Udhagamandalam, still more commonly known as ‘Ooty’ in reference to a shortening of its anglicized name, Ottacamund, is a scenic ex-British hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Sitting at an altitude of 2260m in the cool, Nilgiri Hills, Ooty was discovered by John Sullivan a British burrasahib who quickly realised the potential of growing lucrative agricultural crops including tea and thus bought up tracts of land from the Toda tribe’s people. Within a short time, the former East India company clerk had made a fortune. Soon joined by other fortune-seekers, a town sprang up and the British established Ooty in the early 19th century to serve as summer head quarters of the Madras government. Today, there are many reminders of the colonial legacy such as quaint single-storey stone cottages, Christian churches, leafy winding lanes, and private schools, English street names such as Charing Cross and Westbury Road and terraced botanical gardens. Ooty’s beautifully maintained Botanical Gardens were established in 1848 and include numerous mature species. St Stephen’s Church on a hill in Club Road was built in 1829.
Ooty is a good place for walking and horse riding, and rowboats can be hired for boating on the town’s lake. Built between 1890 and 1908 and paid for by tea planters and British Nilgiri pioneers, one of the most novel ways to get to Ooty is aboard the famous narrow-gauge Nilgiri Blue Mountain Railway from Mettupalayam on the plains.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Ooty, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
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