Ooty was established by the British in the 19th century and retains its British style throughout its architecture, laneways and gardens, while also welcoming a distinctly Indian personality with its bazaars, bungalows and Hindu temples. Ooty’s hectic city centre contrasts beautifully with its peaceful lake, rose garden and waterside golf course.
Things to do in Ooty
If you’re visiting Ooty with your kids, head to Thunder World, a family-friendly amusement park with an indoor snow room, life-size dinosaurs and bumper cars. It’s a short walk from the artificial Ooty Lake, where you can hire paddleboats and rowboats to get out on the water. The nearby 7D Cinemas offers a unique multisensory cinematic experience.
Don’t miss experiencing the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which was built by the British in 1908 and offers unforgettable train journeys up the steepest track in Asia, while travellers might want to tackle the 2,637-metre-tall Doddabetta mountain instead. The summit has an observatory with public telescopes for admiring the panoramic countryside vistas.
Want to relax? Stroll through the Government Rose Garden, situated on the peaceful Elk Hill. The garden features over 20,000 varieties of roses, including Miniature Roses, Hybrid Tea Roses and Ramblers. Swap nature for history at Toda Temple, a thatched-roofed Hindu temple with traditional Toda architecture.
Ooty’s top restaurants are spaced out within the town centre, including Adyar Ananda Bhavan, known for its vegetarian dishes. The nearby Adams Fountain is an iconic landmark built in 1886. Snap a photograph of the fountain at night, when the tiered gilded accents take on a magical glow.
Getting around Ooty
Ooty is about three hours’ drive from Coimbatore International Airport, connected via hire cars, buses, taxi vans and the overnight Nilgiri Express train. It’s easy to get around Ooty using the local taxis, auto rickshaws, bicycle rentals or hire cars.