“Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.”
This post is about a day and a half spent in Ooty.
Ooty (Ootacamund, Udagamandalam) is a popular hill station in the Nilgiri Hill Range of southern India. It is located 80 km off Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The economy here is based on tourism and agriculture, along with the manufacture of medicines and photographic film.
Ooty has a lot of places of interest and to see. Unfortunately, I was fighting with time and hence I could not visit many of the places.
So this post is primarily centered around Doddabetta, the tallest peak in southern India.
- Journey to Ooty from Bengaluru
- Villa stay in Ooty
- Journey to Doddabetta
- Sims’ Park
- Summing Up
Journey To Ooty From Bengaluru
You can choose to drive down to Ooty or take up any of the plethora of government/private bus services.
Ideally speaking, you should reach Ooty within 7 hours.
On the way as highlighted in blue above by Google Maps, you would cross the famous Bandipur National Park and also further down, you will cross the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
Notable places en-route: Mandya, Mysuru, Nanjanagudu, Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
Now as soon as you enter the Bandipur Region, you will enter the forest area. You will be engulfed in forests hereon until you reach Ooty. It will be truly picturesque and pristine – as pure as the raindrop that drips slowly off the highest cloud.
Just under 7 hours, I had reached Ooty.
You will need a sweater or two – it is a chilly place after all.
I got down at the government bus station.
Now, Ooty is huge compared to other hill stations like Kodaikanal and Chikamagalur. So better to chalk out a plan well in advance. My visit was totally impromptu – hence I missed seeing a lot of places.
Villa Stay In Ooty
A cousin of mine had rented a villa among the tea estates for a couple of days. Expensive, yes, but I could not thank him more. It was such a surreal experience.
Picture this… You are the only family in a radius of two kilometres of greenery of tea fields. Yes, it was completely isolated from the rest of Ooty. The Toyota Innova car struggled to reach this place.
Journey To Doddabetta
Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 metres (8,650 feet) and is the highest peak in southern India.
After a good dinner and a night’s sleep, we were refreshed the next day.
Agenda was to cover two places since we were ready only by 11am in the forenoon.
A piece of advice – although easier said than done – try waking up by 6am so as to get ready early and maximise the time at your disposal. Easier said than done, truly, because the climate of Ooty just doesn’t let you get off of your bed!
The next set of pictures depict the scenery en-route to Doddabetta and form a story of their own, with the witty captions!
After an hour’s drive from the centre town of Ooty and an uphill drive among the drizzles, we had reached Doddabetta.
The view from here is simply spectacular.
Picture this. You are at the highest peak in all of southern India. You can proudly feel that you are above all the points in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana.
In fact, it is said, that you can even view some of the towns of different states from certain viewpoints on the peak – and why not?
You are 8,651 feet above sea level – you are 2.3 kilometres above sea level!
As before, I will let the photographs below narrate their own stories.
We spent an hour on the peak. There are play pens for children, a viewpoint with a telescope, and a plethora of shops selling hot snacks.
You do get a sense of satisfaction after you reach this place. A sense of innate satisfaction, that yes, you have reached an important landmark in southern India. It is a must-visit.
We headed for Sims’ Park post lunch, which is situated near Coonoor.
It is a park with spectacular flora and fauna. Let the pictures below speak a thousand words themselves since by this point, my post has crossed a thousand words per se.
These were the things we were able to cover in 1 and a 1/2 days.
Frankly, it is less than half the time required to cover Ooty and surrounding areas completely. Ooty is huge compared to Kodaikanal – so a 3 day, 3 night stay would be perfect. Google would give you a better answer than me when it comes to more places to visit. But, that said, do not miss out Doddabetta – make it the first thing that you visit when here.
Do not miss the green tea and homemade chocolates – they are the specialty specific to any hill station!
If interested, do have a look at my other travelogues!
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