Nestled in the majestic Nilgiri Mountains, Ooty, is rightfully called the queen of hill stations. The foggy winters, flowery summers and lush green monsoon makes it an ideal destination to visit throughout the year. Known for its vast meadows, n number of panoramic sites, gardens filled with variety of fauna and its picture perfect valleys all of which has served as an ideal set for a Bollywood movie. Apart from these postcard worthy sites, the city is packed with commotion and life. But, when we look beyond the obvious we realize how easily one can blend in the chaotic city life of Ooty and just a short walk into the hills will unite us with the intrinsic serenity- giving the best of both worlds.
Here are 5 things to do in Ooty beyond the obvious for your next quick getaway:
- A ride in Nilgiri Mountain Railway:
Now this may seem to look like a mainstream tourist activity to you, but hey! You do not want to miss out on a UNESCO world heritage site do you? This ‘Toy Train’ embarks your journey of a slow traveler in Ooty, covering 26 km through lush vegetation and splendid mountain range giving the passengers all the time to soak the serenity. Tickets can be booked on the spot or at the Indian Railways website.
- A holy visit to the Glass Temple
The Jain temple dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy gives you reasons to visit apart from religion. Owing to Jainism’s secularist believes the temple can be visited by all with a prior permission from the authorities. The peculiar interiors of the temple is adorned with mirror work, each one of which reflects images present in the temple multiplying the piousness of the structure and leaving you spell bound.
- Stroll in the Gardens of Ooty
Ooty is very well known for its gardens and a visit to each one of them can definitely be avoided, however not visiting any can as well be a bad decision. Here are 2 of the gardens that you can choose from, both of which are unique and portrays the essence of Ooty’s beautiful fauna. The most atypical of them all is the Thread garden, a result of 12 years of hard work by Mr. Anthony Joseph and his group of craftsmen, where about 150 species of fauna from across the globe are recreated with the help of threads- offbeat at its best! Another work of art is the very famous Rose garden spread over 5 levels showcasing more than 7,000 roses, it is an excellent place to admire the complexity of nature or may be just a long romantic walk with your muse.
- Back to the roots- Tribal Museum
A trip to the tribal research center museum is sure to take you back in time. Showcasing artifacts from Nilgiri and Andaman tribes, the museum, will definitely be a hit amongst the one who are intrigued by various cultures and their evolution while for many others it may be the only place where you get a chance to touch and feel the artifacts used during the stone age- either case you will have an experience of a life time.
- Quick Getaways from Ooty
Ooty is blessed with the geographical position, giving you a number of options to choose from for a quick trips from the city. May it be a hike to the Dodabetta peak (highest mountain in the Nilgiri hills, be sure to bring your cameras!) to view the panoramic site, a ride till the Pykara falls where you can indulge in boating activities or just lay still by the lake, Masinagudi is another lesser known place near Ooty an ideal place for- jungle safaris, bird watching, elephant camps and treks. Other short trips can be taken to Coonnor, Avalanche, Kotagiri etc.