How to Enjoy Ooty Differently

Tripoto

Who hasn’t heard of Ooty? This stunning hill station in Tamil Nadu is one of the most visited hill stations for us, Indians and an ideal honeymoon spot. And why not. It has stunning lakes, beautiful forests and mountains with a great view. Visit it in winter and you’ll be rewarded with weather that will not make you want to leave.

Credits: traveltriangle.com

Photo of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

Ooty has the beautiful Ooty lake, the Derby, the Rose Garden, the Botanical Garden and a beautiful town with great restaurants. It even has it’s very own toy train which takes tourists and townspeople from Ooty to Coonoor and back. There are beautiful lakes like Pykara and Emerald Lake close enough from Ooty for interested people to camp and take day trips.

Credits: ootytourism.co.in

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

Ooty has intricate temples and churches on one hand, and tea gardens on the other. The special tea of the Nilgiris has been invigorating drinkers for several years. Enjoying a wholesome traditional thali meal, finding organic green tea and homemade chocolates and enjoying stunning views is what makes Ooty a great place to visit.

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

Here are my tips to enjoy Ooty a little differently.

1. Avalanche Lake and Reserve:

The Avalance Reserve is 25kms from Ooty. The mountains have over 2700 species of flowering plants and countless species of ferns, lichens, mosses, flowerless plants. Sholas are patches of stunted evergreen tropical and subtropical moist broad leaf forest found in valleys amid rolling grassland in the higher mountain regions.

Wild Animals like the tiger, leopard, Nilgiri thar, sloth bear, barking deer etc can be found in the Sholas. The Forest Department organizes jeep tours into these forests. Private vehicles are not allowed in this area because of the Forest Department’s efforts to stop the rampant deforestation happening in the hills.

Credits: http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/an-eco-friendly-avalanche-at-ooty/

Photo of Avalanche Lake, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

Check out this link to book your jeep and the packages.

http://www.ootyavalanche.com

2. Play Golf at the Ootacamund Golf Course:

The Ootacamund Gymkhana is located at Wenlock Downs, at a height of 7000 ft above sea level. It is one acknowledged as one of the best places to play Golf in the country. The South India Open Amateur Championship has been held here since 1905.

The fees on their website for 18 holes is Rs. 1000 + Tax for Non Members who walk in, though a confirmation from the Gymkhana about the same before planning is advised.

Credit: ootyvisit.com

Photo of Ooty Golf Course, Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

The Gymkhana also has stay facilities. For those looking to try their hand at Golfing, this is the place to go.

Here is the Gymkhana website:

http://ootygymkhana.club

3. Tribal Museum:

The Tribal Museum or the Tribal Research Center is 10kms from the Ooty Bus Stand. It is frequently served by the local buses. This Museum houses different artifacts and documentation about the lives of tribals in Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Apart from functioning as a Museum, it also functions as a research center for studying the life, habits and traditions of the tribals. One of their main areas of study is the impact of modern life on the tribals and how to maintain their culture intact.

Credits: nilgiris.nic.in

Photo of Government Tribal Centre, Pudumund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

The Museum is open from 10AM to 1PM and from 2PM to 5PM on weekdays. It is shut on Sundays, Second Saturdays and all Public Holidays.

4. Mudumalai National Park:

This place is dubbed by Lonely Planet as ‘Tamil Nadu’s top wildlife spotting place’. Mudumalai National Park is a haven for tiger lovers. With Bandipur and Nagarhole in the North and Wayanad in the West, this trio of parks houses over 570 tigers in their area

Photo of Mudumalai National Park, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

The National Park has rooms to stay and also provisions for a Safari. There are also elephant rides in the National Park.

Credits: India Getaways

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

Here is the National Park website:

http://mudumalaitigerreserve.com

5. Mukurti National Park:

This National Park is on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It has dense forests and tall slopes.

Credits: India Getaways

Photo of Mukurthi National Park, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

The flora and fauna of this park bear a resemblance to the Himalayan flora and fauna. The mountain goat and the Nilgiri thar are frequently seen by visitors. This National Park holds the second highest Nilgiri Thar population in the world.

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

The National Park is fiercely protected. There are watchtowers built for tourists. Permission is given to visit the park periphery from the Forest Department in Ooty.

6. Toda Temple:

This temple is located close to the Botanical Garden. The Toda tribes were said to be one of the few tribes living in Ooty before it was discovered by the British. It is also said that the Toda tribes invited the British to come and live in Ooty.

Credits: TripHobo

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

This tribe is found only in Ooty and are characterized by their brightly woven shawls.

Here is an article talking a little more about the Toda people:

https://www.columbuslost.com/temples/Unique-Hut-Temple-of-Toda-Tribes-in-Nilgiri-Hills-Ooty/info

7. Wax Museum:

The Ooty Wax Museum is located 2kms from the main Ooty town. It is located in a 130 year old colonial mansion. The museum is on the way to Doddabetta peak. The entry fee is Rs. 40. There are figures of freedom fighters and eminent personalities.

Credits: ootyvisit.com

Photo of Wax World, Ooty, India by Niyati Mavinkurve

8. Parsons Valley Reservoir:

The Parsons Valley Reservoir supplies water to the Nilgiri Hills and is protected by the Tamil Nadu Government. Entry again, is restricted, until adequate permissions are taken. The Upper Bhavani lake is also a stunning place which can be visited. The permission can easily be obtained from Ooty and local vehicles hired for the trip.

Credits: ootytourism.co.in

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

9. Mini Car Museum:

This museum has over 600 varieties of model cars. The signboard for the museum is small and obscure but for all auto lovers, this is definitely a place to visit. This is a private collector’s museum though it has a lot of information about the cars on display.

Credits: xdiecast.com

Photo of How to Enjoy Ooty Differently by Niyati Mavinkurve

Here is the page on Facebook for the Mini Car Museum:

https://www.facebook.com/MiniCarMuseum/

There is much more to Ooty than meets the eye as I discovered. It made me want to pack my bags and re-look at Ooty a little more closely than I had previously done.

Here are some more interesting reads about Ooty:

https://jazrsjourneys.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/12-unique-things-you-probably-did-not-know-about-ootynilgiris/

https://www.minikinescapades.com/alternate-ooty-offbeat-things/

https://garnishednonsense.wordpress.com/tag/offbeat-ooty/

How to reach Ooty:

1. By Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore which is 88kms away

2. Ooty is well connected by buses. The Tamil Nadu State Transport buses frequently run services to Ooty along with private operators.

3. Train: The nearest rail station is Mettupalyam which is 40kms from Ooty