Udhagamandalam (Ooty )

 
 
pykara_falls_ooty.jpgPopularly referred as the 'Queen of Hill Stations', Udhagamandalam better known as Ooty is the most popular hill station in the South. Located in the Western ghats at a height of 2240 m, Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district where the two ghats meet. Nature has been generous with this region which is by far the most beautiful in the state.

Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like conifers, eucalyptus, pine and wattle dot the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its environs. Curiously enough, this slice of paradise remained unknown to the great southern dynasties and it took the British to discover it in the early 1800s. They were, however, not the first inhabitants of this land as a tribe called Todas had been living there long before the British came, claiming that the Nilgiris had been their home since time immemorial. But the credit for modernising Udhagamandalam and making it accessible goes to the British who constructed the first railway line in the area and made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.

General Information

Area 36 sq. kms.  
Population 81,763 (1991 census)  
Altitude 2,240 mts
Climate Max.  Min. 
Summer 25 c 10 c 
Winter 21 c 5 c 
Rainfall 121 cms 
Clothing  Heavy Woollen in Winter
Light Wollen in Winter
Season April to June and September to November
Languages spoken Tamil, Malayalam, Kannadam and English 

Places of interest

Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. A wide variety of exotic and ornamental plants adorn this garden. There is also a beautiful Italian floral garden and for those who simply want to relax, there's always the green carpet of the well-maintained lawns. The "Summer Festivals" is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Garden and is an added attraction for tourists. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure spots like trekking also form part of the festival.

Government Museum
The Government Museum, Mysore Road, Udhagamandalam has items of tribal objects, districts ecological deatails and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu.

Lake
The artificial Lake, yet another of Sullivan's contributions, has facilities for boating and permission to fish can be obtained from the office of the Assistant Director of Fisheries.

The Mudumulai Wildlife Sancturies
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. Apart from the wide range of animal and bird life, the rich fauna of this sanctuary has made Mudumalai very popular with wildlife enthusiasts. More Info

Doddabetta
it is the highest peak ( 2623 mts ) in the Nilgiri's and is 10 Kms from Ooty. It lies at the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats and offer beautiful vista of the Nilgiri Hills ranges. There is a telescope house run by TTDC.

Kotagiri
It is 31 kms. from Udhagamandalam. 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.

Rose Garden
It is located just 3/4 kms. away from Charring Cross. It lies with 10 acres of land with 1919 variety of roses..

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..

Mini Garden
At about one kilometre distance Tourist can visit this mini garden (Children's Lake Garden) which is on the way to Boat House. Children's amusement park is housed here. A snack bar is also available. It is maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Developement Corporation Limited.

Excursions

Coonoor
It is located in an area of 13.2 sq on the way from Coimbatore to Udhagamandalam. It is second largest hill station in the Nigiris. It stands on a lower ridge of the plateau at an altitude of 1858 mts. ( 6100 ft.) Population is 48003.

Dolphin's Nose
12 Kms from Coonoor, enjoy the micro climate; you can also take a glimpse of the Catherine Falls from here.

Ketti valley view point
Located on the road to Coonoor, this idyllic spot is a cluster of tiny villages that extend to the plains of Coimbatore and Mysore plateau.

Kalhatty Water Falls
It is located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13 kms. from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam - Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. The height of the water falls is about 100 ft. Kalhatty - Masinagudi slopes is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds.

Wenlock Downs
A vast expanse of undulating landscape offering the Gymkana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and the Hindustan Photo Films Company besides pleasure of a long stroll on quiet roads.

Mukurthi Peak & Mukurthi National Park
Mukurthi Peak is about 40 km from Ooty. The Mukurthi National Park is located on the South Eastern corner of the Nilgiris. 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 variety and similarities to Himalayan Flora and Fauna.

Pykara
Situated about 21kms on the Ooty-Mysore Road, Pykara boasts of well protected fenced Sholas, Toda settlements, undistributed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and the reservoir attracts many tourists. A boat house with Restaurant is available. It is maintained by T.T.D.C.

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.

Festivals
  • Tea & Tourism Festival Ooty January. 
  • Thaipoosam in Elk Hill Murugan Temple February.
  • Bookkapuram Mariamman Annual Festival February
  • Ooty Mariamman Temple Festival April.
  • Coonoor Mariamman Temple Festival April.
  • Boat Races and Boat Pageantry in Ooty May.
  • Flower Show in Ooty May.
  • Fruit Show in Coonoor May.
Summer Festival
To beat the heat in plains summer is the time to visit hill stations of Tamil Nadu. Regular Cultural Programmes, fashion parade, Flower and Fruit shows are arranged during Summer Festival. Boat races, Boat pageantry, dog shows etc, add more festivity to the celebrations. Emerald green valley, Saluburious climate, lingering taste of tea and fruits tempt you to come here once again! again and again !

All these festivals are jointly organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu & Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

How to get there ?

Air
The nearest airport is Coimbatore (100 Kms ) which is connected to Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Rail
Udhagamandalam on the narrow guage railway is connected to Mettpalayam which directly connected to Coimbatore on broad guage.

Road
Udhagamandalam is connected by good motorable road. It is 535 Kms from Chennai (Via Salem, Mettupalayam); 89 Kms from Coimbatore.
 

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