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Places to visit in Ooty

Queen of Hills, Ooty, is one of the most visited hill stations in South India. Undeniably long time Bollywood favorite destination, which reflects in many superhit movie songs filmed in Ooty. A landscape so unique that sets it apart from other hill stations. You cannot go wrong, if you have planned your visit here. Here is a blog from my own visit to Ooty covering “Places to visit in Ooty”.

This was our first visit to this wonderous land, though a short one, we managed to cover few amazingly beautiful places which holds the uniqueness of the place. I am going to list down the Top places you must add in your visit list, along with all the other options that are available. But please note, May and June months get overly crowded, so better to keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

Top 5 Places you must not miss in Ooty

1. Pine Tree Forest

The pristine Pine Tree Forest in Ooty is one of its kind. Beautiful sky reaching pine trees with uniquely shaped leaves pointing outwards is a treat to behold. Just about 10 Kms from the main city, is a must visit destination, if you enjoy being amidst nature.

Pine Tree Forest! PC: Nutan Singh

We drove from our then location, Hotel Lakeview Resort, which took about 15-20 mins to reach. Driving in hilly roads of Ooty was surprisingly a pleasant experience. The way the landscape changes every minute kept our minds engaged. We parked our vehicle at the very entrance and went straight to the ticket counter. We wanted to be there for Sunset.

It’s a good place if you cherish some cinematic portraits. Evening golden light turned this already magical place into a picture-perfect location. A place that will definitely serve you several Images and Videos for your favorite Insta Post / Reel. Once you are inside, you will notice there is a beautiful lake too. The word forest, had me wondering if I should carry my big lens inside. I did and was not disappointed.

Greeted by a Common Sandpiper

Pykara Travelers Info

Timing: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Distance from City: About 10 Kms from City and takes roughly 20 mins to reach.

Ticket Price: Rs. 5 per Adult and Rs. 30 per Camera

Parking: Available in Open with no additional parking charges

Time Required: Min 2 hrs

Bollywood Connection: Song “Gajab Ka Hai Din” from movie “Qayamat-se-Qayamat Tak” was shot in the woods here.

Birding Option: Moderate but Yes

Recommended time to visit: Sunset (Beauty of any natural place gets multiple fold at Sunrise or Sunset. Since, the entrance is permitted only at 08:00 AM, I feel Sunset made more sense to catch that golden hour light).

Though, this was not the first spot we visited in Ooty, due to various reasons, this definitely is one of the topmost places one must visit when in Ooty.

2. Wenlock Downs Ooty

The next item in the list is none other than the Wenlock Downs. You would immediately connect with this place when you see it. Will remind you of another Bollywood hit, Raja Hindustani, which was shot here. This idyllic location is so pristine that it will become difficult to keep track of time. We came here on our last day of Ooty, we were in rush. We had to reach B.R.T. Tiger Reserve, which was another close to heart destination, an extended vacation TBH.

Wenlock Downs

The rolling hills and those vast stretchy grassy fields were the first things that we noticed after we entered through the main gate. There are some nominal ticket charges here. It can get really windy here though, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry that extra warm wind cheater. Morning weather was perfect for a pleasing sunbath.

Here is a tribute to the famous 90’s song “Pahla Nasha”

Hills at Wenlock Downs

Timing: 09:00 AM to 06:30 PM

Distance from City: About 15 Kms and takes about 40 mins to reach

Ticket Price: If I remember correctly, I had to pay for Rs. 25 for Camera, else, there were no other entry charges as such.

Parking: Available in Open with no additional parking charges.

Time Required: Min 1 hr, though, for a Photo enthusiast like us, even 2.5 hrs that we spent was not enough.

Bollywood Connection: Raja Hindustani

Birding Option: Next to none.

Recommended time to visit: We visited in the morning and were perhaps the first one to reach. But, I believe, the golden hour of evening would turn this place into a real magical experience, as in the morning by the time it opens, you are already too late to catch the morning golden hour.

3. Tea Garden

This is one fun family destination. Tea Garden opens its doors and welcomes travelers to enjoy it’s humongous Tea Garden and allows one to take pictures and videos for memories. There are even costumes available who wants to get that tea harvester look in their photos. One can even take help of professional photographer available at the Garden to get the picture perfect at some nominal cost. Charges are Rs. 10/- per ticket, which serves you the entry in to this beautiful garden along with a complimentary Tea from the Garden Tea Leaves.

Majestic view of Teagarden

A red whiskered bulbul stole the show.

Red Whiskered Bulbul
Red Whiskered Bulbul

Timing: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Distance from City: About 15 Kms

Ticket Price: Rs. 10/- per adult with a complimentary inhouse Tea

Parking: Available in Open with no additional parking charges.

Time Required: About an Hour should be sufficient.

Bollywood Connection: None

Birding Option: Next to none.

Recommended time to visit: We visited during daytime, and it was pleasant. Evenings during sunset also could be a good option.

4.  Doddabetta Peak

After a disappointing visit to Botanical Garden, on a rainy morning, we were wondering what our next destination should be. We decided to go to Doddabetta Peak and soon we were on the roads. It was a pleasant drive of about 20 minutes from Botanical Garden. When we reached, we were already hungry and were missing that morning coffee badly. We did not waste our time to have some breakfast and a satisfying coffee near parking. The peak has ample amount of parking space available.

While we were having breakfast, noticed a Nilgiri Laughing thrush making its presence felt in a nearby branch. Felt like quickly jumping to my car and grabbing my big lens to get some frames, but then it was gloomy and dark, plus had made up mind not to carry big lens for a break here and concentrate on getting some wide frames for the video of the place. I guess, its always a fight between the Tele and Wide.

After buying the entry tickets, we reached the viewpoint. The view it offers is completely magical. The panoramic landscape from the peak is a real treat to eyes. Though, this place gets crowded as day progresses, but if visited early morning, one can have a peaceful experience. There is a giant telescope at the peak to get a closeup view from the peak. Plenty of eatery options at the entrance is a perfect place to have that local breakfast. There is an outlet at the entrance where you can get amazing coffee. It gets extremely chilly and windy, warm clothes are a most, especially in the morning hours.

View from Doddabetta Peak

Timing: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Distance from City: About 7 Kms

Ticket Price: Rs. 10/- per adult with a complimentary inhouse Tea

Parking: Available in Open with no additional parking charges.

Time Required: About an Hour should be sufficient.

Birding Option: Yes. One can even opt for Trekking through the rugged winding paths. But, to do this, you may need a guide. A saw a foreign couple who were there with a naturalist. They were more interested in birding. Perhaps, soon in the next visit.

Recommended time to visit: We visited during daytime, and it was pleasant. Evenings during sunset also could be a good option.

5. Pykara Boating Point

We visited this place on our last day, before heading out to K. Gudi Wilderness Camp. As the name suggests, this place is meant for boating. If you are not interested in boating, then there is not much for you here. However, one can choose to go to Pykara lake and Pykara dam, if boating is not in the list. Though, one can enjoy the view it offers, a wide view of the lake.

Pykara Boating Point

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To summarize, let me answer few basic questions one may have when visiting Ooty.

How far is Ooty from Bangalore?

Distance between Bangalore to Ooty is about 265 kms and is around 6 to 7 hrs drive.

How to Reach Ooty?

Ooty can be reached by Road, either by Public Transport – Cab and Bus or one can drive. If you are travelling from Bangalore, please check my blog “Bangalore to Ooty by Road” for route suggestions and other required information.

How many days are required to visit Ooty?

Recommended would be to spend at least 3 Nights and 4 days in Ooty to cover major tourist attractions. However, if you have visited earlier, 2 Nights and 3 days would give you enough time to cover major tourist attractions.

Is 2 days enough for Ooty?

To be honest, answer is a big NO. Each of the famous attractions are set at quite a distance from each other and each destination requires at least 2 hours to enjoy properly. At the end of the day, you will find rushing from place to place.

How far is Coonoor from Ooty?

Distance between Coonoor to Ooty is about 21 kms and is around 1 hour drive from Ooty.

What places to visit in Ooty?

Places to see or visit when in Ooty:
– Pine Tree Forest
– Wenlock Downs
– Tea Garden
– Doddabetta Peak
– Pykara Boating Point

Where to stay in Ooty?

For stay one can consider Tranqville Resorts, Taj, Sterling Ooty Elk Hill, Sterling Fern Hill, SaffronStays Milton Abott Estate etc. However, I would recommend, if you have more than two nights of stay, recommended would be to book a stay in Coonoor. Coonoor is about 25 kms from Ooty, but the view it offers is absolutely raw in good way. Beautiful hills, close to nature, romantic skies, and what not. Coonoor leaves you with that feeling.

During our visit, we stayed at Hotel Lakeview Resort. It’s a beautiful property with 123 cottages which are basically independent Villas. Ooty lake is just about 1.5 km from the hotel. Each villa has a small sit out in front with two chairs. The Villa is quite huge which offers a living hall and a bedroom. Cleanliness is decent enough. One can spend some quite time within the property. Some options to take pictures in and around the villa. The only drawback was the surroundings did not match the vibe of the resort mostly due to littering here and there. Added note, on Web noticed some mention about Paranormal activities within the property, but we did not notice anything as such. Review by one of the Guests at TripAdvisor.

Hotel Lakeview Review by a Guest

Look for other properties

Other Places that one can visit once in Ooty

1. Ooty Lake Boating Point

One can have a pleasant time with family in the lake. Multiple boating options are available. Though, cleanliness could have been little better. Overall, it’s a nice place to hang out, especially when paddle boating. Will remind you of your childhood days. The famous song “Maine Pyar Kiya” was shot here.

2. Botanical Garden

It’s a huge, beautiful garden with lot of Photo options. But our luck was not on our side when we reached. It was a gloomy morning and had been raining from quite some time. I had plans for birding here, but then had to drop it due to bad weather. There is a parking place available nearby in Tibetan Market nearby. We parked our car there and bought our tickets to the park. But, due to the weather, we were out in just about 15 minutes. One can spend quite sometime here and a worthy addition to places to visit in Ooty.

Botanical Garden

3. Rose Garden

This is a must visit for rose lovers. Bed of roses spread in the vast field offers a picturesque backdrop. A good addition to the places to visit in Ooty.

4. Avalanche Lake

Now this is one beauty that we actually couldn’t make it to due to limited time we had, plus it was totally in the opposite direction of the other spots from our list. But according to the locals that we spoke to, this place is worth adding in your must visit list, once in Ooty. Perhaps, in our next visit, when we stay in Coonoor, we will get to cover this.

It got its name from the very history that it was created by a massive landslide, hence Avalanche. Known for various activities like Camping, Rafting, Nature Walk exploring the flora and fauna in the area.

This place is situated about 20 Kms from the city. Activities like Birding, apart from Sight Seeing, Adventure sports, Trekking, Nature Walk, etc. can be done here. Perhaps half a day to a full day, depending on the activities one wants to cover will be required.

5. Emerald Lake

This place again, would make more sense, if stay is in Coonoor, as other sightseeing places are in a totally different direction. But nothing stops one to cover from Ooty either.

6. Pykara Lake and Pykara Dam

Pykara Lake and Dam are nearby. Though, we crossed this spot multiple times, we couldn’t gather enough strength to go to these places looking at the crowd. We felt totally ok to give this place a pass.

That’s it from the places to visit in Ooty from my blog.

After having a wonderful two night and three days stay in Ooty, it was time for us to head to our next destination, K Gudi Wilderness Camp. Here are two blogs that I posted earlier from K Gudi Wilderness Camp.

Important to Remember

  1. Kalahatti Ghat is not open to outside vehicles while descending. However, outside vehicles are permitted to take the hill up.
  2. While returning, by default google will suggest descending via Kalahatti Ghat. One needs to exit via Pykara lake route.
  3. While exiting via Pykara Lake route, google will again suggest a muddy road, just stick to the main highway without taking the diversion.

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How I? Series Archives – PankajSinghPhotographie

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Check out our Travel experience to another JLR property, Kali Adventure Camp || Dandeli by my travel partner Nutan Singh.

Gears used in the Trip

Sony A7M3

Sony Fe 200-600Mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS Telephoto Zoom Lens (White)

Canon EOS 80D

Sigma Sports 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras (Black)

Go-Pro Hero Black 7

Iphone 11 Pro and Iphone 13 for wide shots



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