Ooty Tourism Information
Ooty is rightly called the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’ on account or its unrivalled beauty and everlasting charm. It is in the Nilgiris where the western and eastern ghats meet. The mystic beauty of Ooty lied unknown the rest of India until it was discovered by the British in the early 1800s. Though the whole area was inhabited by the hill tribes like the Todas, the Kotas, the Kurumbas, the Badagas, the Panias and the Irulas, it was only after the first railway line was constructed that much of its enchantment was revealed. Its popularity grew because of the gold hunt pursued by early colonialists in the Nilgiris. Though the gold hunt was given up in the early 20th century, its rich endowments of nature came to the limelight and Europeans and the well-t-do natives settled there. It became the summer capital of the then Madras Presidency. <<Click to Book Your Tour Online >>
Ooty General Information
All official attempts of the Tamil Nadu Government to get people to call Ooty by the Tamil name, ‘Udagamandalam’ have failed, and Ootacamund continues to be, as the British called it, ‘Ooty’ to all. Perhaps, because the place still looks very much an English-country down. The place abounds in British buildings and British names – St Stephen’s Church bears the name of Governor Stephen Rumbold Lushington as does the Lushington School. The Lawrence School and Breeks Memorial School too are named after Britons of another age. Lady Canning’s Seat, Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose, Club Hill and Elk Hill are all undoubtedly British – sounding and the scenery viewed from these points are decidedly English too tall pines, confers and eucalyptus stand in proud profusion beside emerald green lakes and red-tiled cottages with lush green lawns and rose gardens.
Orchards of peaches and plums, and the terraced tea plantations that Ooty is famous for are also a legacy of the British, who first introduced these crops here. So are the English faces many of these Britons had settled here for good, having fallen in love with this little bit of England that they had discovered in India. Ooty, without doubt, is still a ‘hill station’ and a very important tourist spot not to be missed by anyone who visits India. It is at a height of 2240m, and is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district. Besides coffee and tea plantations, eucalyptus, pine and wattle dot the hill sides of Udagamandalam. The summer temperature is rarely higher than 25°C with a minimum of 10°C and winter worth a high of 21°C and a low of 5°C, rarely it touches 0°C.
Settlement in Udagamandalam began in 1822 with the construction of the Stone House by John Sullivan the erstwhile collector of Coimbatore. It was locally called ‘Kal Bangala’ and is now the chamber of the Principal of Govt. Arts College. Following this, several English cottages with pretty gardens sprang up. Even today, the atmosphere of the British Raj lingers in places like the club where snooker was invented by a subaltern Neville Chamberlain, the Nilgiris library with rare and invaluable collection of books on Udagamandalam and St. Stephen’s Church which was Ooty’s first church.
Where Ooty scores over most other hill stations in India is that it is in-season the whole year round. The summer temperature reaches 25°C at the most (min. 10°C) and winter temperature never falls below 5°C (max. 21°C). So, at no point of time is Ooty stiflingly hot or unbearably cold.
There are no definite seasons. Though Ooty gets a rainfall that is a little more than adequate, the rains of July and August can be exasperating. So, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon.
This small artificial lake was conceived in 1824 by John Sullivan as an irrigation tank. Hardly 4 sq. km in area, is the lake a much frequented retreat for picnickers. Row boats, paddle boats and motor boats are available for here. The boat house also has a restaurant and a children’s garden. . Even fishing can be done in the lake with permission by the office of the Asst. Director of Fisheries.
This Club offers entertainment as well as information, as it has a collection of albums of yellowing photographs, newspaper clippings, hand-drawn cards etc. The Club building was, originally, the mansion of Sir William Rumbold, a wealthy businessman from Hyderabad, who built it in 1820s. Regal, imposing and exclusive, the Club is still maintained as it was in British times. The Club is for members and their guests only.
It is a heaven for nature lovers, sprawling over 20,000 acres. The Gymkhana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and the Hindustan Photo Films Company have all chosen to nestle amidst the picturesque Downs. Golf, hunting and endless hours of enjoyable walking are what the Downs have to offer.
It is run by the TTDC to enable the tourists to get a better view of the charming scenery of the surroundings.
Glenmorgan, about 25 km from Ooty, is also a lovely picnic spot commanding an excellent view of the Mudumalai Game Sanctuary. A trolley ride down the 4 km ropeway leading t Singara Power House from the Glenmaorgan headwork’s is an exciting experience.
The Pykara river, (19 km) with its dam and power plant, is also a much frequented picnic locals.
Avalanche, about 25 km from Ooty, got its name after an avalanche occurred there in 1823. The name has stuck though nature has healed the havoc. The forests here are cool and fragrant, ideal for trekking. Fishing can be done in the Avalanche river, where a lot of trout can be found. <<Click to Book Your Tour Online >>
The government museum is on the Mysore road. Items of tribal objects, district’s ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu are on display.