Ooty, the Queen of hill stations, is an enchanting and adventurous place to visit. Here, one finds several places which would attract nature lovers as well as trekking enthusiasts. This popular hill station has preserved the rich heritage of its successive inhabitants. Ooty is thronged by tourists all the year round. High peaks, tea gardens, churches, Lakes all can be viewed at Ooty or else one can simply shop for the famous tea or Toda handicrafts or jewellery here.
Standing at a height of 2623 meters, Doddabetta hill is the highest peak of the Nilgiri mountain ranges. The name of the peak is in the local vernacular in which Dodda means big and Betta means mountain; thus literally meaning the big mountain. A telescope house is situated at the top to help you get a better view of the surrounding topography. The view one gets of the Ooty town and the entire Nilgiri hill ranges is breathtaking and will remain etched in the memory of a traveler.
Located at a distance of 17 km from Ooty, Glen Morgen is a paradise for nature lovers. Glen Morgen is a dense forest and houses some of the finest specimens of trees. The fresh air that you breathe here is something rare in the cities. It is a must visit place to witness the splurge of nature in Ooty.
Ooty Boat House Lake
Built by the man who developed the hill station of Ooty, John Sullivan, this Lake is a tourist hotspot of the hill station. Constructed in 1825 to serve the purpose of an irrigation tank, the Lake later opened for general public to be also used as a boat club. Spread over an area of 2.75 km, the Lake offers a visitor a boat ride of his choice. One can take a peddle boat, a rowing boat or even a boat being rowed by the local people of the town. In the summer months one can also witness contests like boat pageants and races.
Ooty Botanical Garden
Merely 2 km from the main town, the botanical garden is the crowning jewel of Ooty. This is the most visited tourist spot of the hill station and is one of its kinds in entire India. The garden was planned in 1847 by Marquis of Tweedale to study the vegetation and plantation of the Nilgiri region. The botanical garden can boast of about 650 species of trees and plants. The rare specimens of flowers and lush green lawns and fountains would bewitch anyone by their beauty. The garden also houses a 20 million year old fossil tree. The rose garden at the Botanical Park is believed to be having the largest number of specimen of roses in India. In the month of May, the park happens to be the venue of the annual summer festival where one can view the much awaited flower show.
The children's park of Ooty is a pleasurable place for kids with numerous swings which are present here. Just adjacent to Ooty Boat House Lake, the park is filled with kids and their parents throughout. The well trimmed lawns and flower beds of the park, along with the backdrop of the Lake add beauty to this Children's park.
On your tour of Ooty, you can also visit nearby tourist places in South India, such as, Coonnor, Mysore, Cochin, and Chennai. Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills. It is connected by a metre gauge railway line in the World Heritage Site Nilgiri Mountain Railway. It is a small tea garden town and an ideal base for a number of trekking expeditions leading into the Nilgiris. In Mysore you can visit Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Nandi Bull statue, and Vrindavan Gardens and Musical fountains. Hassan was the seat of Hoysala empire. Cochin is the commercial city of Kerala. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Cochin are Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church, Vasco House and Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica.