OOTY

 

Ooty is a very popular hill station in the Nilgiris. The easiest way to get there is via Coimbatore, but if u really want the "Ooty experience" you must take the toy train from Mettupalayam !!  It costs Rs.30 per head last I checked, but there is a heavy rush so you gotta pre-book the tickets. Ooty is famous for its tea gardens, lofty mountains, dense forests and the insanely tall eucalyptus trees. How adventurous you are kinda always defines how much you enjoy a place.




The toy train is an experience in itself! It take almost 6 hours to reach Ooty for the 30 odd Kms !! It slowly goes through the twists and turns.



Finding accommodation in Ooty isn'y tough. You get rooms in hotels for Rs500 - Rs.2500. But I'll recommend you get a cottage. A cottage costs around Rs.2500 per day for a 2 bedroom,hall and kitchen setting. The cottage owners also arrange for tours so you can be sure you wont miss out on anything at the same time you get to spend as much time as you want where you want to!! The tour operators charge Rs.5000 for the entire experience over 3 days.


On the not to adventurous, but most certainly bollywood style romantic note, you should consider visiting the Ooty lake, Rose Garden and the Botanical Gardens. They are located in the town and can be easily reached.  The Doddabetta peak is the highest peak in Ooty, sight to see, especially if you manage to reach there during dusk and enjoy the glorious colors of the sky and the forests below.








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The pine forest has featured in many movies and you could visit it for the heck of it! Though the forest does lead to a lake, the view is simple amazing. The lofty trees form a canopy high above which looks amazing from higher up. But while you are in the forest you can enjoy running down the mountain slope. Just make sure you dont run into a tree !!



Now on a more adventurous note, if you are the kind who likes to do things and just see things! Say hello to the Mudumalai National Park and Hand Gliding!! :D Mudumalai is a Tiger reserve. You can go for a jungle safari that is run by the forest department, cost Rs.200 per head if my memory serves me right. Try going there a little early coz there is always a crazy rush there! The safari will most certainly lead to encounters with Elephants (they really love the roads!)  and if you are lucky you might encounter the Bengal tigers and Leopards. This is apart from the scores of other birds and animals!




Kalahatty in the mountains is famous for hand gliding and if worth the trouble of getting to it !!


And then there are the never ending tea gardens. You can buy some really good tea for crazy cheap prices! We spent an hour at the gargen, strolling around with a cup of tea in the cold. The tea for some reason felt insanely yum! I guess that happens when the outside temperatures are close to 10 degrees !




Make sure you enjoy the chocolates too !!

Mohit Sinha