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 Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

Ooty, the queen of the hill stations of South India, is situated in the Nilgiri district. Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiri's district where the two ghats converge. The height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres, the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres. Nilgiris means "Blue Mountains". Nature has been bounteous with this region which is indeed the most beautiful in the region. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like conifers, eucalyptus, pine and wattle embrace the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its environs. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Gardens. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. During summer festival Boat races, Boat pageantry, dog show etc., add more festivity to the celebration. All these are jointly organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Adventure sports like trekking also form part of the festival. Exclusive Nilgiri products including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town. Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best places for shopping fruits and general groceries. Summer temperature is rarely higher than 25c with a minimum of 10c and winter is are distinctly cooler with a high of 21c and a low 5c. The climate of Ooty is pleasant throughout the year. The best time to visit is between February to May and September to November.

Adventure Sports


Summer Season

Held in the month of May, the festival is organized by the Government of Tamilnadu to capitalize on the peak tourist season. The prestigious annual flower show held in the Botanical gardens are a part of the celebrations.There are also a number of cultural programs organized during the festival.

Horse Racing

A very popular sport during the summer season. You can see thoroughbreds in action here. The race course, located in the heart of Ooty, is about 2.4 kms long and is one of the best courses in India. Ooty figures in the Indian horse racing circuit. The racing season which begins from April 15th. ends in June.

Boating

Boating on the lake is a favorite pass time for visitors. There are paddleboats, rowboats and even motorboats to choose from.

Fishing

Trout fishing is available in Avalanche and Sandinalla lakes with prior permission from the Fisheries Department, located near the Ooty bus stand. The Assistance Director of Fisheries issues the fishing licence.

Billiards & Snooker

Snooker was invented in the Nilgiris at the Ooty Club. Today, apart from the Ooty Club, Coonoor Club, Gymkhana Club, the Lawley Institute and the bigger hotels, there are quite a few snooker parlours in town offering good entertainment

Golfing

The Ooty Golf Course is unique and playing on it is an exceptional experience. It is an 18 hole natural golf course located at a height of 7,400 ft above MSL and is spread over an area of 193 acres. It is said that if you can play to a single digit handicap on this course, you can play under par anywhere in the world.

Hang Gliding

In the summer months, the adventurers can do hang gliding at Kalhatty Ghats. The take-off point is exhilarating. You can fly over dense sholas and beautiful waterfalls and streams. For more information contact the local tourism office.

Horse Riding

Horses can be hired near the lake. You could hire a horse for short periods, or even for treks.

Mountain Train Journey

This narrow gauge mountain train winds through 46 km. of forests, tea plantations, sixteen tunnels, and more than 250 bridges, starting from Mettupalayam on the plains.

Moving at a pace little faster than walking the journey takes four-and-a half to five hours, but is more than compensated by stunning views.

Trekking

The Nilgiris are a trekker's paradise. There are treks and treks in whichever direction you turn and from whichever point you start. Udhagamandalam (Ooty) offers several trek routes, which vary in distance, altitudes and terrain. There is a base camp at Parsons valley, from where one can start trekking to various points within Western Ghats. The down hills of Western Ghats on the North ends up with meeting the extensions of Eastern Ghats, where the sprawling Mudumalai Sanctuary lies which opens vistas for adventure tourists. Trekking pamphlets are available with the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association (NWLEA). There are guides who have sound knowledge of certain areas. If necessary, their services may be hired. And for further details contact the Tourist Information Office at Charring Cross, Ooty.

How to reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Coimbatore(100 Km/62 mile) which is connected to Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.

By Road

Ooty is connected by good motorable road to Chennai and Coimbatore. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanniya Kumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut and Tirupati.

By Train

Ooty on the narrow gauge railway is connected to Mettupalayam which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai.



Distance from OOty to :
Coonoor 018kms
Mudumalai 57 kms
Coimbatore 98 kms
Mysore 155 kms
Salem 205 kms
Palani 206 kms
Guruvayur 227 kms
Kodaikanal 236 kms
yercaud 237 kms
Cochin 281 kms
Bangalore 290 kms
Trichy 302 kms
Madurai 325 kms
Hogenakal 328 kms
Sittannavasal 339 kms
Thiruvannamalai 354 kms
Tirupathy 362 kms
Tanjore 383 kms
Chidambaram 401 kms
Pondicherry 412 kms
Pichavaram 421 kms
Vedanthangal 446 kms
Thekkady 455 kms
Vellore 461 kms
Nagore 470 kms
Velankanni 472 kms
Poompuhar 473 kms
Tirunelveli 476 kms
Courtallam 489 kms
Point Calimere 491 kms
Rameswaram 496 kms
Tiruvandrum 498 kms
Mamallapuram 505 kms
Kancheepuram 508 kms
Tuticorin 536 kms
Chennai 539 kms
Tiruchandur 539 kms
Kanniakumari 587 kms
Hydrabad 853 kms


Contact

Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.

Tel: (044) 560294 / 582916
Fax: (044) 561385
Email : ttdc@md3.vsnl.net.in

Tourist Officer
Tourist Office
Wenlock Road, Ooty - 643 001
Ph.(0423) 2443977
Fax: (0423) 2444369

Nilgiris Wildlife and Environment Association
C/o DFO (North)
Mount Stewart Hill,
Ootacamund, 643 001
Ph. (0423) 2447167

Wildlife Warden, Ooty :         Ph. (0423) 2444098
District Forest Officer (North) :         Ph. (0423) 2441950
District Forest Officer (South) :         Ph. (0423) 2444083



Ooty at a glance :
Area 36 sq. k.m
Altitude 2,623 metres
Population 8,1763 (1991 Census)
Clothing Summer Light Woolen;Winter-Heavy Woolen
Language Tamil, Kannada, Mallayalam, Hindi and English
STD Code 0423
Temperature Range Summer Max 25C, Min 10C
Winter Max 21C, Min 5C
Rainfall 121 cms


Places of Interest in and around Ooty

Botanical Garden
Lake
Mini Garden
Rose Garden
Deer Park
Black Thunder Amusement Park
The Mukurthi Peak & Mukurthi National Park
Upper Bhavani
Avalanche
Elk Hill and Fern Hill
Snowden Peak
Doddabetta
Cairn Hill
Kalhatty Falls
Pykara
Wenlock Downs
Hindustan Photo Films
Ketty Valley View
Glenmorgan (17 Km/10 Mile)
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Kotagiri
Government Museum
Art Gallery - Lalith kala Academy
Fernhill Palace
Kamaraj Sagar (Sandynallah Reservoir)
St. Stephen's Church
Kandal Cross Shrine
Charing Cross

Botanical Garden

This garden was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale and is spread over 55 acres. It lies on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty. The gardens include many mature species as well as Italian and Japanese sections. The gardens are formally laid out with lily ponds, and there are clipped bushes in the form of elephants, with raised trunks. One can find a thousand different species of plants including some thirty types of eucalyptus in these gardens. There is also a fossilised tree trunk, which is said to be 20 million years old. Towards the eastern part of the garden there is a wooden house made of logs known as "Toda Mund", which provides an excellent view. A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Garden, which attracts huge crowds. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure sports like trekking also form a part of the festival. The Garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Lake

From just behind the Main Bus Stand (also near the Railway station) the famous Ooty Lake stretches, in an irregular 'L' shape, for about two kilometres in length and varrying distances in width. At the far end is the Boat House where all kinds of boats are available for hire from eight in the morning to six in the evening. During summer seasons, in May, boat races and boat pageantry are organised on two days at the lake which draw huge crowds. At the boat house end there is children's park with a toytrain. In the adjacent site there is a deer park. A mini-garden is at the bus stand end and a well laid footpath circles the entire lake. Just outside the Boat house local ponies are available for jolly rides at a charge. This artificial lake was constructed in 1824 by Major John Sullivan, the then the Collector of Coimbatore.

Mini Garden

Mini garden is also situated on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement park is housed. A snack bar is also available. Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Limited maintains these gardens. Timings: 8.00 am to 6.00 pm

Rose Garden

Rose Garden is situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. They are spread over an area of 10 acres of land with 2000 variety of roses. Rose Gardens lie on the way to the boathouse.

Deer Park

At a distance of 1-km from the Lake there is a Deer Park, which is worth visiting.

Black Thunder Amusement Park

Black Thunder, a water sports and amusement park is situated about 40 km from Ooty on the Ooty main Road. Black Thunder is Asia's No 1 theme Park set in a groove of Coconut and Betel nut trees and boasts of a breathtaking view of the Niligiris, which forms the background of the park. The Park has a wide range of rides- Dry and Wet Rides and Kiddies Special Rides. The different fun games are Wave pool, Wild River ride, Dry Rides, Surf-Hill side, Lazy river ride, Kiddies Pool, etc. It is an idyllic hideaway and if one looks around, you can see people screaming and shouting with excitement. Jump, slide, swim, and float over 65 acres of thrilling and adventurous rides.

The Mukurthi Peak & Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi Peak is about 40 Km/24 mile from Ooty. The Mukurthi National Park is located on the South Eastern corner of the Nilgiri's Plateau. The area contains a viable population of Nilgiri Thar (Hamitragus hilocrius).The silent Valley is located on the Western side of these ranges. Fascinating feature of the Mukurthi Sanctuary is its endemism and relationship with Himalayan Flora and Fauna. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are other major peaks around. The area is chained by innumerable beautiful and perennial little streams, which fall into Bhavani Puzha. Silent Valley is located on the Western side in the Western Ghat, which is a feast to the visitor's eye.

Upper Bhavani

10 Km/6 Mile from Korakundah and about 20 Kms/12 Mile from Avalanchi. Some of the best sholas like the Thar Shola lies enroute. The area is a rich and undisturbed wildlife habitat. From Bangithappal via Sispara one can trek to Silent Valley.

Avalanche

Located at a distance of 28kms from Ooty. A beautiful lake surrounded by a thick shola where even sunlight cannot penetrate and abundant with a wide variety of avifauna is a Nature Lover's Paradise.

Elk Hill and Fern Hill

Elk Hill and Fern Hill are two high points on the southern and southwestern parts of Ooty. The former is a leisurely hour-long walk from the town and offers a clear view of the slopes leading to Mettupalayam as well as the quaint Lovedale, where there is a famous school. From the latter, one can see the thickly wooded resort of Avalanchi and Upper Bhavani which abounds in wild game.

Snowden Peak

Located at the Kothagiri Road, it offers a picturesque view of Mysore.

Doddabetta

The peak is about 10-km from Ooty town of the Ooty-Kotagiri road. At a height of 2,623 metres, Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in the district. It is a beautiful place lying between the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats and offers a beautiful view of the Nilgiri hill ranges. It is surrounded by dense Sholas. The top of the peak remains covered by mist most of the time but on a clear day, one can have a look at the landscape as far as the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore plateau. There is a telescope house run by TTDC.

Cairn Hill

Situated at about 3-km on the road to Avalache, Cairn hill is one of the surviving original walks. Dense cypress trees flank the entire road circling the hill. The clearings underneath them make good picnic spots. The stillness and silence of the cypress woods broken only by the sounds of birds in the surrounding shrubs can be unforgettable experience.

Kalhatty Falls

The Kalhatty falls are located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13 km from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam - Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. Also known as the "Kalahasti Falls", the water here cascades down a height of 122m. Kalhatty - Masinagudi slopes is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds. The falls attracts all sorts of animals like Panthers, Spotted Deer and Bisons, who come to drink water in the early hours of the day and at night.

Pykara

Situated about 21 Kms/13 Mile on the Ooty-Mysore Road, boasts of well protected fenced Sholas, Todas settlement, undisturbed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and the reservoir attracts many tourists. A boathouse with restaurant and a rest house are available at Pykara.

Wenlock Downs

A vast zone of amazing landscape offering Gymkhana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and Hindustan Photo Films Company besides pleasure of long stroll on this peaceful road.

Hindustan Photo Films

The Hindustan Photo Films, one of the major industrial units of the district, is located about 5-km away from Ooty railway station over a sprawling area of over 300 acres, near the Ooty golf-links on the Ooty- Mysore road. The HPF was inaugurated by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister, in January, 1967. This industrial unit is currently producing Indu roll films which are used for taking photographs; Indu X-ray films, the quality of which is acknowledged to be among the best in the world; Indu bromide paper on which photographs are printed; and Induaerographic for geological and defence mapping, industrial X - ray film, laser recording film, CAT film, special film for space photography, oscilloscope direct print paper, photo typesetting paper and range of chemicals for the film processing.

Ketty Valley View

Ketti is a tiny village located on the road to Coonoor, which is the home of tribes such as the Badagas and the Todas. It is an idyllic spot with a cluster of tiny villages that extend to the plains of Coimbatore and Mysore plateau. Ketti is famous for having the highest railway station in the country, situated at a height of 7,000 ft, in the Nilgiri Mountains of South India. The weather of Ketti valley is salubrious. Ketti is a wealth of natural beauty reposing in the Wenlock Downs, the Municipal Gardens and Doddabetta Peak, at 2,623 m the highest in the Nilgiris. Ketti represents a way of life that revolves around caring for livestock and cultivation of vegetables and potatoes. The people wake up even before the sun has risen, cowbells resonate musically across the valley while smoke spirals skywars from the tiled houses below. Walks around the village can be an invigorating afternoon experience, winding up above stately homes such as "Sunny Bank" within the boundary of Ootacamund town. When night falls, one will delight in the unbelievable clusters of stars that seem to be just an arm's length away. The aroma of eucalyptus is pervasive, as Ketti seems to blend with the distant view. The other prominent features of the region are endless carpets of tea gardens whose produce is world famous. The climate of Ketti is gorgeous and the place is suitable for visit in all seasons except monsoons. During summers, the temperature is rarely higher than 25C or lower than 10C and the winters are distinctly cooler with a high of 21C and a low of 5C.

Glenmorgan (17 Km/10 Mile)

This is an Electricity Board. (E.B.) winch carries staff from Glenmorgan view point to power house at Singara. All the four Kms of the winch track passes through undisturbed sholas and wildlife habitat. Prior permission of E.B. authorities should be obtained to enter the view point zone. There are about ten Todas (tribal) settlement.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The most prominent of the wildlife sanctuaries in the state, as well as one of the most important in the southern region, thickly forested Mudumalai borders the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka and the Wyanad Sanctuary in Kerala. The Mudumalai Wildlife sanctuary has varied mixture of flat land, open grassland, swamp, valley and nullas. This 321-sq-kms wide sanctuary encompasses a National Park measuring an area of 103-sq-kms. Apart from the wide range of animal and bird life, the rich fauna of this sanctuary has made Mudumalai very popular with wildlife enthusiasts. Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea) Natural teak (Tectona Grandis), Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia, Crenulata/Terminalia Tomontosa, Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian Labumusum, Aredesia, Solanancea are some of the flora. The fauna include Elephants, Gaur, Banner, Macaque, Common Langur, Tigers, Leopards, Chital, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (Mugger), Giant Flying Squirrel, Sambar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose. The birds listed in this sanctuary are Peacock-our National bird, Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Plower, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Large Racket-Tailed Dronge, The Magpie-robin, Spotted Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Bulbuls, Mynahs, etc. Among birds of prey, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons and King Vulture are predominant, besides some migratory water birds. The nearest airport is at Coimbatore, 160-km away. The sanctuary is located at a distance of 65-km from Udhagamandalam railway station and 95-km from Mysore station. Gudalur (16-km) is the nearest town to the sanctuary, which is situated along the Udhagamandalam - Mysore highway. This sanctuary could be reached from Mysore as well. There are regular buses from Udhagamandalam, Mysore and the neighbouring towns to the sanctuary.

Government Museum

The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district.

Art Gallery - Lalith kala Academy

It is situated about 2 Kms, from Udhagamandalam in the main Mysore road. It has various collections of contemporary paintings and sculptures all over from India.

Fernhill Palace

Fernhill Palace is the erstwhile summer residence of the Maharaja of Mysore. The palace resembles a Swiss Chalet. Its carved wooden bargeboards and ornamental cast iron give it that characteristic appearance. The palace grounds accentuate the alpine look of the place with its manicured gardens, firs and cedars. There is an interesting church like indoor badminton court on the grounds. The Fernhill Palace has now been converted into a luxury heritage hotel by the same name.

Kamaraj Sagar (Sandynallah Reservoir)

The Kamaraj Sagar dam is a good picnic spot and can be reached via. Kandal amidst very old trees and green shrubs of various terrains and also via. Hindustan Photo films in Gudalur road. It is a very good picnic spot on the slopes of the Wenlock Sagar Downs. Apart from studying nature and the environment, fishing provides excellent game in Kamaraj as well as in Upper Bhavani and Avalanche, whose waters are especially rich in trout fish.

St. Stephen's Church

Situated in the hilly area on Club Road, St Stephens Church is said to be the oldest in the Nilgiris. The church was built in 1829 and consecrated in 1830. The beam of the church was taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatnam. The cemetery close by houses the grave of John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty.

Kandal Cross Shrine

Kandal cross, a Roman Catholic Shrine considered, as the Jerusalem of the East is located in Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Catholics consider it as the "Calvary of Tamil Nadu". There is a relic of the true cross, which was brought to India by an Apostolic delegate, and people believe that it cures the sick, bestow heavenly blessings, peace and joy to the visiting pilgrims and tourists. Special Novena Prayers and Holly Masses are offered every Friday. The annual feast is held on 3rd May every year. Kandal cross is easily accessible as it is at a distance of just 3-km to the west of Udhagamandalam Railway Station.

Charing Cross

Charing Cross is the focal point on the busy commercial street of Ooty. Here you can take in the smells and sounds of Ooty. The main shopping street and vegetable market are here. The Charing Cross is very much like the main square of an old English town.

Kotagiri

It is 31 kms. from Udhagamandalam with just an hour's drive. It is the third largest and the oldest hill station in the Nilgiri's. Like all hill stations in India, this also has had strong presence of the British Raj. The town is fast becoming commercial, with many banks and shopping facilities coming up. Kotagiri is a small resort set among the lush tea estates. Kotagiri is a hiker's paradise, with endless trails and sufficient 'off beatness'. It has a Kota temple in the middle of the town, even though the Kota tribes have long moved out, giving it an exotic tribal feel. Kotagiri has one of the best climates in the world. It is more temperate than Ooty, the climate is very salubrious which is 6503 feet above sea level. Kotagiri is shielded by the Doddabetta ranges which receives much of its rain from north west monsoon. One can enjoy a pleasure ride on road flanked by green tea beds on either side.

Kotagiri at a glance :
Area 26.39 sq. k.m
Altitude 1,984 metres
Population 38,121
Temperature Summer max - 25 C
min. - 10 C
Temperature Winter max - 21 C
min. - 0 C
Rainfall 121cms
Season April to June and September to November
Clothing Heavy Woolen in Winter Light Woolen in summer.
Languages Spoken Badaga, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam and English


Places of Interest

Kodanaad View point

Otherwise called the Terminus Country, because of its location (perched on the eastern most edge of the Nilgiri's.) From here one can see an entire array of natural processes like rivers Moyar and Bhavani, the Mysore Plateau, Valleys, trenches and also paddy fields.

Elk falls

Even though dry for some months of the year, is worth visiting this place; reason being, it has the first European house built in Nilgris here. Now a ruin, but still is a captivating sight. Another reason is the Badaga settlement, on the road to the falls. Quaint and idyllic, this is a beautiful definition of a tribal village.

Rangaswamy Pillar and Rock

The Rangaswamy peak lies 20 km from Kotagiri. This peak is sacred for Irulas (a tribe), adding mysticism to this natural beauty. Nearby is the Rangaswamy rock, a rock-climbers nightmare. Rising abruptly on all sides to about 400 metres, it is unclimbable.

Long Wood Shola

3 km away from the town, it is a wild life reserve. Perfectly peaceful and untouched forest trails are an invitation to serenity seekers.

How to reach

By Airway

The nearest airport is Coimbatore 105 km. It is connected by Indian Airlines with Madras, Bangalore and Cochin.

By Train

The nearest railhead is Coonoor 21 km.

By Road

Kotagiri is connected to nearby places of tourist interest

Coonoor

Coonoor is situated on the eastern side of the southern extremity of the Doddabetta range, at an altitude of 1,858 metres above the sea level. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris. Coonoor is located 19 km away from Ooty, a famous hill station of India. Grassy meadows, tea bushes and profusion of Sunflowers, Marigolds and Rhododendrons, all growing wild cover it. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year. The town is physically divided into upper and lower Coonoor. Coonoor's many hillocks and mounds are perfect for trekking. A popular pastime is birdwatching, as an extensive variety of birds can be spotted at the Nilgiris. Apart from the varied species of vultures, eagles and owls, song birds like bulbuls, thrushes, babblers, larks cuckoos, robins and several others are a treat to tone-deaf city ears. A Tea and Tourism Festival is held in Coonoor every winter.

How to reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 100 km away which has daily flights to and from Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.

By Train

Coonoor is on the toy-train line between Mettupalayam - 28 km and Ooty. The toy train leaves Mettupalayam for Ooty early morning and arrives at Ooty by noon. The total time taken on the return trip back to Mettupalayam is about 3 hours. However, this train service is often disrupted during the heavy monsoon season.

By Road

Coonoor is well connected by road with the major cities and towns of the state.



Coonoor at a glance :
Area 13.2 sq. k.m
Altitude 1,858 metres
Population 48,003
Temperature Summer max - 25 C
min. - 10 C
Temperature Winter max - 21 C
min. - 0 C
Rainfall 121cms
Season April to June and September to November
Clothing Heavy Woolen in Winter Light Woolen in summer.
Languages Spoken Badaga, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam and English
STD Code 0423


Places of Interest

Sim's Park
The Pasteur Institute
Pomological Station
Dolphin's Nose
St. Catherine Water Falls
Lamb's Rock
Wellington Staff College Laws Falls
Kattery Falls
Lady Caninng's Seat
The Droog
Masinagudi
Silk Rearing Station

Sim's Park

The Sim's Park is an important place to visit in Coonoor. It is a 12-hectare park, having a collection of over 1,000 plant species, including magnolia, pines, tree ferns, and camellia. The botanical garden developed partly in the Japanese style got its name after J. D. Sim, the secretary of the Madras Club in 1874. The key attraction of the park is the annual fruit and vegetable show held in May. Sim's park was inaugurated in 1874 and is situated in a deep ravine at an elevation of 1,768 to 1,798 Mts. The park can be divided into eight major sections. The natural shola with winding footpaths all over the higher slopes of the park is the most distinctive and picturesque feature of this park. The rose garden at the bottom of the slope is equally remarkable. Many species of trees and shrubs, which do not thrive, well in Ooty are found to flourish here. A newer attraction is a map of the World made by plants sent by various countries, just like Ooty's.

The Pasteur Institute

Very near to the Sim's Park, the Pasteur Institute came into existence in 1907. It specializes in the research for vaccines for rabies and polio. The institute can be visited only on Saturdays. However, on other days, one can visit the institute with the prior permission of the Director of the Institute. The tour of the Institute is guided.

Pomological Station

This garden was established in 1920 with a view to demonstrate and propagate scientific methods of raising nursery plants and of growing fruit-bearing trees. Jams and other fruit preservatives are prepared for sale to the public. Pomological Station is one of the three experimental fruit gardens in the Nilgiris maintained by the Horticultural Department where the states Agricultural Department researches on fruits. The other two are Burliar and Kallar on the Coonoor - Mettupalayam ghat road.

Dolphin's Nose

Dolphin's Nose is about 12 km from Coonoor. The Nose is unique rock of tremendous proportions, jutting out of the face of the hillside in formation in which its name suggests. Dolphin's Nose has spectacular views onto St. Catherine's Falls on one side and Coonoor and Kotagiri streams, tributaries of the Bhavani, on the other.

St. Catherine Water Falls

From Dolphin's Nose of Coonoor one can have a magnificent view of St. Catherine Water falls which is about 250 feet height. But it can be reached from Kotagiri at a distance of 8 kms. To reach the top of the hills tourist should take a diversion at Aravenu on Kotagiri - Mettupalayam road.

Lamb's Rock

It is 8 Kms from Coonoor on the way to Dolphin's Nose. It commands a grand view of the Coimbatore Plains. It's a sheer precipice, which drops down several hundred metres into the heart of dense jungle.

Wellington Staff College

On the way to Coonoor from Ooty is Wellington, the military town with rows and rows of barracks. The headquarters of the Madras Regimental Centre, the Indian Army and the Defence Staff College are located here.

Laws Falls

The Place is a beautiful picnic spot, situated at Coonoor-Mettupalayam Road at the distance of 7 Kms from Coonoor. The height of the falls is about 180 feet. There are vast stretches of undisturbed sholas and it is a paradise for Naturalists.

Kattery Falls

Kattery falls are one of the highest falls in the Nilgiris situated about 5-km from Coonoor on the Kendala road. At the beginning of the century a Hydro power station was build, the first ever-Hydro power plant to harness the fall to generate electricity for Cordite factory.

Lady Caninng's Seat

From Coonoor it is 9 Kms. It is marked by a small house and commands panoramic view of the tea estates and the plains.

The Droog

The Droog located 15-km away from Coonoor is also a famous picnic spot, standing at 6,000 feet high overlooking the plains, which was used by Tippu Sultan as an outpost. Three km of trekking has to be done to reach the point.

Silk Rearing Station

Adjoining the Pasteur Institute there is a Silk Rearing Station maintained by the Central Silk Board. The Sericultural experts at this station may be contacted for special assistance.

Masinagudi

Masinagudi is 35 kms from Ooty and 18 kms from Coonoor. The drive beyond Masinagudi entails 35 hairpin bends and though these are very enjoyable drives, the trouble is, everyone else seems to think so too. Watch out therefore for maniacs coming tearing down from the opposite side. Masinagudi used to be an elephant corridor. So don't be too surprised if you do see some wild tuskers on the road. Apart from the scenic beauty of the road, the drive through Masinagudi is charming in itself. The road between Ooty and Coonor is quite forested with hills looming in the distance. Again, there are blind turns and you have to be very careful around the corners. There are a number of fabulous treks in Masinagudi. For refreshments, there are a number of delightful little tea and coffee shacks at Masinagudi.







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