Situated in the Nilgiri hills, Lovedale is a picturesque hill station situated five km from Ooty in Tamil Nadu. Lovedale serves as a perfect counter foil to Ooty, better known as the Queen of the Hill Stations and which attracts heavy rush of tourists all through the year.
The serene understated charm, stunning vistas and salubrious climate make Lovedale a perfect retreat especially during the summer months. Insulated from the hustle and bustle associated with popular hill stations, Lovedale makes it an ideal spot for honeymooners.
Located at 7200 feet over mean sea level, Lovedale is just a tad lower than Dodabetta (8000 ft), the highest peak of Nilgiri mountain range.
Founded in 1812, the town was used by the British to escape from the heat of the plains below. Like with other hill stations – Ooty, Coonoor, Yercaud, Wellington – founded by the British, Lovedale still retains its colonial flavor in the form of old-world cottages, bungalows and gothic church.
Lovedale rose in prominence after the Nilgiri Mountain Railway became operational. The railway also called the toy train, was constructed to connect Ooty to the plains below. The mountain railway, 45.88 km long, runs partly on rack-and-pinion system. It connects Ooty, Lovedale with other quaint hill stations like Hillgrove, Runneymede, Coonoor, Wellington, etc.
A ride on the toy train is the ideal way to start holiday in Lovedale. Chugging along at 30 km/h, a ride on the toy train sets the pace for leisurely holiday in the Nilgiri hills.
The hill station is also home to the prestigious Lawrence School. Established in 1858, it is the third Lawrence school after Sanawar and Mount Abu and is spread over a sprawling 750 acres.
Lovedale also offers a variety of options for those seeking an adrenalin rush. Treks to Devashola (4.9 km) and Doddabetta peak (11.6 km away) are among the popular trekking trails.
The Church of Ascension, located within the Lawrence School campus, is another must see in Lovedale. The church, which celebrated its centenary in October 2011, features Gothic architecture. Its stained glass alter panel depicting the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, is a marvelous piece of art. The Church is also known for its great pipe organ, among the few such instruments in the country.
Situated in the Blue Mountain Range, Lovedale is just 35 km from Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The biggest protected area in India, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is highly eco-sensitive region. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is under consideration by UNESCO World Heritage Committee for declaration as World Heritage Site.
There are no options for stay in Lovedale. Tourists generally prefer staying in Ooty on their visit to the hill station. Hotels in Ooty offer a plethora of options in terms of stay, from budget to luxury hotels. Dormitories for students are also available where the rates are reasonable for students. Private guesthouses are also available for stay about two km from Lovedale.
There are limited eating options in Lovedale. One cannot find any restaurants in the hamlet. However, there are a few street stalls serving hot dosas and refreshments. Filter coffee sold at the stalls is very popular.
Lovedale is an all weather destination. Summers are pleasant with temperature hovering around 15-20 degree Celsius. During winters, temperature drops as low as four degree Celsius. Lovedale receives moderate rainfall during monsoon. February-June and October are the best time to visit Lovedale.
BEST TIME TO VISIT OOTY
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ooty is as given below. The best time to visit Ooty is also specified.