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Ooty, Tamil Nadu Travel Guide

Ooty, or Udakamandalam is a hill station situated in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. It is a favorite honey moon spot for the newly married couple. Lots of movies are shot here. Ooty is known for eucalyptus oil, tea leaves, spices and flowers. Ooty is located at 2,286 meters altitude above the sea level. Ooty is a district headquarters of Nilgiris district. It was a tribal land before modern amenities took over and the name of the tribe is Toda. The place served as favorite holiday destination for the British. Tourism, agriculture, and cultivation of fruits are the major sources of economy here.

How to reach: It is well connected by road. Tourists can reach Ooty via Coimbatore, Chennai, Kodaikenal, Coonoor, Mysore, and Bangalore or from Cochin. The city doesnt have air service and by railway you get only night trains that are available from Mettupalyam (46kms from Ooty). Nearest airport is Coimbatore airport which is about 100 kms far from Ooty.

Places to see:
» Botanical garden: The garden was initiated by the then Governor of Madras in 1847. Total area of garden is 22 acres and it consists of various types of medicinal trees, herbs, grass turfs, ferns, flowering plants and orchids. 20 million years old fossilized tree has been maintained here for the visitors. It is open from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. Lake: You can do boat riding here. For kids there is mini train. Visit Emerald lake, Avalanche Lake and Porthimund Lake. Rose garden which has a huge collection of rose varieties.
» St.Stephens church which is on the way to Mysore. It is one of the oldest churches constructed by the British.
» Doddabetta peak which is the highest peak of the Nilgiri hills at an altitude of 2,623 meters.
» Mukurthi national park: It is a base for special Nilgiri Tahrs. Nilgiri tahr is an animal species which is somewhat like a goat found in the Nilgiri hills. Mukurthi is about 40kms far from Ooty. Pyakara river valley: Here one can have a look at thick forests, Toda settlements, and wild habitat. It is 21kms away from Ooty on the Mysore road.
» Madhumalai wildlife sanctuary: The sanctuary maintains Bengal tigers, elephants, cheetahs, birds and vultures. Visitors are allowed for only two hours, once in the morning (7 A.M.-9 A.M.) and once in the evening (4 A.M.-6 A.M.).
» Coonoor Tea Gardens: If you want to cherish the fragrance of fresh tea leaves visit Coonoor. You can have a look at how tea leaves are processed by visiting some local tea factories. To go for a long walk in the labyrinthine of the tea gardens would be very refreshing. You can buy spices, tea leaves, chocolates and eucalyptus oil in Ooty, but dont be under the impression that you would get the best quality products. The best thing one can buy in Ooty is a bunch of dry flowers that is available for around 15 or 20 rupees. Try farm fresh carrots and fruits that are available on the roadside. Have a happy stay in Ooty!

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