South India’s favorite hill station and a popular honeymoon destination, Ooty has always enjoyed its fame as a ‘must-visit’ mountain town on the Nilgiris. And why wouldn’t it be? Boasting the mysterious forests of eucalyptus, the dramatic clouds hanging on the hills, and a view to die for, Ooty invites travelers of all kinds to come and explore its surprises. However, the real charm of this colonial hill station is not in its beaten paths but in places less traveled. Lest you wonder how, when, and where, here’s a quick guide to see Ooty from a different perspective.
But first things first. A memorable trip is the result of a lot of things, including travel. The hill town of Ooty is easily accessible by road from its nearby towns and cities. For instance, if you are in Bangalore, you can travel for six hours to reach the hill station. Or if you are in Coimbatore, you can book a reliable and comfortable Coimbatore to Ooty taxi and complete your journey is less than three hours.
Exploring its water bodies
Ooty is a land of lakes. And that too many of them. The town serves as a base for tours to its nearby lakes, which most people don’t explore. Ditch the town, pack your picnic baskets and head to one of these beautiful lake areas around Ooty. You can avail of a top-rated and economical cab service for a more assured travel experience.
Emerald Lake – 1 hour from Ooty
The expansive water body of the Emerald Lake snakes through lush green forests and ruddy soil. Take a swim, laze on the pristine river banks, or take a walk through the neighboring villages, the Emerald Lake is a perfect respite.
Avalanche Lake- 1 hour from Ooty
Although quite close to the town, the road to this lake area makes you feel like you are in another world. A little hard to reach, the view from the Avalanche Lake makes it totally worth all the hardship of the journey. The muddy waters and rusty shores, lined with grassy hills are like the perfect color play on a dull day.
A day for tea tasting
There is a reason the Nilgiri Mountains are called the Darjeeling of the South. The hills are home to the most fragrant and flavorful teas that you can find. And while you are in Ooty, why not take a tour of the local tea gardens or just one garden near Kotagiri. The finely terraced gardens give birth to aromatic teas that are appreciated worldwide. The Dodabetta Tea Factory and Museum has tours open to all. You can take a peek at how the planters dexterously work at the buds and then the leaves, plucking and stashing them away in a basket. You can also see the different kinds of teas grown in the region, historical tea accessories, and more trivia. The best part of this tour is that you can even sample the freshest brew from the factory, which is a unique experience in itself!
A different viewpoint
You wouldn’t want to crane your neck through the crowd to catch a glimpse of the mountains, would you? While there are plenty of viewpoints in Ooty, opt for a fresher locale with a view of the Nilgiris but from a different angle. The quaint little towns scattered outside Ooty, make for a nice vantage point. There is one in Gadalur. Known as the Needle Rock, this point from the top of a cliff opens up to splendid views of the mountain ranges on the horizon and the dense forests below.
And that pretty much sums up a few different things to do when you are in Ooty.
On your next holiday, be an explorer and ditch all the touristy things and experience this southern beauty in a way you had never thought of before!