How do I get to Ooty?
By road - The Bangalore to Ooty road trip takes about 6-7 hours to cover a distance of approximately 275 kms. While on this journey to Ooty, you can stop by at Mysore and the Bandipur National Park on the way. Take the route via Masinagudi and Kalhatty Ghats after that; it involves a few hairpin bends but is about 40 kms shorter than the Salem-Mettupalayam route. However, keep in mind that the national park usually shuts by 6pm so you'll need to time your journey accordingly.
By bus - Getting to Ooty from Bangalore is a mere six hour journey as it is just 275 km away from Bangalore. The short distance, makes travelling to Ooty more convenient from Bangalore. Direct buses are easily available from Bangalore, both private and government operated. Travelling by bus from Chennai to Ooty covers a distance of 556 km and the journey takes only about nine and a half hours. Again, direct buses ply to and fro and are easily available.
By train - Trains are available from both Chennai and Bangalore to the "Queen of Hill Stations". Arrive at Mettupalayam and from here you can take a cab, a bus or a toy train to reach Ooty. The route to Ooty is one of the most scenic routes you'll come across so be sure not to doze off!
By air - Catch a flight from Bangalore or Chennai and land at Coimbatore International airport, which is the closest airport to Ooty. From here, Ooty is about 90 km away. Take a bus or hire a taxi and reach your destination in 3 hours.
How do I get around in Ooty?
Moving in and around Ooty shouldn't be a problem as the most usual means of transport like buses, taxis, autorickshaws, tourist cabs will help you to get across this town to enjoy the many attractions and scenic sights that the place has to offer. Bicycles can also be rented to explore this place in an exciting way.
When's the best time to visit?
If you love nature, then any part of the year would be fine to visit and fall in love with this place. The peak season in Ooty is in May and June. The place has pleasant summers and cool winters. Flower shows can be seen during the month of February and March. To experience the greenery and rainfall, it is best to visit during the monsoons. The summers allow you to enjoy the lush green mountains with its enticing views.
What are the main attractions in Ooty?
If you want to spend some quality time in the midst of nature, then head out to Ooty Botanical Gardens where you can get to see around 650 species of plants and trees. Love roses? Then go check out these red beauties at the Government Rose Garden, a place that is famed for having the largest collection of roses in India. At Ooty Tea Factory you can observe how tea leaves are processed and also buy some tea, to take back home. Have the time of your life while you go for a ride on the famous toy train considered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Heighten your curiosity while you take a tour around "Wax World", a wax museum, home to various life-size wax statues of famous Indian personalities, and gaze upon various indigenous art and craft items, used by the native Toda tribes displayed at the Tribal Museum. The Ooty and the Pykara Lake make perfect havens for boating and soaking in their tranquil, breath-taking views while the magnificent Pykara Waterfalls always captivates your senses with its alluring beauty. Ooty has a number of places where you can enjoy activities like trekking, angling, hang gliding, mountain biking and horse riding. A treat to the eyes are the interesting Toda huts, built using the ethnic architecture of the Todas. Ooty has a number of great places to see, enjoy and cherish. So have a blast while you're here and go back with sweet memories!
What to eat and where?
One can try out the famous Chettinad cuisine, available in various restaurants in and around Ooty. Idli, Dosa, Vada, Sambar, Rasam, Upma, Sweet Pongal, Payasam and Kesari are must-trys. Many local bakeries sell sweet buns and cakes. Savour these and know what it's like to enjoy the little things in life.
You can also get a lovely variety of home-made chocolates-one of the things Ooty is best known for. Ooty is also home to several tea tasting opportunities given the large number of tea plantations in the region. The local wines are not bad either.
There are also many regular restaurants in Ooty that serve great food. Enjoy a delicious meal at Ascot Multi Cuisine Restaurant or head out to Nahar Restaurant for an authentic South Indian cuisine that is purely vegetarian.
What to take back from Ooty?
Famous for its tea plantations, Ooty offers a wide range from black, green, and black and white varieties of tea. Different flavours like masala, jasmine, cardamom and chocolate are available as well. You can also take back aromatic oils like camphor, eucalyptus and citronella. Handmade chocolates, organic cheese and spices like cloves, nutmeg, pepper and cardamom, are some of the things that you shouldn't miss out on. You can also stop by the Green Shop and buy some wonderful tribal crafts and clothes (including Toda embroidery) to take back with you.