The travel bug has bitten me. I had been on a short vacation to Ooty sometime back. Though it was not my first trip to Ooty, it was a special one. It was my daughter’s first Ooty trip. She too loves travelling just like us. If you reside somewhere in Bangalore, then long weekend is perfect to visit Ooty. Ooty Also known as Ootacamund is 5 to 6 hours’ drive from Bangalore (approximately 300 kms).
We started from Bangalore at 5.00 AM early morning to escape the Bangalore traffic. My husband loves driving early morning as you can cover maximum distance possible and reach out of the city before the traffic starts to pile up. The drive was a pleasant one. We had a wonderful time spotting animals in the Bandipur forest which is on the Karnataka- Kerala border.
Ooty is a popular hill station located in Nilgiris and is also known as Queen of hill stations. Just as we drove into Ooty, we were welcomed by the tall eucalyptus trees and the soothing smell of eucalyptus plants. The view was beautiful too. We stopped at Aavin milk center for a hot cup of tea before proceeding to Ibis hotel for out stay. Ooty hotels, and I mean most of them, come along with gorgeous views since most are located around cliffs.
After lunch, we took rest in our hotel and then in the evening we went in search of Mohan’s antique store in search of antique props for Rakshaskitchen. So if you are a prop hoarder like me, do visit this place when you visit Ooty.
Next day we went on a sight-seeing trip of Ooty. People always feel that Ooty is a place for honey-mooners. But I say NO. We went to Ooty with a child and we really enjoyed the trip with her.
We first visited the famous Ooty Botanical Garden. This place is a must visit attraction in Ooty. It lies on the lower slopes of the famous Doddabeta peak and covers an area of 50 acres. Various species of plants grow here. One can also buy seeds, potted plants and eucalyptus oil in the shops located inside the garden. Outside the garden, there is a small market where one can buy wooden gift items.
The Rose garden is another place that we visited in Ooty. Located on the slopes of Elk hill at an altitude of 2200 meters, this Rose garden is another must visit place in Ooty. The garden has a unique structure. The rose plants are grown in five curving terraces covering four hectares. Here you will find some unique varieties of roses. Even green, purple and black coloured roses can be found here.
The food at the restaurants here are worth trying. We had dinner at Nahar Sidewalk Cafe in Ooty where we tried the famous wood fired pizza. When you visit Ooty, do try the famous wood-fired pizzas in the various cafes around.
Next day, we went to the Ooty lake and boat house. But we did not go for a boat ride due to the extremely cold climate. But if you visit Ooty for the first time, I would surely recommend this boat ride.
Near the entrance of the lake, there is a nice local market where one can buy ever-lasting flowers, fresh vegetables like radishes, beets and carrots.
Tea plantations – There are several tea plantations on the Ooty-Coonoor road. This is a must visit place. Your trip to Ooty will be incomplete if you don’t visit a tea plantation 😉 The view of the green tea plantation is calming and eye soothing. Don’t forget to click some selfies here.
Thread Garden – This place is located just opposite of the Ooty Lake. We discovered this place by chance and decided to visit it. The garden is located in a big shed and looked artificial. All the plants and flowers are handmade with threads of different types. An art lover should visit this place and enjoy the creativity which is someone’s hard work of 12 years. This place has an entry fee of Rs.20/- and can be covered in 5 minutes. I would suggest to visit this place only if you have extra time.
You can also visit Pykara Lake if you have free time. Apart from this you can visit the tea museum and M & N chocolate museum.
Best time to visit Ooty is from November to March. But if you visit Ooty during these months, don’t forget to carry lots of woollen clothes especially for the kids.
Things to take back from Ooty:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Ooty chocolates
- Wooden articles
Oh yea! Don’t forget to take back some beautiful memories.
While coming back we stopped at Mysore for lunch and had evening tea at Kamat Lokruchi. We also did some more prop shopping at Channapatna which is the Toy Town of Karnataka.
Stay tuned for more posts on my travel tales.