As I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts too, there aren’t many places to see in Ooty town. Most of the places of interest are far from Ooty and worst thing is that all are in different directions. So if you (like me) are looking to cover all the places in a day, you can’t. It’s not the distance, but the terrain and weather that adds to the time taken to travel to these places. After exploring the Pykara Lake, Shooting Point and Pine Forest, it was now time for me to explore the places within the town – Botanical Garden and Dodabetta Peak. Dodabetta peak isn’t exactly in the city, but isn’t that far when compared to other places.
Beautiful Botanical Garden in Ooty
Botanical Garden is one place that you’ll probably find in every city / town in India. Be it the one in Lucknow where I witnessed the flower show last year or the not-so-good garden in Araku. The only highlight is the variety that you get to see there. Every botanical garden is different in its own way and one in Ooty is of a different league. Being a hill station, the Botanical Garden in Ooty has majestic view. Tall trees and lush green gardens are eye-catching. All of this with the awesome weather I experienced has no match. There aren’t many flowers present, but the whole place has vivid colors.
Like all the other places, Botanical Garden in Ooty has entry fee for people and camera. The entry fee I felt is fine (30Rs – adult, 50Rs – camera) considering the maintenance of such a huge park. The park is always crowded so getting a solo photo with vibrant background isn’t easy. Moreover the botanical garden is about 3-4kms for Ooty Railway station. If you have company, you can easily walk to the park passing through the market, charring cross. If you are a photography enthusiast, this place will surely not disappoint. Go ahead and explore the botanical garden in Ooty.
Highest peak in the Nilgiris – Dodabetta Peak in Ooty
Ooty is nested in the Nilgiri range of the western ghats, and is home to the highest peak in the range – Dodabetta. Dodabetta Peak stands tall at almost 2600mts and is one of the most crowded spot in Ooty. Since I visited on a weekend, it was heavily crowded. Moreover, the traffic jam was huge with traffic moving at snail’s pace. We finally decided to get off the car and walk up to the peak. The traffic / parking scenario was even worse at the top. People usually come here to see the sun rise or the sun set. But since I visited during monsoon, this sight was out of question.
Moving to the peak itself. The tourism department has made a nice observatory at the top so that you can get a good view. Even when you aren’t in the observatory you get a decent view. Coonoor at one side and Ooty / Coimbatore at other, the sight is amazing. It’s very windy at the top and extremely chilled especially during monsoons. Glad that there’s a Tea shop at the top serving an array of teas – Black, Green, Oolong, Masala etc. You can get good landscape pictures from here, but not during monsoon. The lighting condition is poor and you can’t see much apart from the clouds. Overall, a must place to visit when in Ooty.
So that was all that I did in Ooty – Pykara Lake, Shooting Point, Pine Forest, Dodabetta Peak and Botanical Garden. Owing to the time crunch, these were the only places that I could visit in Ooty. There are a lot of other lakes, gardens, tea museums that one can visit. I’d suggest to have at least 3 full days to spend in Ooty to enjoy the most. If you think I’ve missed out on anything, please mention in the comments below or tweet to me @atulmaharaj