The Definitive List Of Things To Do In Ooty Amidst The Blue Mountains

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Photo of The Definitive List Of Things To Do In Ooty Amidst The Blue Mountains by Tripoto

Ooty or Udagamandalam, which is known as the Queen of the Nilgiris, is one of the most fascinating hill stations in south India. Located in the Western Ghats at a height of 7,500 ft, Ooty boasts of prolific vistas, tea and coffee plantations, clear lakes, the iconic blue hills and stunning valleys.

Ooty is where the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats submerge to become one, making it a place where you can encounter unique species of flora and fauna. The roads leading up to Ooty are also an unusual sight as they are surrounded by huge Eucalyptus trees and forests that seem to go on endlessly.

There are a number of places to visit in Ooty and a number of things to do in Ooty that make it an alluring holiday destination not just for Indians but for people from all over the world. This Ooty itinerary is your one stop guide to answer all the questions that you might have as you plan your next weekend getaway to Ooty.

Getting here and around

By Air:

The best way to reach Ooty from any major location across India is to take a flight to Coimbatore which is about 88 kms away from Ooty.

By Train:

Alternatively one can take a train until the nearest station Mettupalyam which is 40 kms from Ooty.

By Road:

Ooty has a well connected road network. State as well as private buses ply to the city at regular intervals. The drive to Ooty is simply alluring and a road trip in a self-driven car is the name of the game if you want to experience some adventure on the run. Ooty is a favourite among bikers and solo travellers as well.

Here's a list of the amazing things to do in Ooty and surrounding areas if you have a few days to visit the place

Day 1

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Photo of Doddabetta Peak, Tamil Nadu by Tripoto

Start your Ooty tour by climbing the highest peak in the Nilgiris – Doddabetta, which is located at a height of 8,650 feet. It is 9km from Ooty and has a forest surrounding the peak. The views from the summit are simply mesmerising.

Entrance Fee: ₹6 per person for adults

Timings: The peak remains open to visitors from 9am to 6pm

Tip: Carry sun protection and possibly visit the place before noon to avoid the harsh sun

Credits: Ashwin Kumar

Photo of Bhavani, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

From the Doddabetta, make your way to the Bhavani lake – a serene getaway that is relatively untouched by tourists. On the way to the lake you can also visit Avalanche lake, Emerald lake and Bhavani mandir. The road is also full of picturesque trees that converge into dense forests. Taking a trip to all the lakes is one of the best things to do in Ooty.

Day 3

Entrance fee: There is no entrance fee

Timings: The lake is open throughout the day. Although early mornings and evenings are the best time to visit

Tip: The lake is untouched by human actions and we can keep it that way. Don't throw plastic in and around the lake and refrain from harming the natural surroundings in any way.

Day 1

Credits: Swaminathan

Photo of Botanical garden Ooty, Commercial Road, Upper Bazaar, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

Conclude your first day in Ooty by visiting the Botanical Gardens in the evening. The Botanical Gardens in Ooty house trees over 300 years old, as well as a variety of rare flowering plants, cacti, orchids and many other plants that make it a haven for nature lovers. Tamil Nadu and Ooty tourism has promoted the Botanical Gardens as one of the must-visit places in the town. If you're lucky and able to visit the place in May, you might catch glimpse of a flower exhibition that takes place around this time and is considered one of the best things to do in Ooty.

Entrance fee: ₹30 per person for adults

Timings: The Gardens are open from 9am to 6pm

Tip: Refrain from plucking flowers or harming the plants in anyway. If you plan on carrying a camera, you will have to pay extra ₹50.

Best places to eat in Ooty

The Curry and Rice restaurant in the Fernhills Palace Hotels is known for its Anglo-Indian recipes and royal dishes from the kitchens of the Wodeyar family, which ruled Mysore from 1399 to the 1950s.

Where: Ferrnhills Post Nilgiris, Ooty

One of the best places in Ooty for an authentic South Indian breakfast. Start your day with a meal at this joint – some idlis and sambar along with a cup of piping hot filter coffee.

Where: 84/B7, Upper Bazar Rd, Upper Bazaar, Ooty

Considered one of the best places in Ooty to have an authentic Italian meal, Earl's Secret, a restaurant located in King's Cliff Hotel, offers a variety of pastas, steaks, brownies, pies and much more to satisfy your palate. Located inside a restored colonial-era bungalow, this restaurant scores high on ambience.

Where: Havelock Road, Police Quarters, Pudumund, Ooty

This cafe is a must visit for the chocoholics as it offers a wide variety of chocolate options to choose from. Plain dark chocolate over here is fantastic and so is the chocolate ice cream. Buying some chocolates for your home or friends from here is one of the best things to do in Ooty.

Where: Westbury road, Ooty,

Best places to stay in Ooty

Luxury: Taj Savoy Hotel, Accord Highland Hotel Ooty, Sterling Ooty Fernhill

Mid-Range: Vinca West Downs Heritage Resort, Leopard Rock Wilderness Resort, Destiny Farmstay

Budget: Sherlock, Wyoming Heritage, Hotel Lighthouse

Hostels and homestays: Zostel Ooty, Reflections Guesthouse, Bilberry Cottage at Stumpfields

Day 2
Photo of Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

Located just 20km from Ooty, Coonoor is a beautiful hill station. Smaller and quieter than Ooty, it has some fantastic heritage hotels and guesthouses, from where you can go hiking, visit tea plantations, and marvel at the stunning views of the Nilgiris. The hill station is divided into upper and lower Coonoor. While the upper part is quaint and peaceful, the lower part is a bustling town with marketplaces and all the activity.

Here's a list of amazing things to do in Coonoor and the best places to visit in Coonoor:

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Photo of Sim's Park, Coonoor, Attadi, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

Visit Sim's park to stroll endlessly on the slant surfaces of the garden and encounter some rare species of birds and plants for photography as you move around. Its an ideal place to spend leisure time with friends and family. You could also opt for boating in the small lake inside the park

Entrance fee: ₹30 per person

Timings: The park is open from 7am to 9pm

Tip: No food is available inside the garden, so if you’re planning to go there with kids, you might want to take some eatables along.

Situated in Burliar Village, Lamb's Rock is a popular picnic spot for those visiting Coonoor. Named after Captain Lamb who attempted to open a path to this place, the rock drops down several hundred feet to disappear into a thick jungle below. The place offers magnificent views of the surrounding valleys and requires moderate level trekking to reach.

Entrace fee: None

Timings: Sunrise to 6pm

Tip: Visit Lamb’s Rock on a day with clear skies to get the best view.

Droog Fort is said to be an outpost used by Tippu Sultan. According to mythological tales, the fort is linked with the legend of a local demon, Bakasura. Due to this, it is also called Bakasura Malai by the natives. The historical fort is situated at an altitude of 6,000 feet and offers spectacular views of the lush plains below. You have to trek up to Nonsuch Estate to reach this place.

Entrance fee: None

Timings: From 6am to 6pm

Tip: Avoid the Monsoon season, as the muddy swampy steps up will make it highly risky and difficult for you to have a good visit to the Droog Fort.

Best places to eat in Coonoor

Culinarium is a well thought out concept that has a boutique shop with a cafe. You will absolutely love the croissant, pastas and the desserts served over here.

Where: Bicketty, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

This multi-cuisine restaurant offers delectable food, great service, and some really awesome views. While the selection is limited, the food is rich in taste and definitely an experience within itself.

Where: McIver Villa (Orange Grove Road), Bedfort Near Tantea Office, Coonoor

Best places to stay in Coonoor

Luxury: Kurumba Village Resort, Great Windows Resort, The Gateway Hotel

Mid-range: Great Windows Resort, Teanest Coonoor, Fairy Glen

Budget: Storyteller, Winterbourne Chalet Guesthouse, Bella Vista Homestay

Day 3

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

On the third day of your trip, head to Kodaikanal. Around 250km from Ooty and 230km from Coonoor, Kodaikanal is a quaint hill station in Tamil Nadu. It is often called the Princess of Hill Stations in the south and is the quieter, more relaxed version of its big sister, Ooty.

Settled around the beautiful star-shaped lake, Kodaikanal is popular with honeymooners and solo travellers, who flock here to witness the place's stunning views and waterfalls.

Here's a list of the amazing things to do in Kodaikanal.

Credits: ram reddy

Photo of Kodaikanal Lake, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu by Tripoto

Sit by the lakeside and enjoy unparalleled view. You can also go boating during the evenings. Witness a flower show or try your hand at fishing. There are numerous activities to do while at Kodaikanal lake. While this is undoubtedly the more popular tourist spot, the nearby Berijam lake is also equally beautiful.

Entrance fee: None

Timings: Open throughout the day

Tip: A number of food stalls and eateries have opened up around the lake. You don't need to carry food. But also make sure you don't litter and harm the ecosystem of the lake in any way.

With a summit located at a height of 8,005 feet, Perumal Peak is a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts. It is also offers a great view of the Kodaikanal hillstation. The trek is of moderate difficulty and takes about four hours to complete.

Entrance fee: None

Timings: Sunrise to sunset

Tip: You can camp at the peak during the night but will need to carry your own camping gear.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Fairy Falls, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tripoto

Fairy falls in Kodaikanal promise a refreshing change from the hectic hustle bustle of the city. The falls are a popular picnic and swimming spot amongst the locals. This mesmerising waterfall is the source of Pambar River which later joins the Vaigai River and is an excess of the rural community reservoir that flows towards the south of the hill.

Entrance fee: None

Timings: 9am to 6pm

Tip: Carry your own food and water and refrain from littering in the water.

Places To Eat In Kodaikanal

Trying out homemade chocolates is one of the best things to do in Kodaikanal. Though you would find a lot of shops to buy dozens from Manna Chocolate Factory is the first choice for many.

Where: Shop No:5, Golden Parks Inn Complex, Ground Floor, Anna Salai, Kodaikanal

It is a decently priced veg family restaurant that serves very delicious south Indian food.

Where: Anna Salai, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

If you are in a different mood and want to try continental food Cloud Street will come to your rescue. They serve mouth watering pastas and pizzas. Coffee over here is also a must try!

Where: 1st Floor, Opposite Govt. Tourist Office, P.T. Road, Sunday Market Road

Best places to stay in Kodaikanal

Luxury: The Carlton, Green Pastures - A Hill Country Resort, Villa Retreat

Mid-range: Sterling Kodai Lake, Le Poshe by Sparsa, Kodai House

Budget: JC Residency, Stviks Villa, Maruti Villa

We hope this Ooty itinerary helps you to get the best out of the paradise!

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