Ooty – A Guide to the Queen of Hill-Stations

Ooty, aptly known as the “Queen of hills” is arguably the most famous hill station in South India. Nestled in the Nilgiri Range of the Western Ghats, Udagamandalam or Ooty, boasts of awesome weather and scenic surroundings all year round. This place is a popular tourist destination with families as well as honeymooners. Quaint little bungalows and vast tea estates give this place a feel of the bygone colonial era. Ooty has many hidden gems and to help you explore all of them, here is the post on Ooty – A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations.

Ooty-The Queen of Hill-stations

The Charming little Queen of Hill-stations

Ooty – A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations

Located at an altitude of 2240 m above sea level in the Nilgiris or Blue Mountains of Tamil Nadu. This quintessential small town is filled with picnic spots which used to serve as a summer retreat for the Britishers.

Ooty Weather

Ooty has a pleasant climate all year round. The summer months from May to September make it a perfect respite from the soaring temperatures of the plains. The Winter months of October to February are quite chill with temperatures dipping to 3 degree C. Ooty experiences rains in the months of July to September but then the foliage comes alive with freshness.

It is cool all year round so make sure you pack light woolens with you and carry an umbrella to save you from the incessant rain.

Check out the latest weather report for Ooty here


Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations

The view from the Toy Train

How to Reach

By Bus

Ooty is well connected by roads to all major cities in South India. There are direct government as well as luxury buses available from Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai and Coimbatore to Ooty.

By Car (Self Driven and Taxi)

The roads to the sightseeing places in Ooty are in good condition and driving through the lush green forests and sprawling hills is an experience of a lifetime.

By Air

The closest airport to Ooty is Coimbatore which is about 100 km. Coimbatore is well connected to all major cities by air. Taxis are easily available from the airport.

Pro Tip: We had booked a cab that stayed with us all through our tour of Ooty. It made our sightseeing hassle free.

By Train

Mettupalayam is the nearest railway station which is about 50 kms from Ooty. Coimbatore and Chennai have regular trains to Mettupalayam.

Tourist Places in Ooty

Doddabetta Peak

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Doddabetta Peak

The View from the Top

What better to experience a 360 degree view of this stunning hill station then from an observatory situated at a height of 8606 feet. This is the highest peak in the Nilgiris and offers stunning panoramic views.


Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Coonoor

The quaint little town

Take the toy train ride to reach Coonoor. A quaint little town situated at a height of 1850 m above sea level. Its far quieter than Ooty and boats of some amazing heritage properties. Make sure you the visit the famous attraction Duke’s Nose here.

Emerald Lake

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Emerald Lake

The serene lake

The refection of the dense foliage surrounding this lake give this lake its name. This pristine lake offers the best views in Ooty. Its 25 kms from the City Centre and its perfect for a picnic.

Pykara Lake and Falls

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Pykara Falls

The majestic Falls

Around 20 kms from Ooty lies the majestic Pykara Falls cascading down a height of 55 and 61 meters. The shores are a popular picnic destination. The way to reach these falls is also called Filmy Chakkar as there are many movies shot around this place, the driver of your vehicle will guide you more.

Fernhill Palace

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Fernhill Palace

The beautiful colonial architecture

This majestic forest built in 1844 was once the residence of the Maharaja of Mysore. This sprawling palace is now converted to a heritage hotel.

St. Stephen’s Church

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - St Stephen's Church

The artistic Church

Built in typical Gothic style architecture with stained glass windows, this church is definitely striking. According to folklore, the beams used to build this church came all the way from the palace of Tipu Sultan in Mysore.

Things to do in Ooty

Toy Train Ride

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Toy Train - Ooty to Coonoor

The best thing about Ooty

Remember the song Chaiyya Chaiyya, where Shahrukh Khan dances atop a train? Well, this is where its shot. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway covers a distance of 46 kms from Coonoor to Ooty making its way through 16 tunnels and 250 bridges. This century old mini locomotive network is the oldest in the country and offers stunning views of forests and valleys.

Visit the Tree Plantations

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Tea Estates

The amazing myriad of green

This beautiful hill-station is made even more beautiful by the tea plantations that line the hill slopes. Its not only picturesque but also invigorates the senses. Make sure to visit a tea factory to get a first hand knowledge of the tea making process.

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations

The perfect setting for a perfect cuppa

The tea sampling there is an added incentive. You can even buy some of their locally grown tea products.

Go Boating

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations - Ooty Lake

Perfect place for a perfect day

The best way to enjoy a perfect weather on a perfect day is to paddle boat on a scenic lake. The Ooty lake is the place where you can do just that. The stunning view of the Nilgiris surrounding the lake is the cherry on the top.

Go for a Nature Walk

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations

The town of Ooty taken from somewhere in the wilderness

Ooty is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. The air is filled with the essence of eucalyptus trees. The hills are covered with dense foliage which is rarely found in the cities we reside in. So do not miss a chance to cleanse your senses with the freshness here. There are numerous parks, rose gardens and botanical parks to do so. Or else do what we love doing, just put on your walking shoes and see where the trail takes you.

Try the handmade Chocolates

Ooty - A guide to the Queen of Hill-stations

The perfect souvenir gift

No trip is ever complete without buying something for family back home and handmade chocolates made here seem like a perfect gift. The main town in Ooty is lined with shops selling a wide variety of these goodies. They make a perfect gift.

This enchanting Hill-station, away from the hustle bustle of city life is a perfect destination to recharge your batteries.

Where to Stay in Ooty?

Ooty has a huge variety of staying options available that suit all budgets. From the luxurious Resorts and heritage hotels to cozy homestays, Ooty has it all.

Taj Savoy Hotel is a sight-seeing delight. It’s perfect for those looking for a heritage stay in Ooty. If deciding to stay here, do opt for lawn/garden facing cottage which will enhance your stay.

Accord Highland Hotel Ooty is simply the perfect place to stay for families with kids. With excellent & cosy wooden cottages, helpful and cordial staff, 24×7 kitchen, excellent & reasonably priced food, complementary evening tea/snacks, it is worth every penny spent. What’s more, lunch & dinner for kids is complementary and even the extra water bottles are not charged 🙂

Sterling Ooty Fern Hill is another resort with super location and views of the mountain/valley. It also has a good children play area.

Book Your Stay

Hope you find this Ooty Family Holidays Guide of use to you. Do let us know about your stay in Ooty or if we are missing something, please contact us or comment below and I will update this blog soon. Your comments and/or feedback are welcome.

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About Manish Samtani

Namaste! A passionate traveller at heart and now a blogger as well. Thanks to my sailing career, travelling has always been an integral part of my professional life. Eternally fascinated by the World of Travelling be it either meeting new people, learning new cultures, experiencing their customs or just trying out some new cuisines. Off late, I’ve been exploring places with my family where my job has not taken me. Mail me at manishsamtani@laidbacktraveller.com

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