, is a town, a municipality, and the district capital of the Nilgiris district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore. It is a popular hill stationlocated in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Todas, the area came under the rule of the East Inida Company at the end of the 18th century. Today, the town's economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected to the rest of India by road and rail, and its historic sites and natural beauty attract tourists. As of 2011, the town had a population of 88,430.
It is understood to be the Queen of Hill Stations in India nestled among the picturesque Nilgiri Hills, which once again form a favorite retreat for the people of Southern India. Devoid of snow despite being a Hill retreat, it is a much sought after Hill Station in India.
One of the reasons people like to visit hill stations is that, they not only offer a respite from the dust and pollution of the city but also give people a chance to see the undefiled beauty of nature. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill stations a delight for the eyes of the urban dweller. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more.
Ooty is situated deep within the Nilgiri hills (which can be literally translated as The Blue Mountains). It is unknown whether this name arises from the blue smoky haze given off by the eucalyptus trees that cover the area or from the kurmji flower, which blooms every twelve years giving the slopes a bluish tinge. Nilgiris in general was ruled by Ganga kings and later by Hoysala kings, particularly Vishnuvardhana who captured Wynad and Nilgiri area during the 11th century. Tippu Sultan was the first to extend his border by constructing a hideout cave like structure.
Places to see in Ooty
If you are on a sightseeing tour to Ooty, you might want to visit the Government Botanical gardens, which were laid out in 1847.The picturesque gardens that are maintained by the Horticulture department of the state, cover an area of about 22 hectares. The Gardens have well over 650 species of plants and trees, including a fossil of a tree, which is believed to be more than 20 million years old.
If you love the outdoors, Ooty lake is a must see for you. It was built in 1825 and is about 2.5 km long. Visitors to this lake can go for boating on the lake or enjoy their favorite outdoor activity of fishing. If the latter really appeals to you then remember to get fishing permission before you head to buy baits!
The Dodabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10kms from Ooty so you can simply grab your camera and head straight to the peak, and click amazing pictures of he valley below. Many say that on a clear day, which is honestly not that often, one can see far off areas, even the plains of Coimbatore and the flat highlands of Mysore.
Lamb's Rock is another vantage point that is ideal for taking pictures and is a wonderful picnic spot. It is merely 9kms. From Coonoor and is known for the splendid views it offers of the plains of Coimbatore and the tea states in the surrounding areas.
Kodanadu's View Point:
Kodanadu is about 16kms from Kotagiri, and is situated on the eastern edge of the Nilgiri range. It is a great vantage point that offers a breathtaking view of the Moyar river and the tea estates. There is a watchtower here that offers a view of the Rangasamy peak.
Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 67kms from Ooty. If you are in town for a couple of days, then a visit to the Wildlife sanctuary would be a great way to spend a day. The Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of very rich flora and fauna, and is home to many endangered species.Ooty
East of Ooty, is a little village of kotagiri, which is about 28km from the popular hill station. Kotagiri is the oldest one of the three hill stations in the Nilgiris.
The beautiful Kolhatty waterfalls are about 100 feet in height and are located on the kalhatty slopes. The falls are about 13kms from the city, so anyone on a tour of Ooty can easily check out the falls and the beautiful area surrounding it.
Avalanche lies 28 km from Ooty. Unlike it's name, which conjures up images of destruction and devastation, the place is a nature lover's paradise. It is a lake, which is ideal for fishing, though one has to obtain permission before hand. It is also the perfect place to enjoy bird watching and a quiet afternoon.
Coonoor is a famous hill station that is 17 kms from ooty. It is probably the second most popular hill station in the Nilgiris. The hill station stands at a height of 1839 meters and is known for its great picnic spots and picturesque surroundings.