Planning a perfect weekend getaway in South India? Then you can take a little trip to Ooty, also known as the Scotland of the East. As one of the most popular and beautiful travel destinations in South India, there are so many things to do in Ooty that you would never get bored. With beautiful scenery, multiple lakes and viewpoints, and lush vegetation, Ooty is a great weekend option for nature lovers. Sure you’ll have trouble picking up signals in some parts of Ooty, but the signal to Nature is still strong here.
Enjoy a Ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railways
One of the best things to do in Ooty is to take the popular Nilgiri Mountain Railways train ride. Completed by the British in 1908, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005 and attracts many tourists throughout the year.
This mountain railway is the only meter gauge cog railway in India and runs from the city of Mettupalayam to Udagamandalam via Coonoor. But that’s not all, it’s also the steepest track in
Asia and was formerly used by Class X steam locomotives.
This quaint toy train pulls blue and cream wooden wagons for the 46 km long railway. On the way, you will pass many tunnels and different bridges which add a special feeling to this trip. And you also have a nice view of rocky terrain, tea plantations, etc.
That’s why you should do this in Ooty. You have the option to take a ride from Mettupalayam to Ooty or a short ride from Ooty to Coonoor and vice versa.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway has two classes: First Class and Second Class that can be booked online. The first-class ticket price is INR 470, and the second-class ticket price is INR 145. It takes about 5 hours. to complete the journey from Mettupalayam to Ooty, and the train departs at 7:10 am every day.
Return departs from Ooty at 2:00 PM. and it only takes 3.5 hours for the same route. There are 4 timetables available for traveling from Coonoor to Ooty or vice versa, about which you can find more information here. Also, the Mettupalayam to Coonoor route is known to be more scenic than the Coonoor to Ooty route.
Take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens and the Rose Garden
Although we didn’t visit the gardens on our last two visits because we wanted to cover other sites, you can still do so if you want a relaxing excursion. Perfect for nature lovers and botany enthusiasts, this place has so many types of colorful and beautiful flowers that after a while your head will be spinning.
Perfect for a family outing, enjoying a stroll through these gardens and a picnic here is a great way to while away time in Ooty. But if travels here alone or with friends, you might not really like this activity.
In that case, you can skip this and move on to other fun things in Ooty and Coonoor.
Do some day trips from the train stations in Ootyhill
Kotagiri Another thing you can do when planning a trip to Ooty is to do some day trips around Ooty as well. Ooty is surrounded by beautiful places like Coonoor, Kotagiri, etc.
So, it would be a shame if you didn’t visit them during your trip to Ooty. You can easily hire a taxi or explore these places like a local on a bus, depending on how much time you have. Plan at least one day for Kotagiri and one day for Ooty, and start early in the morning so you can cover more.
Both Kotagiri and Coonoor are beautiful and less crowded than Ooty, making them a nice escape from the tourists. You can take a bus or take the Nilgiri mountain railway to Coonoor, which in itself will be an amazing experience.
To Kotagiri, take a bus from the main bus station, which costs around INR 15-20 and takes an hour to get there. Some taxis will take you to Kotagiri and show you around during the day. in INR from 2000.
Enjoy a Shopping Expedition in Ooty
You may not know it, but Ooty is a great place for shopping enthusiasts. As well as producing the most delicious handmade chocolates, Ooty is also famous for tea, coffee, tribal art, essential oils, and cheese products.
This way you can explore the different markets and visit the different shops on Commercial Road to grab some souvenirs to take back home. Trust me if you are staying in Ooty you must bring homemade chocolates for your friends and family.
It’s delicious and trying different chocolate flavors can be so much fun!
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