|» Location :
||Niligiri District, Tamil Nadu
|» Discovered By :
||British In 1800
|» Highest Peak :
(Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the "Queen
of hill stations' among the tourist circuits.
It is situated at a
distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Botanical Gardens :
Major Attractions of Ooty
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. Ooty
About 1-km distance there is an artificial lake with a charming
look, which was formed in 1824 by Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of
Coimbatore. Rose Garden :
Rose Garden is
situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. They are spread over an
area of 10 acres of land with 2000 variety of roses. Rose Gardens lie on the
way to the boathouse. St Stephens Church :
in the hilly area on Club Road, St Stephens Church is said to be the oldest
in the Nilgiris. The church was built in 1829 and consecrated in 1830. The
beam of the church was taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan at
Srirangapatnam. The cemetery close by houses the grave of John Sullivan, the
founder of Ooty.
Places to Stay in Ooty
Accommodation is available at the luxurious and economy class
hotels, lodges, and resorts in Ooty. Both Indian and Western style
accommodation and food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially
during the summer months.
Shopping in Ooty
Just about anything available in the cities can be had at Ooty
with the added attraction of leisurely shopping. Exclusive Nilgiri products
including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda
embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town. Co-operative
Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best places for shopping
fruits and general groceries. Kairali of Kerala Handicrafts and Poompuhar of
Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their showrooms near to Super Market Buildings
on Charring Cross.
How to Get there
Coimbatore, 105 km from Ooty, is the
nearest airport. Rail :
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 and Coonoor. Road :
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.