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Ooty: A handy and a quick travel guide

Ooty

Ooty stands at a height of 2200 meters and is situated at the foothills of the Niligirs. The place has all the ingredients of a charming hill station. With the place boasting of cool temperatures all-round the year it is referred to as the queen of the hills. The heritage buildings and ancient architecture has made it one of the popular tourist destinations in South India.

The things to do in Ooty

  • Do not miss out on a ride in a toy train- In the year 2005 UNESCO went on to declare Niligiris mountain railways as a heritage site. It covers a distance of 20 km from Mettupalayam to Ooty and the toy train journey covers 16 tunnels along with 250 bridges on route. On route there are about 200 mountainous curve to navigate it has to be said that the views throughout the journey is nothing short of spectacular
  • Go boating in Ooty lake- One of the most popular attractions is the Ooty lake. In the year 1824 the lake was man made as a recreational hub for the tourists and locals. Motor boats along with rowing is a popular activity in the lake. In fact the view from the centre of the lake relating to the forests and gardens is simply outstanding.
  • Venture out on a tree plantation tour- The hill slopes of Ooty offer a unique tea country. All around the premises there are wonderful tea plantations and you cannot take your eye away from them. A visit to these gardens is an unique experience in itself. It depends upon the time of the year, you can witness tea buds being harvested and cultivated. On the other hand sampling tea happens to be a year around activity.

Eat

  • Homemade chocolates- They happen to be a sweet and an activity that people love to indulge in Ooty. It is sold by weight from a wide collection of chocolates that some of the local brands have developed
  • Tea- When you are in Ooty the most likely beverage that you will be having is tea. Mainly it is the local grown tea there are varieties of tea in the form of green, black and spice- A sample of tea from this place turns out to be a great gift
  • Varkey-It is a speciality of this place and its made from local wheat, sugar and butter. Normally it is served with tea and you can feast on the local delight of this place.

The best time to visit Ooty

There is no fixed time to visit Ooty as the place boasts of a cool climate throughout the year. This is one of the main reasons why it receives a heavy footfall of traffic

  • May to September- These tends to be the summer months in Ooty and the temperature hovers around the 25 degree Celsius mark. It is going to provide you with the perfect respite from the heat of the plains. Though the place encounters some amount of rainfall in the month of May brining about a freshness to the flora and fauna of the Niligiri hills
  • October to February- These are the winter months in Ooty and the temperature would dip considerably. Though the day time temperature is around 16 degree Celsius and in the night it can stoop down to 3 degrees. But the morning sunshine would make it for most of the days.

How to reach Ooty

Ooty is well connected to the rest of the country via various forms of transport

  • By air- The nearest airport to Ooty is Coimbatore that is around 100 kms away. If you are planning to drive from Coimbatore to Ooty it would take you around 4 hours.
  • By road- The place is accessible by road, and from Bangalore it is 295 kms, from Kozhikode it is 185 kms and it is connected to the nearby towns and cities. There are private and public buses plying from most of the towns and cities in Karnataka and Kerala
  • By train- As mentioned the Niligiri mountain railways runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty. The drive is around 4 hours with some picture perfect views on route.

The places of attraction in Ooty

  • Emerlard lake- The name of the lake is derived from the mountains that surround the lake. It is a picture perfect picnic spot that is around 25 kms away from Ooty and at this place you may come across breathtaking scenes
  • St Stephens church- dating back to 1830 the church was formulated from wooden beams from the palace of Tipu Sultan.
  • Fernhill palace- The official residence of the Maharaja of Mysore this place was built in the year 1844, with 50 acres of eucallytus forests and lush gardens. Though it is an official heritage site and depicts the character of the royal place as it is today.

The things to pack when you are in Ooty

  • warm and woollen jacket is something that is needed whenever you are in this place. Yes the days are relatively warmer but the nights are cool and breezy
  • A raincoat or an umbrella to shield you from the rain. No one would want to be surprised by an unexpected drizzle.
  • Sickness medication is recommended for people who have issues with windy roads. Be it travelling by road or train for some people the curves would be difficult to take.

To conclude Ooty is a place of serenic beauty and charm. Most of the resorts in Ooty are packed to capacity during the vacations and it is better that you book them in advance. The internet is the best place where you can book an accommodation well in advance. But it is suggested that you check out the reviews and the list of hotels before hand in deciding which one suits the bill on all counts. One thing is for sure that the scenic and beautiful climate of this place is going to create a lasting impression in the mind of  the viewers.

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