The winter months is one of the best times to enjoy the real charm of Ooty with temperatures dropping to minus degrees. Right now, Ooty and Munnar are experiencing bone-chilling cold, and it’s surprising how many travellers are taking this as an opportunity of exploring these hill stations at the peak of winter. January and February are estimated to be the coldest months in Ooty, and this could be your chance to give North India a miss for this surreal gem down south.
Nestled beautifully in the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty is located in Tamil Nadu at a height of 2240 metres above sea level. It is popularly also known as the “Queen of Hill Stations”.Ooty is primarily known for its lush green forests, scenic landscape, pristine lakes and beautiful attractions. Conifers, pine and eucalyptus trees grow abundantly in this region making the environment look and feel clean and pleasant.
The attractions you must visit in a frost- laden Ooty are: the Rose Garden which has a rich flora of the region, Ooty Lake, Tea Gardens and Coffee Plantations, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Pykara fall, and Mini Gardens. And, in order to truly experience the beauty of this place, remember to take the little Blue Mountain train to Ooty from Mettupalayam. On your way, you can indulge picnics, take pony rides and go fishing. You can even visit the lively Botanical Gardens, Ooty Club with its British Raj-era ambience, Elk Hill and Club Hill.
Ooty also has the Nilgiri’s oldest Church, the St. Stephen’s church which reflects the city’s long association with the British. You can also explore the Government Museum to witness tribal artefacts of the region and other historical relics. Ooty is also popular for a number of festivals that are celebrated here; the Ooty Mariamman Temple Festival held in the month of April every year, Bokkapuram Annual Festival held in February, and the Coonoor Mariamman Temple Car Festival held between April and May are festivals that represents the cultural richness of the region.
If you’re a food lover, Ooty is paradise for you. Everything from South Indian delicacies, Chinese cuisine, Chettinad chicken pepper prepared locally, the use of crunchy nuts, fruit and chocolates in deserts is par excellence. If you’re in a mood to shop for some woollens or other handicrafts; Charring Cross located in the middle of the town is where you must head. You will find a lot of super markets and shops selling home-made chocolates and Nilgiri tea.
The nearest airport from Ooty is at Coimbatore, about 105km away. Ooty is connected by toy train services with Mettupalayam which is about 46km away.