Honeymoon have become a tradition for the newlyweds. It is a much needed holiday after the long and tiring rituals of the wedding. What we generally look for in a place, to quote it as a perfect honeymoon destination? Well, almost everyone of us wants the place to be romantic and exotic. India has a plate full of such places and Ooty is one among them. In this post we are going to cover Ooty places to visit and all about Ooty sightseeing.
The Ooty travelogue
Ooty ( also called Udagamandalam / Ootacamund / Udhagai ) , the queen of hill stations in India, is one of the favorite honeymoon destination in India. Southern India is known for its greenery and the Nilgiri mountains are an add-on to its charm. Ooty is also most preferred weekend gateway for the born to travel people in South India and how can I forget it has always been one of the most preferred place of the Bollywood film makers. Some of the Bollywood hits which was shot in Ooty are Raja Hindustani, Raaz, Dil Se, Barfi, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and the list continues.
Udagamandalam also Ootacamund and abbreviated as Udhagai and Ooty is a town and municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore and is the capital of the Nilgiris district. It is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Toda, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. The economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with the manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected by the Nilgiri ghat roads and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Its natural environment attracts tourists and it is a popular summer destination. As of 2011, the town had a population of 88,430.
Here is the list of some of the lovey-dovey places in Ooty:
Ooty Lake is one of the favorite places of JerryMouse and me. We visited the lake around 4 pm and spent most of our evening walking around the lake, clicking pictures, chatting and eating the king of Indian street foods, Golgappas and Bhel Puri. It is a beautiful artificial lake surrounded by the Nilgiris and Eucalyptus trees. The main attraction of the place is the boat house which is managed by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). Three types of boating facilities are offered by the boat house; Paddle boats, Row boats and Motor boats. A garden and a mini amusement park is adjacent to the lake where one can enjoy a ride of a mini train. Dil Deewana, the song from the movie Maine Pyar Kiya was shot here.
Note for the foodies: You will find lot of food stalls here selling delicious roadside foods.
Pykara Lake and Waterfall is located at a distance of 20 km from Ooty, originates from the river Pykara. The major tourist hub of the Pyakara lake is the boat house, maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) which offers a ride of motor boats and speed boats.
It was early hours of the morning when we reached the Pykara lake, the place was entirely covered with fog. It was a sort of a quiet beauty which let you admire it in silence, the more you try to catch it, the more it disappears. After admiring the blues and greens of the nature, we went for a chilling boat ride. Afterwards we reached the Pyakara waterfall, walking down some 300 steps. It was a long yet most beautiful walk among the pine trees; it was a “Walk to remember”.
Note: The motor boats available here are of 2, 8 and 10 seaters, so you may need to find other groups of tourists to share the boat with. For those who find it difficult to walk down the entire distance to the Pykara waterfalls, electric auto vehicles are available.
6th Mile is exactly 6 miles away from Ooty and is one of the most famous shooting point in India. The song “Pucho Zara Pucho” from the film Raja Hindustani was shot here. The place is calm and has the most striking view in Ooty. You will just love to stand and admire the serene beauty of the Nilgiris at this place and can also enjoy a horse ride up and down the hills.
Both of us went for a horse ride to the Toda Tribal Village (Toda is a tribal community who lives on the isolated Nilgiri Plateau), where we got to know about the culture of the Toda tribes. Earlier, Toda people used to practice fraternal polyandry; it is a practice in which a woman marries all the brothers of a family and the children born were considered as the descend from the elder brother. They also used to practice female infanticide. Todas are mostly vegetarians, although some of them do eat fish. They lives in small hamlets called munds or Toda huts, called dogles and their main occupation is cattle-herding and dairy-work.
Botanical Garden is a huge garden owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu and operated by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. The garden spreads over an area of 55 hectares and is divided into six sections: Lower garden, New garden, Italian garden, the Conservatory, the Fountain Terrace and the Nurseries. It has a great collections of several hundred species of plants, herbs, ferns, shrubs, trees, herbal and bonsai plants. The most admired tree trunk in the botanical garden is a 20 million years old fossilized tree trunk which lie in the center of the garden. This place is worth spending the evening with your friends and family.
Note for people in love with gardening: Flower shows are held each year during the month of May.
The Fernhills Palace was built in the year 1844 as a private residence. It was the former summer house of the King of Mysore. The palace has a indoor badminton court and is surrounded by lawns and woods with a eye-catching view of terraced tea gardens and valleys. The palace has now been turned into a hotel and so you can enjoy a royal stay here.
Few days before visiting Ooty, when we were making a note of places to visit, we also searched for the haunted places in Ooty. Every blogs and articles we read, stated Fernhills Palace to be haunted and so we decided to give it a visit. Luckily or Unluckily, we did not witness any paranormal activities. We also tried to ask the local people but no one gave us any clear answer.
Rose Garden is located at an altitude of 2200 meters and is also owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Ooty has a tropical mountain climate which is ideal for growing roses. The garden has 20000 varieties of roses which includes Miniature Roses, Ramblers, Hybrid Tea Roses, Yakimour, Polyanthas, Papagena, Floribund and 2800 cultivars. It is home to one of the largest collection of roses in India and has few of the rarest colors of roses such as green and black.
The rose garden has also received the Garden of Excellence Award for being the best rose garden in south Asia, from The World Federation of Rose Societies, during May 2006, in Osaka, Japan. This garden is one of the 35 gardens world wide to have won this award.
The Kamaraj Sagar Dam is a eye soothing view among the jungles beside the road.
Pine Forest situated between Ooty and Thalakunda is another favorite place of Bollywood. It is a small pine forest in a downhill area. Honeymooners are you not excited about the idea of getting lost in a pine forest together? The long pine tress, the woods, the greenery, the soothing climate, the calmness of the nature, what else does one need to relax? Raaz, Barfi, Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak and many movies were shot in the pine forest. We visited the place during afternoon, when the crowd was less and so it created a perfect spooky mood for us. We played hide and seek and tried to scare each other, though every time I was the one to get scared easily.
Doddabetta Peak is the highest mountain of the Nilgiri hills located at an altitude of 2637 meters. It is situated at a distance of 9 km from Ooty. The view of the Nilgiris from here is beyond words. The Telescope house has two telescopes for the public to enjoy the breath-taking view. By the time we reached the peak, we were bone-tired but thanks to the people selling coconut water, it really helped us to rejuvenate. The walk, up and down the peak was exhausting but definitely worth it.
Doddabetta Tea Museum and Factory gives you a chance to know about the tea making process. First you will be guided to the tea museum which have different sections and then to the tea factory where you can witness the process of tea making. There are stalls located at the end of each section of the museum which offers the tourists a free cup of different flavors of raw tea. You can also buy different types of tea from here and gift it to family and friends.
M& N Chocolate Museum is a place for chocolate lovers. It has different types and flavors of chocolates. Although they do not show the chocolate making process but you can buy chocolates from here.