Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam ,the capital
of Nilgiri district,is popularly known as the "Queen of hill
stations' among the tourist places in india. The height of the hills
in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres,the highest
peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres. This hill station
has splendid green downs and lofty hills of extraordinary scenic
beauty and is endowed with a salubrious climate similar to the English
summer.The name Ooty or Ootacamund derives its name from the local
Toda word Udhamandalam meaning village of huts. The Tamil 'Whotai'
a species of dwarf bamboo that grows in the forests,'kai' meaning
a fruit or green stuff in the middle and the Toda 'mund' meaning
a village clapped at the end. Ooty,however,got its name during the
British rule,by calling 'WOTYKAMUND' in the Madras gazette.Ooty
nestles in an amphitheater created by four majestic hills-Doddabetta,Snowdon,Elk
Hill and Club Hill. These hills are part of the Nilgiri ranges that
are really the meeting point for the Western and the Eastern Ghats.
Ooty has become more of a 'honeymooner’s paradise' and a de-facto
filming location. Apart from coffee and tea plantations,trees like
conifers,pine and wattle dot the hillside of Oooty and its environs.
While visiting you will also come across many eucalyptus trenches
. The fresh smell of eucalyptus trees in a trendy and clement breeze
will make you psychedelic for sure. The funnel-shaped blossoms covering
the hills in floral profusion and the lavender-blue flowers spread
over the mountains will pack you with memories for a lifetime.
It is believed that the name Nila, has been in use for over 800
years since, the King of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana, who ruled
from 1104 to 1141 AD seized the Nilgiris Plateau. His general Ponisia
recorded this fact in 1117 AD with mention of Todas. The name Nilgiri
was due to the blue haze, which envelops the range with most distant
hills of considerable size.
This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the East India Company
as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of
Srirangapatnam in 1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was the first
European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released his notes about
the place and people of Nilgiris. In 1812 surveyor William Keys
and Macmohan visited the top of the plateau.
In 1818, Wishand Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to Collector
of Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience report
to the Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan. Settlement in
Udhagamandalam began in 1822 with the construction of the Stone
House by John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. The bungalow,
which is locally called "Kal Bangla", is one of the landmarks
of Udhagamandalam and is now the Chamber of the Principal of the
Government Arts College.
Place to See
The government museum,Mysore Road,Ooty has items of tribal objects,
district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts
and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989,with a view to provide
education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris
The Botanical Gardens
Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those who visit
Ooty,one of the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl
over 50-acre and lie on the lower slopes of Doddabetta peak,which
is the highest point in Ooty. Marquis of Tweeddale established these
gardens in the year 1848.
The gardens are formally laid out with lily ponds,and there are
clipped bushes in the form of elephants,with raised trunks. One
can find a thousand different species of plants including some thirty
types of eucalyptus in these gardens. There is also a fossilised
tree trunk, which is said to be 20 million years old. Towards the
eastern part of the garden there is a wooden house made of logs
known as "Toda Mund", which provides an excellent view.
Doddabetta is the highest peak (2623 meters) in the Nilgiris,which
is about 10-km from Ooty. It is a beautiful place lying between
the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats and offers a beautiful
view of the Nilgiri hill ranges. It is surrounded by dense Sholas.
Hindustan Photo Films
The Hindustan Photo Films,one of the major industrial units of the
district,is located about 5-km away from Ooty railway station over
a sprawling area of over 300 acres,near the Ooty golf-links on the
Ooty- Mysore road.
How to Reach
: The nearest airport is at Coimbatore, which
has daily flights to and from Madras, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.
: Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway,connected
to Mettupalayam (47 km),which is directly connected to Coimbatore
and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam
: A good network of roads and national highways
connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular
bus services to and from Coimbatore,Trichy,Bangalore,Madurai,Kanyakumari,Mysore,Palghat,Calicut,Tirupati
and other important destinations in South India. Ooty is also well
connected with major cities of Kerala and Karnataka.