Traveling is one of the most fascinating hobby, that almost everybody possess, and this hobby needs to be fulfilled by exploring new lands, new cultures, and authentic places. India is one such land, which offers a range of things that a traveler may like, which makes it a popular destination among the regular back packers.
If you are looking for a stress free, absolutely relaxing and peaceful vacation, where you will have everything at leisure while having the satisfaction of seeing something new, you can go to the hill stations of India, and one such hill station is Ooty. This small but scenic place in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the top 10 hill stations of the country, which mesmerize its tourists with its ultimate beauty.
Ooty Botanical Gardens
Providing you an absolute natural delight, this 22 hectare garden, built in 1847 and managed by the horticulture department of the state, treasures more than 600 species of plants. Rare herbs and ferns can also be seen here, while a leisure walk with beautiful sights is the best part of this garden. Also check out the fossil tree here, believed to be 20 million years old.
The highest point of the hill station, standing tall at 2,500 meters, Doddabetta is a popular tourist attraction in Ooty, and provide mesmerizing views of the entire valley area. You can enjoy a natural splendor from here and even capture them in your cameras.
The iconic temple, located about 20 kms away from the main hill station, the temple is dedicated to lord Muruga, and one of his many houses in the country. The temple is located on a hill, which is again a popular tourist destination for both, sacred as well as scenic values.
Pykara River and Falls
The beautiful river, flowing some 19 kms away from Ooty, is considered to be a sacred river by the Toda tribe of the hill station, which is nearly extinct now. There is also a power plant and Dam over the river, which are also popular tourist attractions. Forming waterfalls at various places, the river is a good spot for boating and picnic purpose as well.
On the way to the Pykara river, you will come across this paradisaical forest of pine trees, standing tall on a slope, in an organized way. You can spend some time here, under the trees, and watch the splendid views of sunrays, which fills the area with brightness, filtered through the trees.
Ooty is not only a place to enjoy a leisure holiday, there are also many adventurous and exciting things you can try here. Explore the mesmerizing tea plantations of Ooty, and also tea factories, while you can also go hiking to the hill tops. On an Ooty trip, you must not lose an opportunity to take a ride in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, popular world over and having wooden coaches. Also try your hands in a game of golf at the popular Gymkhana Golf Course, while take a look around the Army Cantonment and forest sanctuaries. These activities will give you a little adventure on a leisure holiday.
Though the place specializes in South Indian food, a variety of North Indian delicacies are also served in big restaurants and eating joints. There is a popular Chinese restaurant, Wang's Kitchen, where you can eat Chinese and Indo- Chinese dishes, while the Hot Breads will serve amazing pizzas and sandwiches. A place called Kingstar Bakeries is a popular place for baked items like pastries, chocolates, varkis, cakes and buns. Some good places where you can eat are Hotel Shri Velmurugan, Earl's Secret and C-Store.
On an Ooty trip you have a lot of options in souvenirs and articles, to buy from the market areas, while its specialities cannot be missed out. The herbal and natural products, grown in the hills of Ooty, make a huge market here, and their best quality makes tourist buy these things in huge amount, like tea, eucalyptus, oil, cheese, spices and chocolates. The shop called, Green Shop, is famous for these items, while C- Store is another place where you can buy, as well as eat all of these delicacies. Buy the local handicrafts and souvenirs from the market areas.
Ooty is an extremely pleasant hill station , which has a favorable, in fact enjoyable weather throughout the year. But the summers are the best timing when you can enjoy all the natural beauty and floral treats of the hill station. The Botanical Garden also conducts an annual flower festival in the month of May, so to enjoy colorful beauties you must take a trip in the summer season, preferably March to June.
By Plane – The airport at Coimbatore city is the closest to Ooty, at a distance of 3 and a half hours drive. Many national and international flights are scheduled at the airport.
By Train – Many overnight trains are there for Ooty, which will give you a comfortable as well as enjoyable journey. The Nilgiri Express, from Chennai will leave you to Mettupalayam, from where you can take a ride in the iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway. But reservations should be made before the arrival.
By Road – Buses, cars, rentals, taxis, many options are there for a road journey towards Ooty. From Coimbatore it takes 3 and a half hours to reach Ooty via Mettupalayam. From other major cities of Tamil Nadu, including Mysore, Kozhikode, Kannur also, you get bus facilities.