Ooty In India
This principle station on the Nilgiris is at an elevation of 2286 meters and situated at the center of the district. It is an extensive valley enclosed on all sides but the west by a lofty range of hills. The name of the ooty or Ootacamand was first mentioned in about 1821 in the Madras Gazette which was then spelt as "Wotokymund" by an anonymous correspondent who was one among the Europeans to set an eye on Ootacamand. It is also fondly called the Queen of Hill Stations.
This garden was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale, then the Governor of Madras and is spread over 22 hectares ascending the slopes on the hill at an elevation of 2,400 - 2,500 mts. above MSL. Lush green well maintained lawns, rare trees species (like the cork tree which is probably the only such tree in India, the paperbark tree and the monkey puzzle tree-monkey cannot climb this tree.), a 20 million year old fossilized tree, an Italian - style garden bordering, a clear pool, a vast variety of flowering bushes and plants, fern house with a vast range ferns and orchids are some of the highlights of this garden. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in the month of May.
CENTENARY ROSE PARK
Situated in the heart of Ooty town, this garden has been beautifully laid out in terraces with rose tunnels, pergolas, and bowers with rose creepers. To commemorate the centenary Flower Show, the Rose Park was established at Vijayanagaram in Udhagamandalam covering an area of 4 hectares in five terraces. Today this garden has the largest collections of roses in the country like Hybrid Tea Roses, miniature rose, Floribunda, Ramblers, roses of unusual colors like black and green are some of the more than 3,000 varieties of roses that will captivate your senses. The Rose Garden is situated in slopes of the Elk Hill. The rose varieties planted in this park were assembled from different sources. The 'Nila Madam' is located in a spot where viewers can see the entire rose garden. This garden is maintained by Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. It has also received the Award of Excellence for the best rose garden in entire south Asia from the International Rose society in 2006.
The Ooty Lake is the pride of the Blue Hills. It is the central and strategic attraction. Mr. John Sullivan formed this artificial lake in the year 1824, the then Collector of Coimbatore. The Ooty lake which extends to an area of 65 acres. Earlier the entire lake was used for fishing. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake for pleasure boating facilities in the year 1973. Another added attraction of the Ooty lake is the Mini Train and an amusement park.
At 2,623 mts above MSL, Doddabetta is the highest Peak in the Tamil Nadu and is about 10 kms. from Ooty bus stand. The name Doddabetta literally means 'Big mountain' in the Badugu Language, which is so in reality. It is at the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats and offers beautiful vistas of the Nilgiri Hills range. It is surrounded by dense Sholas. One can have a magnificent panoramic view of the landscape and the whole of the District and even beyond through the Telescope House run by T.T.D.C., which is an added attraction. The Sunset is spectacular from this viewpoint.
THE OOTACAMAND CLUB:
This club ranks one of the leading clubs in the state of Tamil Nadu and is hardly a KM from the Udhagamandalam railway station. It is admirably situated in the heart of the town at the base of the hill adjoining the St.Stephen's Church and is located on the Udhagamandalam - Gudalur road, near Taj Savoy Hotel. The building occupied by the present Ootacamund club was constructed as a hotel by Sir, W. William Rumbold (Bart) in 1831-32 and inaugurated in 1833. It is said that snooker was invented at this club.
Government House (Raj Bhavan) is situated on a ridge of the Western Slopes of Doddabetta on the outskirts of the South Eastern Quarter of Udhagamandalam.
Before Udhagamandalam became the virtual summer capital of the state, it was visited periodically, by the Governors of Madras for a few months to -make a good escape from the hot sultry weather of Madras.
Built-in 1877 by the Duke of Buckingham when he was the Governor of Madras, Government House, Raj Bhavan today, is used only occasionally during the Governor of Tamil Nadu's visit to Ooty. Otherwise, the sprawling cream-colored mansion, overlooking the Botanical Gardens stands a silent reminder of the pomp and grandeur that it had seen in the days of the Raj.
Honey & Bee Museum
'The Honey & Bee Museum' is a novel project at Ooty by the NGO, Keystone Foundation. It depicts information on indigenous honey bees and traditional indigenous tribal people who harvest them. It also has a children's activity room and a small knowledge resource unit on bees, environment, and people. The Bee Museum is first of its kind focusing on traditional knowledge and practices. The museum aims to be a vibrant space with live demonstration units of bees, specimens, and tools - both traditional and modern used in beekeeping and honey gathering.
THE OOTY RADIO TELESCOPE
The radio telescope has been installed at Muthorai which could be reached via. Fernhill on the Udhagamandalam - Avalanche road. This being the largest telescope in Asia was constructed between 1966 and 1968. It was generated with indigenous capabilities in antenna design and fabrication as an offshoot. The Radio Astronomy Centre (TIFR) is using the telescope for astronomical investigations.
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. It is a very good picnic spot on the slopes of the Wenlock Downs. Apart from studying nature and the environment, fishing provides the excellent games in Kamaraj Sagar Dam.
Travel 28 kms from Ooty town past the Emerald Lake surrounded by undisturbed forest and you have reached Avalanche. It is on the way to Upper-Bhavani from Ooty via Emerald Camp. The gorgeous scenery at every turn is an experience of wonder and delight. The views from the top of the hill at Avalanche give a magnificent sight of the Avalanche Valley and reservoir In many places here, the shoals are so thick that even sunlight cannot penetrate. Avalanche is home to a wide variety of birds in great abundance. Spotting and identifying them can be a very rewarding experience for bird lovers. It is also popular with angling enthusiasts for trouts. The shoals here are a heaven for rare temperate Orchids.
Kalhatti Falls is about 13 Kms. from Ooty on Sigur Ghat Road. This is a beautiful picnic spot where the height of the falls is about 120 feet.
Buses are available up to Kalhatti village on the 6th mile on Sigur Ghat road and one has to cover the next two miles by foot to reach the falls. Nevertheless, the falls is connected by a motorable road. It is ideal for persons fond of Hiking, Bird Watching and Trekking.
The Pykara is the largest river in the District. It is considered very sacred by the Todas. The Pykara river rises at the Mukurthi peak. It passes through the hilly tract, generally keeping to North and turns to West after reaching the Plateau's edge. It gets down majestically in a series of cascades, and the last two falls of 55 meters and 61 meters are known as Pykara falls. They are about 20 kms from Ooty.
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