Ooty, the queen of hill stations

Ooty
Ooty

1.0 Ooty

The official name is Udagamandalam. The city is also known as Ootacamund. There is an abbreviation, Udhagai. But everyone calls it Ooty, which is short, simple and, hence, popular. Ooty is a tourist attraction in the Nilgiri Hills. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, 158 km from the city of Mysore in Karnataka and 86 km from Coimbatore, Ooty is called the queen of hill stations. It is at an elevation of 2240 meters above the mean sea level and has a pleasant average annual temperature of 14.4 degrees Celsius. The Hindi movie Karz (1980) was shot extensively in the city of Ooty.

2.0 Way to Ooty

Our journey to Ooty started from Bangalore by road. The path is Bangalore to Mandya, Srirangapatna, Bandipur, Madumalai and, finally, Ooty, covering a distance of about 375 km.

2.1 Srirangapatna

The first halt was at the palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna. The palace is also known as Daria Daulat Bagh, the Garden of the Wealth. The palace has historical paintings of the battles fought by Tipu Sultan with the British army.

A canon kept outside the palace
A canon kept outside the palace

2.2 Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is about 3 km from the town of Srirangapatna. The city of Mysore is about 16 km away. The bird sanctuary park is on the banks of Kaveri river. There are six islets in the river which make excellent bird nesting places. And there are crocodiles which roam around the islets and, occasionally, get on the land for a change.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

There were not many birds at that time (end-July). I am told that the best time to watch birds is the winter season, which is about months away. We could see some birds at a distance and, sure enough, an exotic bird came close to where we were standing.

A bird
A bird

2.3 Bandipur and Madumalai

After Srirangapatna, we move on towards Ooty. We pass through two wildlife sanctuaries, Bandipur in Karnataka and Madumalai in Tamil Nadu. Our eyes are fixed on the windows, on the look out for wildlife. A big wild monkey jumps just in front of our car on the road and walks away. After sometime, we see a herd of elephants going in the opposite direction at some 40 meters to our left. We cross Bandipur into Madumalai. After a while, we start climbing the hills. Just then, we see a big elephant to our left, not more than 5 meters from our car. We take care to not to distract the animal and keep moving. Finally, we reach Ooty at dusk. It is a cool and pleasant evening.

3.0 Ooty

Ooty
Ooty

We wake up to a nice pleasant morning in Ooty. There are mountains all around us. The environment is clean and we get a clear view of the scenery around us. There is mist around some hills as it is raining there. Our hotel has nice gardens and a good collection of flowers all along the pathway.

Dahlia flowers
Dahlia flowers
Ooty
Ooty
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1 thought on “Ooty, the queen of hill stations”

  1. Nice description and beautiful pictures of the place. I had mostly visited hill stations based in Himalayas. The thing that struck me while visiting Ooty was the different landcape of the place as compared to North Indian hill station. Totally different flora and fauna, shade of greenery, and shape of mountains. Tea gardens here are so peacful.

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