Cuddled in the lap of nature, Ooty is the best place if you want to get away from the daily hustle of the city. It offers a calm and serene atmosphere for you to unwind and relax. There are a number of scenic places you can visit and also enjoy the local eateries in the “Queen of Hill Stations”, Ooty!
Places to See in Ooty:
Ooty lake and boat club-
At a distance of 1 Km from Ooty Bus Station & Railway Station, Ooty Lake is an artificial lake. Next to the lake is a Mini Garden with an amusement park for children with a toy train. Boating is memorable and the most famous activity here. Also, horse race is available outside the lake. There is a large parking area with several shops selling woollen clothes and toys. You will also find a flower garden near the exit that also sells a variety of flowers and seeds.
- Boat Club Hours: 8 AM to 6 PM.
- Entrance Fee: Boat House – Rs 5, Still Camera – Rs 10 & Video camera – Rs 100.
- Pedal Boat (30 minutes): Rs 60 (2 seater) & Rs. 100 (4 seater). Deposit Rs. 100
- Row Boat (30 minutes): Rs 95 (3 seater) & Rs. 125 (5 seater). Deposit Rs. 100
Doddabetta Peak- Doddabetta (Big Mountain) is the highest point in Nilgiri Mountains and the second highest peak in South India, situated 13 km from Ooty.
One can have a panoramic view of the landscape and the whole of the district and even beyond, through the Telescope House run by T.T.D.C. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Ooty.
There is road access to the summit and frequent bus services are available to Doddabetta Peak from Ooty.
- Time: 8 AM to 6 PM
- Entry Fee: Rs. 5
Avalanche Lake– Avalanche is a small beautiful village at a distance of 23 km south-west of Ooty & 33 km from Coonoor (5 km from the Emerald Lake). The dam creates Upper Bhavani lake beyond Emerald Lake. A nature lover’s paradise, this place is also famous for trout fishing and has arrangements for hiring fishing rods and other necessary equipments.
- Private vehicles are not allowed into the Sanctuary and visitors have to take Forest Department minibus for a 2 hours ride into the sanctuary, covering Lake, Bhavani Temple and Hydro power plant.
- The bus starts from the Forest Department check post, 3 km before the Avalanche lake,
- The buses are run from 9AM to 3 PM (2 hours ride) at specific intervals. It is advised to take the 9 AM bus to have better chances of wildlife sighting. Jeeps are also available for a group of 8 people.
Entry Time: 9 AM to 3PM
Mini Bus Safari : Rs. 150 per head.
Jeep Safari : Rs. 1200 for 8 persons.
The 22 Acre Botanical Garden is situated at a distance of 4.5 km from Ooty Lake and 3 km from Ooty Bus & Railway Station.
The Botanical Garden is also a paradise for bird watchers where a variety of birds can be seen. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in the month of May at this garden.
- Opening Hours: 8 AM to 6.30 PM.
- Entrance Fee: Adults – Rs 15 and Children – Rs 5
- Camera – Rs 30, Video Camera – Rs 75
Stone House- If you’re a fan of history and old heritage, you’d love to catch a bit of the remains from the British existence in Ooty, the Stone House, which is the oldest first bungalow constructed in Ooty. It is called Kal Bangala by the tribals (Kal means stone in Tamil) and was built by John Sullivan.
Today, however, it is the residence of the Principal of the Government Arts College, Ooty.
- Time: Any Time
- Fees: No Fees
- Camera Fees: No Fees
How to reach Ooty:
- By air- Approximately 88 kilometres away, Coimbatore is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty which is well-connected with most of the Indian cities. Cars can be hired from the airport to Ooty for Rs. 1218 and buses run every 45 minutes at a fare of Rs. 30.
- By road- Buses can be booked from any city to Ooty at an average of INR 700- INR 1000.
- By rail- The Mysore express leaves from Bangalore in the morning and reaches Mysore at noon. You can catch a bus from Mysore to Ooty which takes 6-7 hours to get to Ooty and charges approx Rs. 700 for four people.
Where to stay:
There are a number of hotels and cottages available, but the best place to stay at would be
- Rainbow Cottage which offers beautiful valley view rooms at a price of Rs. 975 per room/night.
- Dynasty Inn is another place which has nice rooms at Rs. 990 per room/night that are well maintained and provide all the basic amenities.
Where to eat:
- Place to Bee- this is the #1 trending restaurant in Ooty. The food is a fusion of Indian, Asian and Italian cuisine and all the ingredients are organic and sourced locally or made in house. Average cost for two Rs. 800.
- Hotel Kings Cliff (Earls Court)- This experience of eating outside in a glass restaurant is like no other. An average dish costs Rs. 350 to Rs. 400/- for a continental meal. This hotel is located on the way up to Holiday Inn Gem Park.
- Quality restaurant- This chain of restaurants is located at Bedford in Coonoor and at Coronation Avenue in Ooty. They have a sumptuously spread vegetarian buffet for Rs.140/-. Options of ordering a la carte is also available with a spread of Non Vegetarian items. The buffet option is great value for money though.
Total budget: Rs. 5000 (including food, stay and sight-seeing)