Ooty (Udhagamandalam) is nurtured in the Nilgiris or the 'Blue Mountains', it is a spellbinding little hill station in Tamil Nadu. As a highlight of Ooty tourism, it has pleasant weather all year round that makes it a perfect getaway destination in the summer. The lush green tea plantations and dense forests offer stunning vistas. South India’s most famous hill station was a realm of tribal people and shola forests till the British annexed the Nilgiris in 1799 and John Sullivan, Collector of Coimbatore, made the first stone house here in 1823.
Ooty has been an all time favourite location of Bollywood. Remember the song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ from the movie Dil Se? Yes, those are the Ooty railway tracks with an alluring backdrop, where you see Shahrukh Khan dancing off with Malaika. Many blockbusters have been shot here, like Saajan, Raja Hindustani, Andaz Apna Apna, Raaz, and Maine Pyar Kia, to name a few.
Over the years, Ooty- hardly ever called by its original name, Udhagamandalam- took its place as a Nilgiris tea-plantation hot spot. It served as the summer headquarters of the sahibs who ruled from Madras and got its own churches, bungalows and picnic spots. Much of which now makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations in India. During the holiday season, Ooty can be extremely crowded. But the secret to getting the best out of this ‘Queen of the Nilgiris’ is: spend time in the periphery of the town and visit it during the off-season.
You will get a heady cocktail of rolling hills, tea plantations, villages, unbridled greenery, unexpected lakes. In the off season - when every comfort is still on offer and an umbrella and a change of socks can see you through much - look out for sharp fragrance of ghostly pines lining misty roads. The sun lighting up a hill even as the one beside it remains shrouded in dark velvet; ponies chomping grass by the kerb; acacias in full bloom; the bright gold of witches’ broom dotting every hill; the aroma of hot filter coffee and even hotter sambhar.
The exhilarating train journey commencing from Kallar to Coonoor is a marvellous experience and is extremely popular among tourists. Ooty tourism helps you to experience the pristine beauty of the place and the calm that it offers. The scenic destination is actually a fantastic option if you are planning a trip to a place cradled in the lap of nature. A land filled with picturesque hot spots for picnics, Ooty is often the best option for anyone looking forward to long summer vacation or a weekend getaway.