hills and offers a journey worth remembering.
9. Emerald Lake
Photo Credits: Sandeep Somashekaran
Amongst all the destinations of Ooty sightseeing packages Emerald Lake makes the most enchanting site which is famous for its picture postcard sunset and sunrise. This scenic spot located and nestled in the Nilgiri Hills is an ideal destination for photo fanatics and wanderers. This is the favourite picnic spot amongst tourists and takes around one hour to explore the flora and fauna around the lake.
The best part is that there is no entry fee to this marvellous site and it is open seven days of the week from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. The lake is a placid destination located in the ‘silent valley’, where nature lovers like to watch its natural beauty. The lake is surrounded by enormous tea plantations and is a favourite destination for bird watchers as they can find exotic species of various birds out here.
10. St. Stephen's Church
St. Stephen’s Church is a Wooden Wonder in the true sense. If you are planning a visit to Ooty, then do plan a visit to the oldest church located in the Nilgiris. While on Ooty sightseeing packages one must visit this 19th century church which was built during the time of Britishers. In the year 1929 Stephen Rumbold Rushington laid the foundation stone of this church. The unique thing about this church is that it is made up of high quality wood only.
The main attraction of this church is the lovely wooden architecture, the stained glass windows and the famous painting of the ‘Last Supper’. The four hammer-like structures produce musical sound in the church. This captivating church is just 1.4 kilometres from Fern Hills and is also well known as a major attraction of Ooty. It can be visited from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm every day.
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