Ooty: The Magical Nilgiri Hill Station

Ooty, the capital of Nilgiris district, is also known as the “Queen of hill stations”. Ooty is situated in Nilgiri Hills in the state of TamilNadu.

Pleasing picnic spots; the mountain train ride on a ratchet and pinion track; lush vegetation; splashing water bodies; innumerable tea estates; huge mountains; thick forests; extensive grasslands; everything around here makes Ooty one of the most preferred tourist destinations in India among foreign tourists.

To all those looking for a change from the hot and humid climate of Madras, the fragrant mountain rains and the hazy blue mist of the Nilgiri Hills are the perfect place to travel.

Ooty, India

Ooty: The Queen of Hill Stations in India

Ooty immediately captures attention with its exotic ambience, natural beauty, and colonial aura. Even for non-nature lovers, the deluxe resorts, the lush green environment and astonishing landscapes, in Ooty, are enticing.

A gorgeous hill station with bundles of history entwined in and around it, Ooty is indeed a city that features in itineraries of almost every traveler’s list. Everything in and around Ooty is a reminder of the colonial influence in the land and hence, you can dig out Ooty’s history and its intriguing past with a trip to Ooty.

  • Location: Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu, at altitude of 2,240 m from sea level
  • Languages: Tamil, English and Hindi
  • Climate: Subtropical Highland
  • Precipitation: 1,238 mm
  • Avg. annual temperature: 14.4 °C
  • Best Time to visit: Summer season
  • Major tourist attractions: Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake, Sim’s Park, Doddabetta Peak, Hidden Valley, Dolphin’s Nose, Catherine Falls and Tiger Hill
  • How to reach: Airport- Coimbatore International Airport (60km); Railway station- Udhagamandalam Railway Station; Road- Well connected road system from all major towns South India.

Ooty: An Introduction
Deep romantic backwaters; stunning wildlife; pristine beaches; gorgeous hill stations; everything about South India is worth visiting. For all the nature enthusiasts and adventure lovers, the ‘queen of hill station’, Ooty, is one of the perfect destination to travel. Ooty is one of the most loved and sought after destination in India among the tourists from all the corners of the world.

The city of Ooty is located at an altitude of 2,240 from sea level. Innumerable tea estates have been developed in and around Ooty which has attracted a large number of tourists, every year. Besides the tea estates, there are various tourist attractions in Ooty. Some of them are Botanical Gardens, Sim’s Park, Catherine Fallsm Dolphin’s Nose, Doddabetta Peak, Tiger Hill, and Hidden Valley.

The Annual Tea and Tourism Festival, aiming to grab the tourists’ attention to divert it towards the tea cultivation projects in Nilgiri Hills, is one of the most popular events in the city. Every year, thousands of tourists, from all over the world gather in Ooty to witness the extravaganza.

The Todas were the original occupants of Ooty. Agriculture, medicine and photograph manufacturers and tourism constitutes town’s economy.

History of Ooty
Todas were the original inhabitants of Ooty. When Nilgiri territory was possessed by East India Company, Todas gave the control of Ooty to Governor of Coimbatore, John Sullivan. John Sullivan, who was elated with the beauty of Nilgiri hills, began the construction of his bungalow in Ooty which was completed by 1823. Sullivan, immediately, got down to the construction of route to the city of Coonoor in 1830-32.

He proceeded with the developments of chinchona, tea and teak trees. Sullivan developed an attachment with the local tribes and tried hard to provide cultural recognition and land right to them. He was ostracized by the British government for this.

During the colonial days, Ooty became the hub for the British in summers. British rulers from Madras Presidency and small kingdoms visited Ooty during summers and weekends. Soldiers too gathered here to revive themselves after their tiring work. Ooty’s captivating splendor and superb green deep valleys led the British to name it as “queen of hill stations”.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway was built in 1908, which is a vast, complicated railway system in Ooty. Designed by passionate and innovative British citizens, with capital provided by Madras citizens, construction of the railway system was a long and tedious process. South Indian Railways took the control of the construction process In January 1908.

Despite many glitches and problems, the construction continued. Construction completed on September 15, 1908, when the railway line from Coonoor to Fernhill finally reached Ooty. The Governor of Madras presided over the opening ceremony of the new railway line reaching Ooty, On October 15.

After Indian Independence in 1947, the government of India took further initiative in beautifying this gifted colonial land. With its well-connected road and railway networks, the place became easily accessible, thereby, captivating the attention of people from around the globe. Today, Ooty serves as a major hill station of India, which remains crowded by tourists all around the year.

Some Interesting Facts about Ooty

  • One of the most enjoyable attractions of Ooty is the ride on the ‘Nilgiri Toy Train’.
  • The ride in the slow train takes you from uphill Ooty to a picturesque beautiful town at foothills, Mettupalayam.
  • In service since 1899, this joy ride has thrilled tourists with a view of the beautiful scenery of Ooty.
  • At a speed of 33 km per hour, the ride covers a distance of 46 km.
  • Thread Garden, in Ooty, is a manmade creation flushed with embroidered natural models of plants and flowers. Made with the technology of Hand Wound Embroidery, the creation of these models took almost 12 years. 50 lady artists used 6 crore meters of embroidery threads to create astonishing pieces, without using needles.
  • While travelling to Ooty, you do not need to pack warm clothes. Jackets, caps etc. available in Ooty at just rupees 100.
  • Snooker was created in Ooty at Ooty club.
  • More than 200 tea manufacturing industries in Ooty.
  • The total area under cultivation is 77,520 Hectares.
  • Potato, Tea, Coffee, and various Vegetable crops including Cauliflower, Cabbage etc. are grown in Ooty.
  • The major spices grown are Pepper, Cardamom and Ginger.
  • There are a lot of regional festivals in Ooty for mass enjoyment.

For more information on Ooty and travel packages visit the website of OotyIndia.Com, a travel guide cum destination management website for Ooty travel.

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