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A trip to Ooty

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Tamil Nadu
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Capital city - Chennai
Ideal time to Visit - October to March.
A large part of the state being on the coastal edge of the country, the weather is tropical and sultry for most part of the year. The summer months of April, May, June are hottest where temperature ranges to 40 degrees.

December and January are the peak months for Chennai. The temp ranges from 20-22 degrees. To avoid peak rush October is better. The weather in these months is pleasant and easy to bear the humidity.
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Nestling in a valley on the crest of the Nilgiri hills, at an average height of 7500 feet (2200 above sea level), Ooty or Ootacamund or Udhagamandalan or Udhagai, as it has been officialized now, still retains much of its fabled charm . Once the favourite of the Englishmen & Maharajas Ooty is alos a much sought after place by the tourists today.
The most popular tourist spot in Ooty, of course, is the 145 year old Government BOTANICAL GARDEN situated at the Northern end of the ooty town, very close to Charing Cross which is the entry point for road transport from Coimbatore. Originally statrted by European residents with object of raising "English Vegetables at reasonable cost", it was subsequently converted into Botanical Garden of world acclaim. What was before a deep ravine, just below the present Raj Bhavan, covered with sholas, shrubs ans swamps was transformed into an exquiste garden of about 50 acres at his trained hands in a matter of just 10 years.

The steep slopes were converted into walks, terraces and lawns and the lower part was turned into a sprawling undulating lawn of "Kikiyu" grass, the lush magnificance of which is a captivating sight to the visitors. Pond, rockeries, green houses, bowers, nurseries and a conservatory are some of the attractions of this informally laid garden. With over 2000 species of plants and trees from all over the world, the garden is rare treat of delight to the students of botany and connoisseurs of gardening. A grand picnic spot, the garden is one of the best offers for walks, bird watching and photography.

Ooty Lake 
The ooty lake was artificially formed by Johm Sullivan, the founder of Ooty, in 1823-25 by damming the mountain streams flowing down Ooty valley. From just behind the Main Bus Stand (also near the Railway station) the famous Ooty Lake stretches, in an irregular 'L' shape, for about two kilometres in length. At the far end is the Boat House where all kinds of boats are available for hire from eight in the morning to six in the evening. During summer seasons, in May, boat races and boat pageantry are organised on two days at the lake which draw huge crowds. At the boat house end there is children's park with a toytrain. In the adjacent site there is a deer park. A mini-garden is at the bus stand end and a well laid footpath circles the entire lake. Just outside the Boat house local ponies are available for jolly rides at a charge.

Dodabetta 
Dodabetta, means - big mountain , is the second tallest peak (8640 feet) south of the Vindhyas and overlooks the Ooty town from the east. Speculation has it that Sullivan first set eyes on the Ooty valley from this peak and the view down the valley was so breath taking that he decided immediately to establish a township there. On clear days one can get a panoramic view of Ooty and its environs, the various mountain anges that make up the Nilgiris and even the distant Coimbatore plains and Mysore plateau. A telescope has been installed for public viewing. The peak is about 10 kms from Ooty town of the Ooty-Kotagiri road. The winding and steep drive to the peak through natural forests is thrilling. Walking up, by road or bridle path, is also not too difficult. Frequent town bus services are available right upto the peak.

Wenlock Downs 
About eight Kms on the Ooty-Gudalur road are the famous Wenlock downs, the endless grasslans undulating with rare regularity. Once the sacred pastures of the Todas, the sheer expanse of the Down fills one with awe even though the view today is marred by Government plantations of eucalyptus and pine. The Golf Links form part of the Downs which offer excellent spots for picnics and walks.

Cairn Hill 
Situated at about three Kms on the road to Avalache, Cairn hill is one of the surviving original walks. The entire road circling the hill is flanked by dense cypress trees. The clearings underneath them make good picnic spots. the stillness and silence of the cypress woods broken only by the sounds of birds in the surrounding shrubs can be unforgettale experience.

Sixth Mile 
At the sixth mile(about 10 Kms) on the Ooty-Mysore road lies the pleasant stream-site presently dammed into a reservior named after the king-maker of yesteryears in the Indian political arena and a former Cheif Minister of TamilNadu who had an abiding love for the preservation of the Nilgiris. Formerly known as Kavekaddu the woodlands surrounding the site offer several avenues for leisurely strolls. This place is shooting spot for all Regional movie makers.

Tiger Hill 
East of Ooty town on the lower lap of Doddabetta peak lies the picturesque spot of Tiger Hill. A treck of about 3 kms leads to the spot where is also situated one of the drinking water resrvoirs in the town. An almost closed cave in the vicinity is associted with religious legens.

Other Places 

1. Stone House
2. Kallati Falls
3. Golf Links
4. Animal Farm at Titukkal - 5 km away from Ooty
5. Glenmorgan - 20 km away from Ooty on Ooty-Mysore road