Enchanting waterfalls, tranquil lakes, pristine landscapes and lush green mountains- all of this makes Ooty one of the most sought-after destinations in India. Just go down south in Tamil Nadu and you’ll reach this hidden paradise nestling amidst the gorgeous Nilgiri Hills. Looking for a place to de-stress your monotonous life? This ‘Queen Of Hill Stations’ will surely feed your hungry soul with bliss.
Whether you’re seeking a quiet time in nature or looking for adventure, Ooty has tons of activities that you can indulge in. There’s no doubt that your trip here will be filled with entertainment and fun. So you better read on as we take you through the 12 best things to do in Ooty.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is almost a century old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just hop on this 46-km train ride that will take you through mountain tunnels, beautiful mountain peaks and enchanting waterfalls. Of course, the views of the stunning Nilgiri mountains can’t be described in mere words. Your ride will begin from Mettupalayam and end in Ooty. This is a must-do activity in Ooty where the sounds of chirping birds and burbling waterfalls will soothe your soul.
How would you like a peaceful time amidst the wonders of nature? Just imagine being surrounded by the majestic Nilgiri mountains and a sparkling lake that will be an experience like no other. Yes, we’re talking about the gorgeous Emerald Lake which is a perfect spot for a picnic with your family and friends. The surreal beauty and crystal clear waters of the lake will surely take your breath away. Make sure you carry your camera to capture the different bird species that flock here.
Your trip to Ooty would be incomplete without taking a stroll through the botanical gardens that sprawl upto almost 55 hectares. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll be astounded by the mesmerizing views of almost 650 species of flowers here. Not to forget the terrace-style landscape of the garden where just taking a stroll is an adventure in itself. You’re sure to greet the wonderful Nilgiri birds as you take a walk through the grassy lawns.
If you want a bird’s eye view of the majestic Nilgiri mountains, you should definitely go visit the Dolphin’s Nose in Ooty. Just so you know, it’s located almost 5,085 ft above sea level. Looking for an escape from the noise and chaos of the city? Well, a drive up to the Dolphin’s Nose is just what you need. You’ll get to witness the enchanting Catherine Falls, tea plantations, and lush green mountains from here. Enjoy taking selfies? Well, you’ll be glad to know that the scenic background here makes it an ideal spot for selfies.
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Keen on knowing more about the traditional lifestyle of the Toda tribes? It’s only after interacting with people can one know more about their culture and lifestyle. You can entice yourself with the traditional lifestyle of the Todas by visiting their Toda huts. To give you an insight, these are bamboo huts with thatched roofs without any windows. So yes, you’ll have to bend over to go inside. An interesting thing to note is that these tribal people make their own handmade motifs which can be seen on their walls.
Hungry for an adventurous activity in Ooty? Then you better consider going for a trek at Doddabetta peak which is at a height of 8,606 feet above sea level. Your trek here would definitely be worth it as you get a panoramic view of the beautiful surroundings. That’s not it, you can feast your eyes on the sight of huge mountains and quaint villages from the telescope house located here. If you’re thinking of a trek here, the ideal time would be in summers in the months of March and April.
Also Read: Experience The Kodachadri Trek In Karnataka
If you’re looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, then camping at Avalanche Lake in Ooty would be perfect for you. There’s nothing better than being amidst the serene landscapes of nature. You’ll get to witness the sight of Nilgiri mountains from here as you take a walk along the clear waters of the lake. All you adventure junkies, there are tons of activities waiting for you. You can enjoy rafting or hop on an adventurous trek at the upper Bhavani region near the lake.
Hiking and the sight of enchanting waterfalls, how can that not be a memorable experience? Go hiking at the Catherine Waterfalls in Ooty if you’re craving an adventure. It’s surely a sight to behold as the waterfalls are located in a gorge. One of the best things about visiting here is that you get to see different wildflowers as you go hiking. The impeccable sight of the dramatic waterfalls will surely make your hike worth it.
If you’re keen on knowing about the evolution of tea plucking and roasting in Nilgiris, then you can head straight to the Tea Museum here. The museum will entice you with the old traditional methods of brewing tea. You can also take some tea leaves, cups, plates, etc. as souvenirs for your friends and family. That’s not it, you can indulge in fun activities like zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing, etc. right outside the museum.
If you’re visiting Ooty in the month of May, you should definitely include the Summer Festival in your list. It’s one of the most spectacular festivals organized by the tourism department of Ooty. The pleasant climate and blooming flowers everywhere seem like nature's paradise. You can enjoy the flower shows and also take part in the boat rides that take place at several lakes of Ooty.
There have been many Tibetans that have flocked to Ooty and now call it their home. So it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the famous shopping centers here is the Tibetan market. It’s in close proximity to the botanical gardens in Ooty. You can purchase several woolen shawls that come in a variety of colors and prints. There are other warm items like cardigans, gloves, jackets, hoodies, etc. that you can get at reasonable prices.
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Are you passionate about reading books? Well, you can quench your thirst for reading at the Higginbotham’s BookStore in Ooty. It’s one of the oldest book stores in Ooty with a vast collection of books. Right from travel books to stationery, this store has it all. If you’re an avid reader, you should definitely make a stop here. We assure you that you’ll be awestruck with the abundance of books here. You’ll definitely not want to leave the store until you’ve devoured all the books you like.
Also Read: 7 Most Popular Bookstores In India
Regardless of what time of the year you visit this place, you’re sure to leave with tons of memorable experiences that you’ll never forget. Whether it’s to seek adventure or get lost in the solitude of natural wonders here, Ooty has something for every traveler. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and include our 12 best things to do in Ooty on your go-to-places list. The cool climate and greenery of the place will surely make your trip worth it.
What Is Famous In Ooty?
Ooty is famous for its lush green tea plantations because of the pleasant and optimum weather here. You can find a range of tea flavors to choose from like masala, jasmine, cardamom, chocolate, etc.
What Is Special In Ooty?
There are several popular tourist destinations in Ooty which have become a speciality of the place. To name a few, the toy train ride, botanical gardens, tranquil lakes like Emerald and Avalanche, high mountain peaks like Doddabetta are some sites you can explore.
What Should I Buy In Ooty?
Since Ooty has a cool climate, winter garments are available at almost all shopping centers. If you go visit the popular shopping markets like Tibetan Market or Main Bazar, you’ll find a variety of woolen clothes. You can buy cardigans, hoodies, gloves and other famous items like handicrafts, ornaments, and spices.
What Is The Famous Food Of Ooty?
Kebabs are one of the most famous foods in Ooty and you’ll find various local eateries that serve mouthwatering kebabs. One such place is the Kebab Corner where you get tasty chicken and mutton kebabs. Ooty is also famous for its traditional South Indian cuisine and Indian Thali that you can have at almost all local restaurants here.
Is Ooty Famous For Spices?
Yes, Ooty is famous for its spices, especially for the range of spices available at the Nilgiri shops. You can find spices like jeera, chilli, pepper, and nutmeg at the Upper Bazar Road in Ooty.
What Is The Best Month To Visit Ooty?
Ooty can be visited anytime of the year. But if you want to enjoy the summer festival, you should visit the place in the month of May. Otherwise, for trekking and sightseeing, you can visit anytime between April to June or September to November.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Doddabetta?
The peak of the Doddabetta Hill is open to the people between 7 AM and 6 PM everyday. However, we recommend visiting the peak as early as possible, especially in the winters, to witness the sunrise.
Is The Toy Train In Ooty Still Running?
Yes. The toy train in Ooty is still operational. In fact, you can hop on for a ride on this train at any time between 7:00 AM and 12:00 PM, any day of the week.
Where Can I Get A Ticket For Toy Train In Ooty?
You can go to the train station and physically get a ticket from the ticket counter, or book one on the IRCTC website.