Ooty, the beautiful hill station of the Nilgiris is a popular tourist spot throughout the year. From natural landscapes and cascading waterfalls to tea estates and museums, it has everything for everyone. Here is a list of the unmissable and the most exciting places to visit in Ooty.
1. Botanical Garden
Among the oldest heritage gardens in the country and the world, the Government Botanical Garden is Ooty’s major tourist attraction. What started in 1848 as a vegetable patch to supply fresh veggies to the residents was later converted to a public garden in 1848. Spread over 22 hectares, Botanical Garden houses hundreds of flora species from around the world, including succulents. colorful flowering plants, indoor plants, plantation crops, trees and more. With Victorian props and burst of colours in the backdrop, each and every corner of the garden is Instagram-worthy. Botanical Garden caters to every age group and is undoubtedly among the best places to visit in Ooty.
Timing– 7 am to 6.30 pm
Entry fee– Rs 50 per person
2. Rose Garden
A younger cousin of Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, as the name suggests is dedicated to rose cultivation. Hundreds of rose varieties besides perennial plants adorn the garden made in layers. Needless to mention, the decorated viewpoints and elevated balconies give ample photo opportunities to visitors. The garden turns into an outlandish heaven during the blooming season, competing with Kashmir’s Rose Garden.
Timing– 9.30 am to 6.30 pm
Entry fee– Rs 40 for adults, Rs 20 for children, Rs 50 or camera and Rs 100 for video camera
3. Ooty Lake and Boathouse
Centrally located Ooty lake is the most popular attraction of the town. Spreading over 65 acres, the artificial lake was initially used for fishing. Now a prominent place for boating and day picnics, it is a fun and lively place for every age group. Surrounded by restaurants and souvenir shops, the picturesque lake is among the most popular places to visit in Ooty. A walk or bicycle tour around the lake road in the morning or late evening will be one of the most memorable experiences for you. The peaceful vibes of the place with the sight of the glistening waters and chirping birds will soothe your senses like nothing else.
Timing– 9 am to 6 pm
Entry fee– Rs 30 per person, boating charges differ according to the type of boats
4. Thread Garden
Right opposite to the Ooty Lake is a lesser-known Thread Garden. This unique garden was the brainchild of Antony Joseph from Kerala who built this over a span of 12 years without any machinery.. Every flower, leaf and stem in this garden is made of thread. The only exceptions are rocks or pots that are made of clay. It also holds the record of utilizing highest number thread, approximately 6 crore meters to make the flowers and plants. In spite of holding a record as the only thread garden of the world, it is not a tourist hot spot. The dimly lit interiors and low maintenance speak a lot about its condition. This is a great educational place and must be on your itinerary of top places to visit in Ooty as it might soon make it to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Timing– 9 am to 5 pm
Entry fee- Rs 20 per adult, Rs 10 per child, Mobile and camera charges- Rs 20
5. Government Tea Garden
Tea gardens are vibrant places that everyone loves to visit. And this one is the largest Government owned tea estate in Ooty. Hiking to the upper slopes would give you fantastic views of this pretty hill station. Miles of greenery surrounded by misty clouds is a picture-perfect location, isn’t it? Don’t forget to claim your free cup of tea from the tea shop. You only need to show them the entry ticket. You can also buy tea leaves, chocolates, clothes and other souvenirs from here. Save your entry sticker for free entry to the tea factory.
Timing– 8 am to 5 pm
Entry fee- Rs 15 per person
6. Doddabetta Tea Factory, Chocolate Factory
Around 3 km from the Government Tea Garden is the touristy Doddabetta Tea Factory. A trip inside the factory showcases the tea making process right from collection of tea leaves to packaging of the final product. The factory also houses a small museum displaying the history of tea and interesting facts in different cultures. A complimentary cup of tea marks the end of the visit to the tea factory and directs you to Chocolate Factory in the same premises. The aroma and variety of chocolates will definitely tempt you to buy some, because I do not like chocolates, said no mortal ever. The visit to these factories will take you less than an hour considering the huge rush in enclosed spaces.
Timing– 8 am to 5 pm
7. Wenlock Downs Nature Trail
This place is also called shooting point, a name that it drew from several films shot here. Surrounded by lush farmlands and miles of soothing greens, Wenlock Downs is a place to sit back and relax. Feel the breeze on your face as the Sun changes the colours of the horizon. Shooting Point is a plastic-free zone and receives less footfall as compared to other places in Ooty. No wonders it caught the fancy of filmmakers and iconic movies like Raja Hindustani were filmed here. Shooting Point’s views look like Windows Wallpaper. Check out for yourself.
Timing– 9 am to 6.30 pm
Entry fee- Rs 30 per person, Rs 50 for camera, Rs 100 for small video camera and Rs 1000 for big HD camera
8. Pine Forest
Managed by Muthu Nadu Mund Eco Development Committee, Pine Forest is a nature lover’s heaven. The aging pine trees, a surreal natural lake in the middle of the forest and the eerie silence broken by the visitors, sum up the beauty of this gorgeous place. Remember 2002 blockbuster Raaz featuring Bipasha Basu? Well, the forest scene was shot here. Hope this doesn’t spook you. Do add Pine Forest to your list of fun and exciting places to visit in Ooty. A close second to Ooty’s Pine Forest is Kilbury Forest near Nainital.
Timing- 6 am to 6 pm
Entry fee- Rs 10 per person, Rs 30 for camera
9. Pykara Falls
About 21 km from Ooty, Pykara Falls on the Ooty Mysore road lies a gorgeous flat waterfalls named Pykara Falls. The river passes through hilly tracts flowing down majestically in the last two flows. The last two falls of 55 meters and 61 meters are called Pykara Falls. Popular for picnics and day excursions, the location offers pleasant views of the nature in its purest form. Boating opens in monsoon season when the water level swells up. You gotta walk around 50 steps to the waterfall to enjoy the windy weather and mesmerizing view.
Timing– 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
Entry fee– Rs 30 per person, Rs 50 for camera
Ooty has a lot of other places to explore. Not just natural landscapes but exciting amusement parks and religious sites as well. Hope the above list helps you make the most out of your trip to this lovely hill station in the Nilgiris.