Ooty: The queen of Nilgiri
India has a vast landscape and it provides various shades of nature in various parts of this beautiful country.One such place is Ooty which is located in Southern part of India in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a hill station and is situated in the beautiful Western Ghats.People and tourists can come and spend some quality time and have a good vacation at this place which is so beautifully decorated by Mother Nature.
The place remains usually cool even in summer and in stark contrast to the hot and humid climate of the peninsular south Indian states.Lets take a look at one of the most naturally beautiful place of India.One can reach Ooty by train and can really enjoy the various glimpses that nature provides during the journey.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is one of the finest rail journeys that one can think of. It was declared as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2005.It is the second railway after Darjeeling Himalayan railway (DHR) to get such accreditation from UNESCO. The Railway line from Mettupalaiyam to Ooty is 45.88 km. long and lies partly in Coimbatore District and partly in Nilgiri District of Tamilnadu, on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
The railway station for Ooty is Udhagamandalam railway station. Mettupalayam provides the junction between ‘The Nilgiri Passenger’ NMR metre gauge service and the Nilgiri Express broad gauge service.
Once you reach Ooty ,it is a hill station that as a visitor you would fall in love with. High mountains, enormous lakes, dense forests, extensive grasslands, miles of tea gardens and eucalyptus trees greet the visitors en route to Ooty.The hill station itself is a land of pleasing picnic spots. It used to be popular summer and weekend go away for the British during the colonial days, later it was made into a summer administrative town.
It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. The British people fell in love with these place and made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.
If you are admirer of flowers and specially roses then you must visit Ooty. It is here only that the Government Rose Garden is situated. It is one of the largest rose gardens in India.
The beautiful garden is stretched across 10 acres of land and houses some of the largest collections of roses in the country including mini roses, hybrid tea roses, floribunda, ramblers, black and green roses and many other exclusive varieties.The Rose Garden is not only a delight for the eyes and the senses but also a must-visit for those interested in horticulture. One is sure to forget all the tensions and stress of the life after coming to such a beautiful place.
The Todas who are the original inhabitants of the Western Ghats in Ooty region are a close-knitted tribal community mainly related to each other through marriages.They live in small Toda Huts also referred to as Todas Hamlets with just as few as ten Huts within a single Toda community spread across the gentle slopes of the pastureland of Ooty.
This community believes in living a very ordered way of life and follows the norms of their society very strictly.The Toda people for example if live in a community of which consists of 10 huts then it would be divided accordingly .Of these 10 Huts, one Hut is used exclusively for the cattle to sleep in during the night, the second Hut is used as a storage warehouse while the rest of the Toda Huts are used as the dwelling places of the Toda family.
Ooty like any other hill station has many lakes which gives the place an added extra scenic beauty . The most popular destination among it is the Ooty Lake which is famous for picnicking, paddle boating and enjoying Ooty leisurely.
Built in 1825, it is a 2.5-kilometre long lake circumlocutory through the picturesque beauty of the Nilgiris.The visitors and tourists visiting the beautiful Ooty can also enjoy the majestic Catherine Falls. Falling from a height of about 250 feet, the eye-catching Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded falls situated in Coonoor near the hill-station of Ooty.
The drive up to the falls is breathtaking and filled with scenic views.