Ooty Tourism Guide

Ooty Tourism Guide

Quick Guide

Electricity

Type G – 230V/50hz

Weather

JAN
13°C
FEB
14°C
MAR
16°C
APR
17°C
MAY
16°C
JUN
14°C
JUL
13°C
AUG
13°C
SEP
14°C
OCT
14°C
NOV
13°C
DEC
13°C

Language
Badaga

Currency
Indian Rupee

Visa
Visa Free

Cost of a beer
INR138.58 (avg)

Cost of a Meal
INR209.75 (avg)

Average Room Rate
INR5,619 per night (3* hotel)

Ooty is a stunningly picturesque hill station located in Tamil Nadu. It is the capital of the Nilgiris District and a gem amongst India’s southern hill resorts, abound with a wealth of greenery and dazzling sites of natural beauty. When it comes to mesmerising views and astonishing landscapes, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Alongside its many natural attractions, Ooty also offers its visitors an array of delicious restaurants, energetic bars and inviting hotels. To help you discover them, we’ve put together this helpful travel guide, so you can start planning your adventure without delay.

Top Attractions

A fairly recent addition to the amazing selection of great attractions in Ooty, the Government Rose Garden was opened in 1995 and has since quickly found its place in the hearts of tourists and locals alike. It’s an astonishingly well-crafted garden, measuring in at a whopping 4 hectares. For nature lovers, it’s an absolute must-visit, with an incredible 20,000 varieties of rose growing here alongside a massive amount of other plant life. It is truly one of the most diverse gardens in all of India.

 

Considering all the incredibly beautiful places you can visit in Ooty, it takes something really special to stand out from the crowd. Well, Dolphin’s Nose, found an incredible 1000 metres above sea level, is that something special. The stream drops elegantly through the air surrounded by stunning greens and rolling grassy hills. Get here when its less busy to truly appreciate its majesty.

 

Much like our first entry on this top attractions list, Ooty Lake is completely designed and executed by sheer human vision and talent. It’s an amazing achievement and it’s nothing short of mind-boggling to think that this lake isn’t a beautiful set of natural coincidences: so perfectly has its creators worked with nature to create a breath-taking environment. Today this artificial lake may have shrunk but it has lost none of its impact to visitors.

Things to do in Ooty

 Ooty is known for its beautiful views and outdoor activities and it doesn’t disappoint in either regard. There’s plenty to do and see here, with each attraction offering its own stunning sights and unforgettable experiences.

Nestled in the lap of Nilgiri range, Ooty is rightfully known as the Queen of Hill Stations in South India. Home to some of India’s finest rose gardens, Ooty is famous for its blissful landscapes and the very adorable toy train. Chugging through mysterious tunnels, the quaint toy train offers a memorable joyride. Spectacle from one side of the train gives bountiful views as a green carpet, dotted by mud houses and stalwart trees, stretches till horizon. The toy train takes its sweet time to reach the next station. But, every minute counts and adds in your Ooty memoir.

By Umang Trivedi, from Travelmax

Ooty Lake

Ooty lakeThis artificial lake is no less beautiful than its natural counterparts. Constructed by John Sullivan in 1824, this incredible feat was managed by damning the water stream that flowed down Ooty Valley, thereby redirecting the water and creating the stunning Ooty Lake. Although still a very large artificial lake, it was actually originally a great deal bigger but has since shrunk. It was designed with the intention of being a fishing destination and also as a place of passage for ferries. Today the shrinkage means that where the water once stood, now homes the lake park and the bus stand race course. While it’s not quite what was originally envisaged, the addition of boating facilities was made in 1973 when the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation gained management over the lake in the early 1970s. It’s a gorgeous place to visit for all the family, including tons of great food spots, a children’s area and pedal boating.

Address: North Lake Road, Ooty, India

Price: INR10 per person, INR30 per still camera, INR125 per camcorder, INR180 per 2seater row boat for 30 minutes, INR200 per 4-seater pedal boat for 30 minutes, INR450 per 8-seater motorboat for 20 minutes, INR160 per 2-seater pedal boat for 30 minutes

Opening Hours: Daily: 09.00 – 06.00

Ooty Botanical Gardens

Ooty botanical gardensA garden featuring thousands of different plant species, the massive 22 hectares Ooty Botanical Gardens is split across six sections, each featuring a distinctive style and plant life to be enjoyed. These sections consist of the New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace and Nurseries. Species include plants that are both indigenous to this part of India and species that have been introduced. One of the stand out attractions of the park is a fossilised tree trunk, which experts have estimated is likely to be around 20 million years old. It’s a truly beautiful park. Its main achievement is managing to keep up its consistently excellent standards and presentation throughout such a large and diverse area. For nature lovers, this is a must see but it’s also a wonderful place to visit if you’re not much of an expert on nature for its incredible peaceful and serene ambience, which makes it ideal for a relaxing day out.

Address: Nilgiris, Vannarapettai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001, India

Price: Adult – INR30, Child – INR15, Photography – INR50

Opening Hours: Daily: 07.00 – 19.00

One of the most popular hill stations in South India, Ooty even in its commercialized avatar offers a lot for first time visitors. The Nilgiris in sharp contrast to the sprawling tea gardens provide a photogenic vista like none other. Visit the botanical garden, take a dip in the Pykara river,sacred to the toda tribe, go tiger spotting in the Mudumalai National Park if you’re thirst for some action. If you would rather take it easy, simply explore the region via the UNESCO world heritage steam powered mountain railways.

By Rishabh Shah, from Gypsycouple

The Government Rose Gardens

the government rose gardensA garden that has gone by many names, the Government Rose Garden has also been known as the Centerary Rose Park, the Nootrandu Roja Poonga and the Jayalithaa Rose Garden. This is despite having only been around since the summer of 1995, when it was opened in commemoration of the centenary flower show, where it featured some truly dazzling displays of gardening. This tradition is still kept up today, with some quite marvellous layouts and many beautiful sights to behold. It’s a very large garden found in the midst of the city. Although not quite as big as the more famous Ooty Botanical Gardens, it measures in at 4 hectares, which is still very well sized. Collections include miniature roses, polythenas, papagena, ramblers, hybrid tea roses and much more. It’s found on the slopes of Elk Hill and has an altitude of 2200 metres. But this is no useless piece of trivia: its conditions actually make it the ideal location for growing roses. Today, there’s over 20,000 varieties of roses, making this a simply stunning sight to behold.

Address: Bombay Kist, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001, India

Price: INR20 per person, INR30 per still camera, INR75 per video camera

Opening Hours: Daily: 08.00 – 16.00

Dolphin’s Nose

dolphin's noseImage source DARSHAN SIMHA

The charmingly named Dolphin’s Nose is actually about as far away from the sea as you could imagine. Measuring a whopping 1,000 feat above sea level, this mountain is one of the most incredibly beautiful spots in all of Ooty and is named after its appearance, which tips like, you guessed it, a dolphin’s nose. The view is of the spectacular Catherine Falls: its stream can be seen from the point, travelling several thousands of metres. The incredible grassy hills are one of the most spectacular scenes anywhere, with deep rolling greenery falling effortless of the horizon miles and miles away. Do be aware that this is one of the most popular attractions in the area and does get extremely busy, so pick your times wisely to ensure you can enjoy the best possible view.

Address: Gangavaram, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530005, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24-hour

Doddabetta Mountain

doddabetta mountainIf you thought Dolphin’s Nose was high, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Dobbabetta Mountain is the tallest in the Nilgiri hills, measuring an eye-watering 8,650 feet. It truly showcases the very best of the natural beauty that has made Ooty famous. A much beloved spot amongst trekkers, Doddabetta is a worthy challenge for any adventurer. Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that this a very physically intense place to visit, so make sure you’re well up for the challenge and get proper trekking equipment before embarking upon your journey. The area is widely forested, which makes it a stunning place to explore. When you make it to the top, there’s another treat for your eyes at the Telescope House, which was made available to the public in 1983. Perfect for nature lovers and star gazers alike.

Address:9 km from Ooty, Ooty Kotagiri Road, Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu 643002, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24-hour

Emerald Lake

Picturesque Emerald LakeImage source Sankara Subramanian

Known as the silent valley, Emerald Lake in Ooty is famous for its tranquil ambience, where it’s so quiet, you can here the rustle of the slightest wind in the trees. A much loved picnic spot enjoyed by tourists and locals alike, this is a perfect place to spend a day with the family, as a couple or even to just enjoy the surroundings by yourself. The area is also home to unique varieties of aquatic and plant life, as well as many interesting species of bird. For nature lovers, you couldn’t find a nicer place to spend an afternoon. Onsite there’s also the Red Hill Nature Resort. A stunning facility built in the late 19th century, this accommodation offers a range of services, including bird watching, fishing, trekking and mountain biking so you can make the most out of your visit to Emerald Lake.

Address:Emerald Village, Nilgiris, Ooty, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24-hour

Ooty is an idyllic escape and is bestowed with glistening lakes, landscaped tea gardens and vantage points. The toy train ride from Ooty to Conoor offers breathtaking vista and is one of the most sought after attraction. Other touristy attraction includes botanical garden, St. Stephen’s church, Murugan Temple, Doddabetta peak, Kalhatti falls and Pykara Lake. If you want to get away from the touristy stuff, you can take detours and visit tea estates, Emarald lake or Porthimund lake. You require a prior written permission to visit the Porthimund lake.
For shopholics, don’t forget to come back home with chocolates, eucalyptus oil, spices and artifacts.

By Swati Sam , Thetalesofatraveler

Stone House

stone houseImage source Alden Chadwick

Built by John Sullivan in 1822, the Stone House is the first of its kind in Ooty. The bungalow was built as the residence of the Principal of the town’s Government Arts College. It’s a beautiful, timeless looking piece of architecture and is a true icon of elegance in the area. It was bought from the Toda people, who were a small tribe that lived on the Nilgiri plateau, who had a population of under 1,000 in the 20th century. In front of the bungalow is a large tree, which is named Sullivan’s Oak after the home’s constructor. There’s also a great selection of relics here, making this a must see for both architecture and history buffs alike.

Address: Stone House Area, Thalayathimund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, 643002, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Daily: 10.00 – 17.00

Thunder World

thunder worldImage source KARTY JazZ

A wonderful family day out that’s just perfect for kids, Thunder World is a great way to while away a few hours. The dinosaur park includes everything from the dreaded T-Rex to herbivore models, all found with information about the creatures as well as their natural habitat and how that relates to their survival. So it’s a fun but educational day out. There’s plenty of rides here with attractions suitable for the very young up to teenagers, including a kids play area. Also included in Thunder World is an amazing 5D theatre, a camera museum which takes you through the remarkable history of one of the modern age’s most vital inventions, as well as a ton of great food options. With so much to see and do at Thunder World, you’re bound to work up an appetite.

Address: North Lake Road, Near Bus Stand, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001, India

Price: Adult – INR210, Child – INR15 (Combo offer)

Opening Hours: Daily: 10.00 – 20.00

St. Stephen’s Church

st. stephen's churchAmong the oldest churches in the Nilgiris district, St Stephen’s Church features stunning architecture from the 19th century. But it’s not all traditional: there’s a very distinct and unique look to the church, which stands majestically beneath a wild section of greenery, adding to its fairy tale like appearance. It has an almost pale gold colour and its enormous main beam is actually taken from the palace of the Tipu Sultan. It’s a piece of history, particularly related to British colonialism (it is found near where plantations were kept), and its background seems to be steeped into every pew, dedication and stained glass window. This is a peaceful church, one which is beautiful not only inside and out, but even in its surroundings.

Address: Upper Bazaar, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10.00 – 13.00, 15.00 – 17.00, Sunday: Closed

While we were in Ooty, we did a wonderful walking tour with a local guide through his village and many others surrounding Ooty. We found that the cooler climate and rolling landscapes were the perfect combination for a day-long hike and we really enjoyed our guide’s company. At the end of the tour, Dariece and I went into a local chocolate shop, which was amazing. We never thought we’d find such tasty chocolate in the hill stations of India! What a pleasant surprise. By the end of the day we felt re-energized, refreshed and educated on the local culture and village life in Ooty and the surrounding villages

By Nick, Goats on the Road

Don’t miss taking the cute miniature train to Ooty. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway winds romantically up through the stunning scenery of the Western Ghats and tea estates. Weekends and holidays can get busy so it’s best to book tickets in advance and try to get seats on the left side for the best views.

By Anna, Global Gallivanting

Shopping in Ooty

While not known for its shopping, Ooty does nonetheless have a good selection of outlets so you’ll never be short of what you need. You might even find a few hidden gems here and there you didn’t expect.

teas for saleImage source Adam Jones

Doddabetta Tea Factory

Far from your typical shopping experience, Doddabetta Tea Factory couldn’t be further from the glitz and glamour of the enormous malls you can find in other parts of India. Doubling up as a museum, here you can see the complete process of tea making from start to finish. At the end of the tour, you can go through a ton of things to buy, including of course, the freshest tea available anywhere in every type you could imagine. This is the tea version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Address:Dodabetta Road, Mel Koddapmund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643002, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 09.00 – 18.30

Besides its natural beauty amidst the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty is a chocoholic’s dream destination. Since many decades now it is known for its handmade chocolates that come in various flavors. Head to the oldest one of them – King Star confectionary for sampling and buying, or try the Choco Galleria. A perfect souvenir from Ooty.

By Anuradha Goyal, Inditales

Main Bazzar

carrots for sale in marketProbably the most important shopping outlet in all of Ooty, the Main Bazaar includes a mixture of both government and private shops, all selling local produce. This means that you’ll get a truly authentic local shopping experience here, with no international brands in sight. Instead you’ll have to make do with the absolute best Ooty has to offer from its very own locals. But this goes further than just groceries. This is also a place for creative minds to show off their wares, including artwork that’s truly one of a kind.

Address:In Main City, Ooty, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 09.00 – 19.00

The Green Shop

If you’re someone who likes to think ethically with their shopping, then the Green Shop is ideal for you. Here you can choose from a spectacular selection of hand crafted tribal clothes and items, as well as the offering of indigenous local farmers, knowing it all goes to a good cause. The Green Shop is both a fair trade and organically focused store that is run by Kotagiri’s Keystone Foundation. This is great products at even better prices, all run in a way that helps out the local populace.

Address:Sargan Villa, Club Road, Opposite Hill Bunk, Ooty 643001

Opening Hours:Daily: 09.30 – 21.00

Fun Facts

  • The game of snooker was invented in Ooty, with the first set of rules being written way back in 1882.
  • Ooty has the slowest train in India, known as the Ooty Passanger or the Nilgiri Passanger, which averages a speed of 10kmph. The distance it covers is 46km, which takes just under 5 hours.
  • Ooty’s full name is actually Usagamandalam. However, it is unknown where this name comes from, having originally been written in a letter in the first half of the 19th century by an unknown author.
  • The weather doesn’t change much throughout the seasons, with the average temperature only moving about five degrees all year.

Where to Eat in Ooty

From stunningly authentic North Indian dishes to restaurants with an international flavour, Ooty is the town that offers more than you might expect in terms of variety, creativity and innovation in the kitchen.

indian spicesImage source sara marlowe

Earl’s Secret

Set in warm and elegant interiors, Chutney Mary is an Indian restaurant with a contemporary focus. Loved by critics, the menu gives modern twists on classic favourites, alongside an extensive wine and cocktail list. This restaurant certainly has a lot to brag about. We recommend giving the Tandoori chicken a try!

Address:Havelock Road | King’s Cliff Hotel, Ooty 643001, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 07.00 – 10.00, 12.30 – 15.00, 19.00 – 22.00

Hotel Pankaj

Traditional Indian cuisine with a great atmosphere and an even better bar, filled with great beer and wine options, this is a restaurant that’s popular amongst tourists and locals alike. Found in the wonderful Hotel Pankaj, the food here is beautifully prepared with a great selection. This is a restaurant with largely Indian cuisine and a few international options, but it’s clear that their focus has created some seriously top notch dishes.

Address:Bharathiar Building 1st Floor Ooty | The Nilgiris, Ooty 643001, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 08.00 – 22.30

Cliff Top Café

fried eggs and cup of teaImage source atlnav

This cute little café spot is probably the only place on this list that’s not best known for its food. Now, don’t get us wrong, their homely, comforting western style cuisine is exactly what you need after a long trek, as is a lovely cup of tea to warm your bones. Best of all is the breakfast: a greasy spoon style slab of deliciousness at a great price. But even though all of that would easily merit the Cliff Top Café a place on this list, it’s best known, and rightly so, for its stunning views overlooking the water.

Address:Club Road, Ooty 643001, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 08.00 – 10.30, 12.00 – 22.30

Jothi Vilas

Serving up a stunning mix of the best in eastern cuisine, with everything from Chinese to North Indian to the best vegetarian dishes, this is a restaurant that offers great food at an even better price. The food is made with care, which is matched by their wonderfully attentive service, warm inviting atmosphere and very reasonable prices. Found in a great location near the city, this might just be your one stop shop for everything delicious.

Address:#82/C2, Kotagiri Road | Kil kodappmund and also in ETTINES ROAD OOTY, Ooty 643001, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 07.00 – 19.00

Hotel Pankaj Bhojanalaya

indian foodImage source Lindsay Holmwood

Focusing solely on great North Indian cuisine, the restaurant at Hotel Pankaj Bhojanalaya might not be the best restaurant on this list in terms of variety but when it comes to taking one cuisine and just perfecting it, very few can come close. Best known for their delicious vegetarian and vegan options, this restaurant is living proof that you don’t need meat to create a mouth-watering menu.

Address:Bharathiar Building 1st Floor Ooty | The Nilgiris, Ooty 643001, India

Opening Hours:Daily: 08.00 – 22.30

Nightlife in Ooty

While Ooty doesn’t have a big clubbing scene, and probably never will, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a spot to enjoy your evenings, have some great food and maybe a drink or two. Here’s just a small sample of what’s available in Ooty’s nightlife scene.

night in OotyImage source Santosh Kumar GM

Canterbury Bar

Found at The Savoy Hotel, the Canterbury Bar isn’t much of a party bar. It’s more of a place to enjoy a great beverage in a classically styled environment: a drinking spot for someone of refined tastes, you might say. Aside from its high quality selection, the best part of this serene hang out spot is the gardens, which have a distinctly British tea party sort of feel to them. With the smells of freshly cut grass filling your lungs, there’s few better ways to enjoy a drink during sunset.

Address:77 Sylks Road, Ooty 643001, India

Entry Fee:No entry fee

Opening Hours:24-hour

The Valley Bar

glass of wineImage source Denise Mattox

This bar is loved for its views just as much as its terrific tipple. The Valley Bar offers some of the best views of the Nilgiri Mountains, and is the perfect way to cap off an evening with a quiet drink and the full majesty of nature laid out before you. There’s an amazing drinks menu here too, including a terrific selections of wine, cocktails and spirits, all washed down within an elegant, mature atmosphere that just oozes style.

Address:Gem Park-Sheddon Rd Ootacamund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Entry Fee:No entry fee

Opening Hours:Daily: 11.00 – 23.00

Selbournes Bar

Found at the Fortuen Resort Sullivan Court, Selbournes Bar features a huge range of cuisines and is famous for its international menu. While we strongly recommend you try out their delicious selection of multi-cuisine treats, the bar is more than capable of standing up to the standard set by its food offering. Their drinks menu is just as masterfully prepared, just as varied and delivers the same wonderful atmosphere that flows through this inviting venue.

Address:123, Selbourne Road, Ooty – 643001, Tamil Nadu

Entry Fee:No entry fee

Opening Hours:Daily: 11.00 – 23.00

Top Tips

    Pack appropriately:

  • If you travel during the rainy season, make sure that you take appropriate clothes. Ooty is, after all, one of the colder parts of India.
  • Know how much to tip:

  • Tipping is optional here, with an average percentage of roughly 10%.
  • If you’re visiting temples, make sure you take off your footwear and dress modestly in general:

  • If you’re visiting temples, make sure you take off your footwear and dress modestly in general.
  • Take precautions:

  • The crime rate in Ooty is very low. However, due to poor lighting, dark secluded areas, such as hill areas, can be a hotspot for crime. It is therefore best to avoid them during sundown.
  • Pick a hotel with good Wi-Fi:

  • Ooty does not have the best Wi-Fi in general so if that’s important to you, book your accommodation with that as a priority.

Hotels in Ooty

Luxury Hotels in Ooty

gem park OotyYou’ll feel utterly captivated by the majestic architecture of the Gem Park Ooty. This family friendly hillside hotel is polished both inside and out, with wooden floorings and stone carvings alongside bright and beautiful décor. Recline in utter comfort in one of the 95 individually decorated rooms, each featuring plush memory foam beds, soft seating areas and thoughtful touches, like bathrobes and slippers. There’s so much to do within this four-star establishment, with two onsite restaurants: one serving an aromatic Chinese menu and the other inviting you to tuck into your meals in a gorgeous terrace setting, complete with stone fireplace. Make a splash in the indoor pool, work up a sweat in the gym or be pampered in the spa. And with an energetic nightclub and swanky bar all within a stroll of your room, this is a hotel that truly lives up to its name.

The Savoy Hotel’s first impression is: just look at that garden! You’ll feel like someone landed the Botanical Garden’s outside your hotel room, with a truly beautifully natural setting that showcases mother nature in all its glory. It’s a techni-colour dreamland of sights and smells before you even step foot in this place. Fittingly for such a majestic entrance, the Savoy Hotel sits proudly upon a tall hill and has done since it was built back in 1834. Its entranceway is no one off. It’s actually spread across six acres of majestic landscaped gardens. We know what you’re thinking: “six acres, how big IS this place?” Well, it’s actually a series of utterly charming cottages, which look like they have been airlifted out of a picturesque English village and placed in the dazzling sunshine of Ooty. Rooms are equally stunning, service is impeccable and there’s a restaurant, bar, library, children’s playground and a games room onsite to enjoy too.

A hotel that’s up in the clouds at an incredible 7,350 feet above sea level, Ooty Elk Hill Resort will keep you feeling sky high with its terrific selection of activities and facilities. This is intended as a peaceful retreat where you can really get away from the hustle and bustle of busy day-to-day life. This is reflected in the décor, which is quite reserved and minimalistic but still features touches of luxury here and there: they’re just tucked away so they don’t clutter up the place. The overall effect is an incredible sense of space, especially when you lay back and can only see the white of your walls and the blue of the sky due to how high up in the hills you are. Facilities include billiards, a spa and wellness centre, games room, fitness centre, table tennis, kids club, karaoke and a library. There’s also a garden with BBQ facilities, a restaurant, snack bar and, of course, those unforgettable panoramic views.

Mid-Range Hotels in Ooty

deccan plaza hotelSituated in the mountains and just a stone’s throw away from the Ooty Lake and Government Botanical Gardens, the modern holiday cottages at Deccan Plaza Hotel benefit from breath-taking views and a subdued atmosphere. This continues through into the guest rooms, which feature wooden flooring and elegant furnishings, as well as modern comforts, such as flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers. You’ll simply adore waking up to the crisp air and engulfing greenery every morning, before tucking into your complimentary breakfast. Speaking of food, delectable vegetarian dishes are also served in the onsite restaurant. If you want to work off your indulgences, there is also a gym and wellness centre, along with a pool table and basketball facilities where you can unleash your competitive spirit.

The handsome white exterior of the Fern Hill A Sterling Holidays Resort gives you just a taste of what to expect inside. This is a hotel that wonderfully blends an elegant style with a homely feel. Here you can put your feet up on the incredibly soft beds as you appreciate the gorgeous views outside your window. And with your own private kitchenette, you can tuck into home cooked meals at your leisure. With rates starting at just INR5,465, you’ll be utterly blown away at the exceptional range of onsite facilities, which include a restaurant, nightclub and fitness centre, as well as a coffee shop and spa services.

Set in a Victorian-ear mansion, the Sherlock Hotel pays tribute to its namesake literary icon. Nestled among the flora-filled hills, this hotel beautifully executes its theme with nine period-style guest rooms, each named in dedication to Holmes. These boast a traditional aesthetic, with beamed ceilings and fireplaces. If you’re feeling inspired, there’s even desks where you can sit down to write your own masterpiece. With an onsite restaurant, welcoming sunroom and manicured garden, this quaint hotel will truly make you feel like the protagonist in your own adventure story.

Budget Hotels in Ooty

ponmari residencyOne of the most unusual looking hotels on the list, Ponmari Residency lights up like a diamond with its ultra modern, almost futuristic exterior, complete with bright lights and a tall glass centre. It’s a seriously impressive design and one that you’d expect to find in a much higher priced modern hotel elsewhere. The only thing that gives it away as a budget hotel is its rather cheap and cheerful looking sign, which while not in any sense ugly, does stand out a bit. The hotel is a mere 15-minutes walk away from a ton of great places to visit, including St. Stephen’s Church and the Botanical Gardens. It offers good sized rooms for its price, which comes in at under INR3,000 a night, and features an excellent onsite restaurant, as well as a bar/lounge area and Wi-Fi.

The Vinayaga Inn offers a back to basics accommodation that never compromises on space. Found just a 15-minute walk from the beauty of the Botanical Gardens, you’re sure not to miss this budget hotel, with its bright yellow exterior and eye-catching angular façade. Inside you’ll find generously sized guest rooms, complete with seating areas, inviting beds, refreshing showers and cable TV. While there may not be an abundance of amenities here, you’ll get everything you need for a relaxing night’s sleep and with rates costing only INR2,650 a night, you can’t go wrong.

The lakefront Hotel Darshan delivers a wealth of stunning views and fantastic facilities. With so much on offer, you’ll be amazed that rates start from just INR4,270. Providing 35 warm and homely rooms, guests here can enjoy canopied beds, living rooms, free Wi-Fi and cable TV, as well as a complimentary breakfast, professional staff and an attentive 24-hour room service. Additional amenities include an onsite restaurant serving vegetarian Indian and international cuisine, along with an outdoor terrace where you can soak in those views and a playground to keep the little ones entertained.

For more hotels in Ooty, explore the Expedia India website and find the best accommodation for your stay.

hill station in ootyImage source Dibesh Thakuri

As most of Ooty’s attractions can be found outside, it’s important to plan your trip to coincide with the best climates. While this charming hill station is a year-round destination, it does experience changes in weather that could affect your holiday excursions. This is particularly true between July to September, when monsoon season falls and heavy rains are common.

We recommend vising during the summer season, which occurs between March to June. With clear skies, dazzling sunshine and temperatures averaging around 20°C, these are the perfect conditions to experience Ooty’s landscapes in all their glory.

Visit to Ooty is never complete without a ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway ‘toy’ train. This historic railway line runs on a metre gauge tracks and covers a distance of 48 KM between Ooty and Mettupalaym in 3 hours and 30 minutes. The scenic journey passes through 16 tunnels and over 100 curves. Tickets may be booked online also.

By Nisha Jha, Lemonicks

Flights to Ooty

flight during sunsetImage source many turnerlf

If you’re flying into Ooty, you can land in Coimbatore airport (CJB). This is the closest domestic airport, located around 55 miles away. Regular flights are available here from most of India’s major airports, including New Delhi (DEL), where a direct flight will take approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes. Once you arrive, you can then travel by taxi or bus to reach your destination.

Alternatively, you can stick to the roads and arrive by bus. Government and luxury private services are both available, departing from Bangalore, Mysore and Chennai. A special government service also operates daily between 17.00 to 19.00 from Calicut, with the route taking only 6 hours to complete. The facilities on these services tend to be quite comfortable, making overnight journeys hassle-free. Similarly, various train companies also service Ooty, arriving at the nearest railhead, Mettupalyam, which is located around 25 miles from Ooty. From the railway junction, the Nilgiri Mountain train will then take you on a wondrous journey up the hill, or you can opt for a faster option and go by taxi instead.

Visit the Expedia website to find the best prices for flights to Ooty.