5 Things to see in Ooty

5 Things To Do in Ooty India (2024)

Explore the charm of Ooty, India, with an array of captivating activities that showcase the beauty of this hill station. Embark on a journey through lush landscapes and discover the allure of Ooty’s attractions. From the iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway to the vibrant botanical gardens, Ooty offers a myriad of experiences for every traveller. Whether you’re seeking serenity in the botanical gardens or adrenaline on the trekking trails, there are plenty of things to do in Ooty India.

While Tamil Nadu might not be as widely recognized among tourists, it boasts numerous hidden gems, with Ooty standing out as a gem waiting to be discovered.

Ooty holds a special place in my heart as one of the most cherished destinations in South India. Renowned for its lush plantations and cool climate, it provides an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. My numerous visits to Ooty have only strengthened my desire to return each time I’m in India. In this post, I’ll highlight the top 5 activities to engage in while exploring this charming hill station.

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About Ooty

Ooty, a colloquial abbreviation for Udhagamandalam, emerges as a charming resort town in the Tamil Nadu state of India. This popular tourist destination has a rich history and is nestled amidst the scenic Nilgiri Hills.

Initially inhabited by various tribal communities, including the Badaga, Toda, Kota, Irula, and Kurumba people, Ooty bore witness to their agricultural practices and water buffalo rearing.

Fondly referred to as the Queen of Hills, Ooty encapsulates the essence of natural beauty and cultural heritage in the heart of the Nilgiris.


Located within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, many forests and water bodies in Ooty are restricted for tourists or require special permissions. Ooty is a year-round destination, but for delightful weather, the best times to visit are from April to June and between September and November. January stands out as the coldest month. To fully explore and experience Ooty, plan for a minimum of 3 to 4 days.

For trekking enthusiasts, the trek to Vattakanal in Tamil Nadu is a definite must-try, promising an adventure amidst scenic landscapes.


How to Get to Ooty from Bangalore?

By Air

The nearest international airport is located in Coimbatore. From Coimbatore International Airport, one can easily hire a taxi to reach Ooty, with the journey taking approximately 3 hours.

By Road

Ooty is near Kotagiri (approximately 20 kilometres) and Coimbatore (about 90 kilometres). Bangalore city is about 265 kilometres away, with a road journey taking around 6 hours and 30 minutes. The route from Bangalore passes through Mysore, then Masinagudi, navigating a ghat section that demands skilled drivers.

Driving to Ooty

By Public Transport

  • Bus – Regular buses operate between Bangalore and Ooty, lasting around 7 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Train – Regrettably, no direct train service connects Bangalore to Ooty.

Tours: Organized tours from Bangalore to Ooty is another convenient option. Thrillophilia provides fantastic and customized Ooty Package Tours, enhancing your travel experience.

Top 5 Things To Do in Ooty India

  • In Ooty, there is a plethora of activities beyond those mentioned here. However, the ones highlighted are absolute must-dos and shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • For the latest prices and availability, please check the individual websites.

Ride the Nilgiri Mountain Railway

In Ooty, the top-notch experience is riding the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. For Bollywood enthusiasts, the iconic song “Chaiyya Chaiyya” was filmed atop this very railway. It has also graced the scenes of “A Passage to India” and several regional movies.

As a devoted fan of Shah Rukh Khan, I went the extra mile and travelled to Melbourne solely to catch a glimpse of him at the Indian International Film Festival.

Inaugurated in 1899, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway traverses the Nilgiri hills, connecting Ooty with various stations, including Coonoor. Governed by the Government of India, the line and track have been integral since their establishment. Tickets, priced at around INR 500 per person for first class, can be conveniently booked through the IRCTC website.

In 1995, UNESCO recognized the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension of the World Heritage site of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Visit Ooty Botanical Garden

Established in 1847, the Ooty Botanical Garden is an incredible destination for immersing oneself in the beauty of roses and diverse plant species. Housing many exotic and indigenous plants and flowers, the garden boasts a fossilized tree that dates back 20 million years. Annually, the garden comes alive in May with a vibrant flower show.

Open to visitors from 7 AM to 6:30 PM, the entrance fee is INR 30 per person and INR 15 per child (below ten years). Additional charges apply for camera and video usage. Plan to dedicate at least one to two hours to appreciate the garden’s tranquillity fully.

Take Pictures at Tea Plantations

Renowned for its tea plantations, Ooty takes pride in producing the famed Nilgiri tea. Introduced by the British in the 1830s, this tea is crafted from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Renowned for its fragrant flavours, it is often characterized as having a light profile with delightful fruity notes. The picturesque tea plantations in Ooty provide an ideal backdrop for capturing stunning photographs.

Additionally, some places offer the unique experience of dressing visitors in attire resembling that of local ladies for memorable pictures. This distinctive photo opportunity cost is remarkably affordable, ranging from INR 20 to 50.

Taste the Ooty Chocolates

Who can resist the charm of Ooty chocolates? Often considered the Lindt of South India, Ooty chocolates hold a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. The handcrafted chocolates, available in various enticing varieties, are a delightful treat.

Among the most renowned are the plain dark chocolates, known for their richness and delectable taste. Adding to the chocolate experience, Ooty proudly houses India’s inaugural chocolate museum, the M and N Chocolate Museum. For a nominal fee of INR 20 per person, visitors can explore this unique museum’s fascinating world of chocolates.

Visit Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a serene gem, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in calmness. This natural reservoir, enveloped by lush greenery and gently rolling hills, creates an idyllic setting for those seeking a peaceful escape.

Emerald Lake offers more than just scenic beauty; it provides an opportunity to unwind amidst nature’s splendour. The calm waters mirror the emerald hues, creating a mesmerizing reflection that captivates every onlooker. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride, gliding across the pristine lake while absorbing the soothing ambience.

Beyond its visual allure, the lake’s surroundings beckon nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The verdant landscapes are home to various flora and fauna, adding a touch of biodiversity to the area. As the sun sets, casting warm hues across the horizon, the atmosphere becomes enchanting, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a peaceful retreat.

For those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of urban life, a visit to Emerald Lake provides a rejuvenating experience. Whether you opt for a tranquil boat ride, a leisurely lakeside stroll, or bask in the natural beauty, this destination promises serenity and connection with the essence of Ooty’s enchanting landscapes.

Where to Stay in Ooty?

Ooty offers a diverse range of accommodations catering to different preferences and budgets. Here are some recommendations:

  1. The Ooty Fern Hill – A Sterling Holidays Resort: Situated amidst picturesque landscapes, this resort offers a comfortable stay with modern amenities. It provides a serene ambience while conveniently close to Ooty’s significant attractions.
  2. Savoy – IHCL SeleQtions: A heritage property with Victorian architecture, Savoy provides a luxurious stay. Its elegant rooms, gardens, and excellent service make it a top choice for those seeking a touch of colonial charm.
  3. Hotel Gem Park Ooty: Overlooking the Nilgiri Mountains, Hotel Gem Park Ooty combines comfort and luxury. The hotel features well-appointed rooms, a spa, and panoramic views, providing a delightful stay experience.
  4. Sherlock Holmes Hotel Ooty: Located near Ooty Lake, it offers modern amenities and a cozy environment. Its strategic location makes it convenient for exploring the town and its attractions.
  5. Kurumba Village Resort: For a more secluded and nature-centric stay, Kurumba Village Resort is an excellent choice. Surrounded by lush greenery, it provides cottages with a rustic charm, offering a unique and tranquil experience.
  6. Sinclairs Retreat Ooty: Nestled in the heart of Ooty, Sinclairs Retreat is known for its warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations. It provides easy access to popular tourist spots.
  7. Fortune Resort Sullivan Court: A well-appointed resort offering a blend of modern amenities and a colonial atmosphere, Fortune Resort Sullivan Court is located near the Rose Garden and provides a comfortable stay.

Stay at Red Hills Nature Resort

Discover an utterly breathtaking and secluded retreat at Red Hills Nature Resort. Nestled amidst pristine nature, this property stands alone on the hill with no distractions around, offering an ideal setting for a tranquil and picturesque vacation. The panoramic views of hills embraced by clouds and the invigorating, crisp air create an experience that feels nothing short of extraordinary.

During our delightful two-night stay, we immersed ourselves in the serene ambience and found it a fantastic escape. For those seeking more adventure, the nearby Emerald Lake is a must-visit, and the resort reception can easily arrange transportation for a seamless and enjoyable excursion.

Is Ooty Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

During my initial visit to the Ooty Botanical Gardens, I encountered a minor inconvenience with a group of guys attempting to capture my pictures on their phones. However, apart from that isolated incident, I’ve experienced no issues.

In general, Ooty is a safe destination for solo female travellers. The locale is not only stunning but also boasts a friendly population and is accustomed to welcoming tourists. I consider Ooty one of the ideal places for solo female travellers. Nevertheless, exercising caution is advisable, especially in isolated areas and at night. Additionally, it’s essential to be mindful of the local wildlife, particularly leopards, when exploring the surroundings.

At Red Hill nature resort

Closing Notes

These top 5 activities provide just a glimpse of the many experiences Ooty has to offer. The hiking and trekking trails in the area were a delightful surprise for me, adding an adventurous touch to my visits.

My love for Ooty knows no bounds. Despite frequent visits, the allure of this destination remains, and I find myself yearning to return time and again. The breathtaking views from the hill station, coupled with the enchanting tea plantations, create a truly spectacular experience. I wholeheartedly recommend including Ooty in your South India vacation itinerary.

If you have a penchant for hill stations, consider exploring Yercaud for another enchanting destination.

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5 Things To Do in Ooty India (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Ooty India

    PIN for later reference - 5 things to do in Ooty
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