The “Queen of Hill Stations”, Udhagamandalam, is situated in the Nilgiris District in Tamil Nadu. Popularly abbreviated to Ooty, it makes for an ideal travel destination if you want to get away from the maddening rush of the cityand unwind in the lap of nature. What makes Ooty so special? Think rolling hills, lush greenery, beautiful lakes, and of course, the pleasant weather that blesses this place all year long.
While Ooty has many surprises in store for you, the following activities in and around town would make you want to come back again and again for a Bangalore Mysore Ooty Tour package!
Ride in the Nilgiri Toy Train
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway connects Ooty to Coonoor, and dates back to the early 20th Century. The scenic Nilgiri Mountains are a joy to behold on this world famous train ride, which has an exotic old world-charm too.The railway was given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The railway has made it big in popular culture as well, with the BBC releasing a documentary based on it in February 2010. It is undoubtedly a highlight of Bangalore Mysore Ooty packages from Pune.
Hikes and Treks
The Nilgiri Mountains span a vast expanse, and are home to some of South India’s most scenic places. Many of these destinations are inaccessible to vehicles, but don’t worry! Take a hike, and it would make for an experience of a lifetime. Some of the most popular treks in the town’s vicinity include the following:
- Mukurthi National Park Trek: This trek is approximately 30 km. from Ooty, and heads towards the north-west of the town. The zenith, Mukurthi Peak, bears a very strong resemblance to a human nose, and the trek encompasses hiking through the Mukurthi National Park. Dominated by trees and boasting of a rugged terrain, the trek is of moderate difficulty, and can be completed in two days.
- Glenmorgan Trek:Around 22 km. from Ooty lies the Pykara Junction, the end point of the Glenmorgan trek; a trek that takes you through dense forests and stunning viewpoints. Kokkal Kota and Pathar Village are two of the prominent tribal villages you would pass through on this trek. Pathar Village in particular, is known for its stunning views of Mudumalai Sanctuary, Masinagudi, and border town Bokkapuram.
- Ebbanad Trek: The Ebbanad Trek is a 6-7 hour hike that starts in Bikkapathymund, a tribal village. The journey to this village is a scenic experience itself, and you would marvel at the Mayor River, which flows along the Karnataka Tamil Nadu border. The Toda Conical Temple and Murugan Temple are two iconic religious landmarks you would pass through en route Ebbanad, along with lush green acacia forests.
Visit a Toda Village and Interact with the Locals
Before the British Raj planted the seeds that were to grow into what Ooty is today, the region was ruled by the Todas. Those with an urge to know more about the Toda culture and lifestyle should definitely visit one of their many hamlets, scattered around the outskirts of Ooty. The Todas are known for their mastery of embroidering shawls, and their houses are known for their peculiar U-shapes. Most Toda houses have really small doors, and are generally window-less.
Fishing and Sports
Angling is a very popular activity in Ooty, with the town’s numerous lakes providing the ideal settings for game-fishing. Pykara Lake is one of the most prominent locations for angling, but you need to head to the Fisheries Department first for a fishing license. If you are a first-timer, you can even hire a guide to show you what to do.
Ooty is also a great destination for hang-gliders booking a Bangalore Mysore Ooty tour package from Hyderabad.Kalahatty, located approximately 20 km. from Ooty, is a popular site for hang-gliding enthusiasts, with the state tourism department offering courses each year between March and May. Exploring Ooty on a horse is also a tourist favorite, with several hotels and tour operators offering guided tours.
Pykara Lake, located 33 km. from Ooty, offers great boating opportunities they make for extremely relaxing experiences. Pedal boats, speed boats, row boats; all are available for hire, and are quite reasonable too. If relaxation turns into boredom, you could grab yourself some food from the in-house restaurant and refresh yourself.