Sunday, May 8, 2011


     The Nilgiris properly called  “Nila-giri” or blue mountains, an integral part of the great plateau about 35 miles (56 Kilometers) broad and 6,500 feet (975meters)  high  an average, occupying the  junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats. This name is about 850 year old and was given by the inhabitants of the adjoining plain because of the blue haze which envelops he range.
                The Nilgiris range is known for its coffee and tea plantations. Potato is the major cash crop of the district. Chincona products, eucalyptus oil, geranium, scented phenol etc. are also produced here. The District is also noted for its ancient tribes – the Thodas, Kotas, the Kurumbas, the Panias and the Irulas. Uthagamandalam, the Chief Hill station of Tamilnadu is popularly called as OOTY and is described as The Queen of Hill Stations. Not for away are two smaller and quieter hill resorts Coonoor and Kotagiri in the same range.  Reaching Ooty from Mettupalayam by the Swiss Rack Rail Type MOUNTAIN TRAIN is an unforgettable experience.

                This was established in 1847 by  the Marquis of Tweed dale. A variety of exotic and ornamental plants adorn this garden. It  helps the research scholars and students to pursue their studies. In the midst of the garden, just below the mini lake, a fossil tree trunk can be seen which is 20 million  years old. The annul Flower Show of the Agri-Horticulture Department and the Dog Show of the South India Kennel Club are held here.

                It is the highest peak in the Nilgiris and offers beautiful vistas of the hill ranges. Plateaus and plains around. A micro telescope is functioning  here. Bus  service is available from Ooty. It is 10 kms form Udhagamandalam. KALHATTI  WATER FALLS 14 kms from Udhagamandalam.

Ketti Valley view, the Wenlock Downs, are picturesque view points from where one can have a panoramic view of the tea estates, the Coimbatore plains, the charming Ketti Valley, the Mysore Plateau, etc. Avalanche, Mukurthi peak Frog Hill and Pykara Dam are other excursion locales around Udhaamandalam.

                Lying in the Nilgiris district abutting Kerala and Karnataka States, it is situated at an elevation of 885 mts. to 1000 mts. and is 321 sq.kms. in area. Herds of elephant and bison are very commonly seen here. Once of the most primitive mammals in the sanctuary is the scaly ant-eater or pangolin. Other  carnivore include tiger, panther, jackal and hyena. Mongooes, wildcat, civet cat, four-horned antelope, mouse, deer, giant squirrel, barking deer etc. also make the sanctuary their home. Pythons, cobras, rat snakes and saw-scaled viper are commonly seen. A variety of birds like grey jungle fowl, peafowl, spur fowl, grey partridge, quail, golden oriole, night-jar, hill mynah and also peacock can be seen. Mudumalai is 67 kilometers from Udhagamandalam, on the way of  Maysore.

 The tamed elephants are seen a Theppakkadu in the heart of the Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Elephant rides are available here.

                Sim’s Park, Pomological Station,  Lamb’s Rock, Lady Canning’s Seat, Dolphin’s Nose, Ralliah Dam,  Kallar Agricutural farm, Burliar Agricultural farm and Law’s Falls are some of the attractions of Coonoor. Annual fruit show is conducted at Sim’s Park in May every Year. Kothakiri offers KODANAD view poin,  St.Catherine Falls, Rangaswamy pillar.


If Udhagamandalam is rightly called the “QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS”. The Lake is the gem among the attractions of Ooty. Tourists spend more of their time  by the Lake than at any other tourist spot in and around  Ooty. Apart from its scenic beauty, it is an ideal place for physical exercise such as strolling, jogging, running rowing and pony riding. Fishing for sport is also permitted under license from the Assistant Director Fisheries Department, Ooty.
The history  of Ooty Lake is as old as Ooty itself. It is an artificial creation made by bunding a perennial stream flowing through the middle of Ootacamund town. Mr.John Sullivan who founded udhagamandalam in 1819 when he was the Collector of Coimbatore District, of which the present Nilgiris District was a part, constructed this lake by engaging workers brought from the plains. The work was commenced in 1823 and completed in 1825. The present rare course, bus stand, part of the railway yard and the Children’s Garden were all once under water and formed part of the lake. The people of Ooty used this water for drinking upto 1877.
                Ooty Lake  which extends over 65 acre was maintained by the Fisheries Department till 1972. At that time the entire lake was used for fishing alone. Boating on a small scale was introduced and maintained by the Fisheries Department. Government transferred  ownership of Ooty Lake and the surrounding area to the Tourism Department in December 1972. The Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation  took over the lake to develop  it as a major recreation complex. At present there is a big boat jetty. Various types of boats such as row boats, paddle boats and mechanized boas are available here. There is also a Snake Bar. The beautiful lawn is an added attraction. A children’s mini circles the lake offering colorful vistas. 

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