Where is Udhagamandalam?

19th Sep 2012
Photo of Where is Udhagamandalam? 1/5 by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
Toy Train
Photo of Where is Udhagamandalam? 2/5 by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
View I
Photo of Where is Udhagamandalam? 3/5 by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
Ooty Lake
Photo of Where is Udhagamandalam? 4/5 by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
View II
Photo of Where is Udhagamandalam? 5/5 by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
Toda Hut

Tell someone that you are going to Udhagamandalam for summer and they'll probably stare back at you blankly, no idea where you're headed. Udhagamandalam. Such a serious name for a place that is actually extremely welcoming and lovely. Udhagamandalam is the formal name of Ooty, nestled in the Nilgiri mountain range. 

The road to Ooty (lucky if you're on the toy train, though it takes longer) is lined by eucalyptus trees. Nature here has spread itself out in all its splendour to enthrall the gaze of the visitor. There are dense forests, there are lakes. There are beautiful tea gardens that seem to stretch for miles. Ooty itself is a picturesque town. While there, visit the Ooty Lake and the Toda Huts. The Todas are the original inhabitants of this region. You can also go see the Rose Garden and the Botanical Garden, as well as the St.Stephen Church which was constructed sometime in the nineteenth century.

One of the many good things about Ooty is its location. By that I mean it is well connected to other scenic spots. If you happen to be in Ooty during peak tourist season, you might get tired of the overcrowding of tourists and look for a quick getaway. One of your options should be Coonoor, which is about a couple of hours' drive away. 

But perhaps the best thing about Ooty is its temperature, which is pleasant throughout the year, with the temperature dropping significantly in winter. Its pleasant climate is one of the many reasons why it attracts tourists during the summer months.  

Photos sourced from Wikipedia:

"Ooty, India a scenic beauty" by Vinoth Chandar - Flickr: Ooty, A Scenic Beauty!!!. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ooty,_India_a_scenic_beauty.jpg#/media/File:Ooty,_India_a_scenic_beauty.jpg

"Scenic Beauty" by Shivrash - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scenic_Beauty.JPG#/media/File:Scenic_Beauty.JPG

"NMR up train at Kateri Road 05-02-28 04". Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NMR_up_train_at_Kateri_Road_05-02-28_04.jpeg#/media/File:NMR_up_train_at_Kateri_Road_05-02-28_04.jpeg

"Ooty Lake" by http://www.flickr.com/photos/torilaure/ - http://www.flickr.com/photos/torilaure/3179195550/sizes/o/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ooty_Lake.jpg#/media/File:Ooty_Lake.jpg

"Toda Hut" by Pratheep P S, www.pratheep.com. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toda_Hut.JPG#/media/File:Toda_Hut.JPG

Ooty lies 80 kilometers north of Coimbatore in the state of Tamilnadu. It is located in the scenic Nilgiri Hills and is a popular tourist destination. Although Ooty is connected by bus and car, the best way to get to Ooty is by train. The toy train that slowly chugs up the Nilgiri range offers breathtaking views. But tickets to the trains are limited, and the toy train accommodates less than thirty people, so you have to be a very early bird to be able to catch the worm. Being a popular tourist destination, there are plenty of hotels and inns to choose from according to your budget.