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Published: 09/05/2012

Ooty, otherwise known as Udhagai, is the capital of the Nilgiri’s district in Tamil Nadu, a state in Sothern India. Unlike any other region in the country, no historic proof is found to state that Ooty was a part of any kingdom or empire. It was originally a tribal land occupied by the Todas. The Todas then handed over the “Old Ooty” to the then governor John Sullivan. He later developed the town and encouraged the establishment of tea, cinchonas and teak tree.

Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency and other small kingdoms. It used to be a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during the colonial days, and later it was made into a summer administrative town. It is situated at a height of 2286 m above sea level.

Ooty draws a large number of tourists every year. Its natural beauty makes it a major tourist attraction in India. The lush green hills, lofty mountains, rolling tea gardens and the cascading waterfalls all continue to make Ooty a travellers haven.

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Top Tourist Attractions of Ooty

Ooty Botanical Garden

The English styled terraced gardens, founded in 1847 by Marquis of Tweed Dale, cover an area of around 22 hectares and lie on the lower slopes of Doddabbeta peak. Maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department, it has exotic varieties of orchids, ferns, ornamental and floral plants, alpines, coniferous trees, rock plants and several species of medicinal plants. The ‘Fern House’ built here is one of the most attractive features of this garden. Ooty Botanical Garden is one of the main tourist attractions in Ooty.

Doddabetta Peak

It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point in the district. Standing at a height of 2625 meter, one can see as far as the plain of Coimbatore and the plateau of Mysore. If the day is clear, it is a heaven for photographer’s and nature lovers. Many films are shot at this destination, and so it is a very hot tourist attraction.

Pykara Falls

As a tourist attraction, Pykara Falls is in much demand. The river has its origin in the Mukhurti peak, which is at the west of Ooty. Considered sacred by the Todas, it has a well protected wildlife habitat. Tourists come in flocks to see the Pykara dam and Pykara falls.

Ooty Lake

Amidst the blue hills, is this artificial lake constructed by John Sullivan in 1824. Boating services are available with row boats, paddle boats and motor boats on hire. It is a hub of entertainment with a lake garden and toy train facilities. A treat for the entire family!

Ooty Mountain Railway

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway toy train is the highlight of a visit to Ooty. Established by British during 1908, this railway network stands on meter gauge line from Mettupalayam Station to Coonoor hill Station and Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. The trains of this root are small and motorized by dieseland are known as Toy Trains.
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