Ootacamund or Ooty is situated in Nilgiri Mountains near Tri Junction of
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Ooty is the only hill station in India
which attracts visitors during all seasons. It has built up a fame as the
`all-seasons -hill resort' and the `queen of hill stations'. It is one of
the most popular hill resorts in southern India at an elevation of 7216
ft. above sea-level, her moods change with every season, but each of her
moods is hospitable to the visitor. Nestling among the hills at a point
where the Eastern Ghats meets the Western Ghats, the district headquarter
town of Udhagamandalam sprawls along a beautiful plateau. The Eastern
Ghats are mighty and attractive while the Western ghats have wooded
loveliness. Nature unfolds itself in and around Ooty in a myriad of
profiles, each one with a distinctive grandeur and individuality.
This natural charm, several attractions compel the tourist to stay on for
extended periods with comfort. The first British came to Ooty in 1812. He
was followed by a few hundred European missionaries, educationist and
civil servants. Finally, the hill stations attracted many Europeans so
much so that it became the summer capital of the then vast Madras
presidency, or the present Tamil nadu State, which consisted of 75% of
what we call South India today. Soon, Indian princes or Maharajas (who
were the ruler of various areas and territories throughout India and
industrialists built their palaces and mansions.
The first inhabitants of this land were a tribe called Todas who had been
living here long before the British came in the early nineteenth century.
But the credit for modernising Udhagamandalam and making it accessible
goes to the British who constructed the first railway line in the area and
made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency. Todas antedated all
explorers to the Nilgiris by a great margin of time. Mr. John Sullivan
discovered Ooty in 1820. He built a permanent house at Nilgiri Hill and
this was the beginning. Soon several other British officers built their
summer houses. Horses, pony bullock cart and tonga were transportation
modes at that time.
Ooty's main industry is oil extraction particularly from the eucalyptus
trees introduced during the 19th century, and also from lemon grass,
geranium, clove and camphor.
Even today the atmosphere of the Raj lingers in places like the Club where
snooker was invented by a subaltern named Neville Chamberlain. The Nilgiri
Library with its rare and valuable collection of books on Udhagamandalam
and St. Stephen's Church which was Udhagamandalam's first church are
reminiscent of the Raj. The cemetery near the church has the oldest
British tombstones and includes graves of John Sullivan's wife and
daughter, among other prominent personalities.
Altitude: 2240 metres
Temperature (°C): Summer: Max 25, Min 10 Winter: Max 21, Min 0
Best Season: April to June and September to October
STD Code: 0423
PLACES OF INTEREST
Botanical Gardens (2 kms)
Tiger Hill (16 kms)
Dodabetta Peak (10 kms)
Valley View Lake (1 km)
Wilson Fish Farm, St. Stephen Church, Marlimund Lake (5 kms)
Wenlock Downs (2 kms)
Avalanche (15 kms)
Elk Hill, Kalhatti Falls (14 kms)
Snowdon, Glen Morgen (25 kms)
Wellingtion (16 kms)
Kotagiri (29 kms)
Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (64 kms)
Coonoor (19 kms)
Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary (78 kms)
HOW TO GET THERE?
The nearest airport Coimbatore (89 kms) is connected by Indian Airlines'
flights with Bombay, Calicut, Chennai and Madurai.
Ooty is connected by narrow guage train services with Mettupalayam which
in turn connected through Chennai & Coimbatore to major cities in India.
Good motorable roads connect Ooty to Bombay- 1320 kms, Bangalore- 290 kms,
Calicut- 178 kms, Coimbatore- 89 kms, Coonoor- 19 kms, Kotagiri- 29 kms,
Madumalai- 64 kms, Chennai- 535 kms, Mysore- 160 kms, Trivandrum- 498 kms,
Tiruchirapally- 302 kms.