Udhagamandalam - "Ooty" - Queen of Hill Station in South India


Tongue Twister ???

Let's say Ooty in a simple tone. Yes, that's the name of this beautiful Hill Station in Nilgiri Hills of Tamilnadu. 

Most of the Family goes to picnic generally on Hill Station, that was the practice from very old time. Because with nature you can easily attach and get relaxation.

As a founding history of Dalhousie, Shimla, Manali hill stations, Ooty also was found by Britishers in 1818. This region was home of 'Toda' community from 1100 CE. When John Sullivan found this nature valley, he wrote a letter to British Thomas Munro, "it resembles Switzerland, more than any country of Europe... the hills beautifully wooded and fine strong spring with running water in every valley."

Here is a Wikipedia link for more digging.

Old Name: Udhagamandalam
Famous Name: Ooty
District: Nilgiris
State: Tamilnadu
Elevation : 2240 meter (7350 feet)
Best time to Visit: October to May
Days required for explore : 3 - 5 Days
Image Source: Tripoto
Let's come to the story. I explored this place alone in January 2017. How I experienced this place, How I planned and How plan executed all these things we will read in this story. From this Trip, I filled up with a lot of memories, clicks, experience and important is I found new friends!

How I Planned :

It was the 6th of January 2017, Friday. It was my training time in the new company and I just left the campus at 6.30 PM. I came to Hotel in Dabaspet (Small Village in Outskirt of Bangalore), as I already thought of to visit somewhere and I did my dinner in thinking. I selected Ooty to visit. I packed my bag immediately and left at 8.15 PM for Bangalore Bus Station which was 50 km from my Hotel. 

With Local Transport, I reached  Bangalore City but where I can get Bus for Ooty was another big task for me. With trust and risk, I followed one gentleman's guidance and reached Mysore Road KSRTC bus stand. Last express bus was left 10.30 PM. There was no next Bus, now I am afraid. What I will do in this Late-night, where to stay for taking morning 6.00 AM bus. But in midst of thinking, the conductor told that last one seat available in Volvo. But fare will be higher and my face sparkled. I booked seat it in 800 INR!  
Route Map - Bangalore to Ooty

There was quote in Gujarat: "Je thase e joyu jashe" means "Johoga wo dekha jayega". With this positive thought I started journey.

But the coming journey was still unplanned and yet full of thrilling and excitement.!

The route goes through Mysore to Ooty. My eyes were opened around 6.30 AM in the morning. Actually, my seat was very first left side next to the entry door. So, I got a clear view directly to the road. When I saw the view, I was so happy! That filled me full of excitement.
Madumalai Tiger Reserve Welcome You !!
Yes! it was the group of Spotted Deer!

The road gets pass through one of the Tiger Reserve of India - Bandipur Tiger National Park. Unfortunately, Tiger was not seen on the route, but I saw Peacock, Spotted Deer, Elephants, Jackals in the route. 

It is often said for Ooty, "This is the place where the Way is more beautiful than the Destination !"

Finally reached to Ooty Bus Stand around 9.00 AM. Now, the task was to find the Hotel. First I roamed around here and there. Called few numbers but hotels with high budget. Suddenly clicked in mind that YHAI Hostel might be here, I searched in google and kudos it was there. I called and confirmed my room. 

There is a Railway station very near to Bus Stand. With curiosity, I visited there first and found that there was a Nilgiri Mountain Railway running from Mettupalayam to Ooty. Only 4 trains in a day from Ooty to Coonoor. I bought the ticket for 12:15 PM train in advance for Ooty to Coonoor. The plan was executing without any pre-planning. And it was going so smooth as butter

Railway Timings
Link for train timings : 

Now, I had to go to my YHAI Hostel. I just started walking to my destination through the local market of Yummy Chocolates! After 30-40 minutes of walking, I reached to the Hostel. There was not a single tourist in YHAI. I was the first and I got a choice to stay. I chose the dormitory room, I freshen up and ready with my Bag to take the experience of Nilgiri Mountain Railway. 
YHAI with Background of Beautiful Hill

(Note: Dormitory Fare: 200 INR and Personal Room Fare: 700 INR for Ooty YHAI)

With few talk of Ooty attractions with Hostel Manager, I got information that one private tour operator operates daily sightseeing bus service. I came down to the road and found one tour operator and I booked Tour No -1. Refer below Photo. Fare Charge: 100 INR for Tour - 1.

Once again I started walking towards the Railway Station. This time I took an auto to reach fast as I didn't know what things will happen at 12.15 PM at the station. 
A Big Big Big Surprise !! A lot of Tourist manifested. Long Queue. I joined fast in the queue waiting for "Queen" to come. At the perfect time, the train came and all tourist welcomed it with screaming and whistling.
Prime Attraction of Ooty Hills
Journey Begins! What a Speed ! 10 km per hour ! Hahaha...
This is the only place where train runs rack track mechanism on a steep gradient on highest trails of Hills in Asia.

Link to train and route details :

It takes around 1 Hour to reach Coonoor.
Coonoor Station
Train Panorama View

Chiki was so crunchy, fresh, tasty and famous at Coonoor Station. Don't forget to take as energy bite.

I came out to the station and started walking in the market. I used the help of Google but hardly 2G connectivity in my BSNL network. I put my mobile in the pocket and asked locals about places. 

I got one name: Wellington. 

I started walking towards there. Almost 3 km in hills. Reached there and the first thing I found in the entrance is Wellington Lake and Museum. Another Big Surprise! No Tourist! I was the only person to visit there! 

"People visit what is on the map, but they miss the real gem located in unpopular attractions." But I found this gem without fail. 
Ticket Fare
A Blogger with Chimpanzee
Different of Stones in Museum Just a Photo 4 understand

My Return train was at 4.00 PM. So, I started walking towards the Railway Station. In between walking I came to a place where my Heartbeat felt proud and my legs turned to that place. 
The Oldest! The Finest!

Yes, It was the oldest regiment in the Indian Army.
Madras Regiment: Establishment Year 1750 
Motto: Swadharme Nidhanam Shreyaha (It is a glory to die doing one’s duty)
War Cry: Veer Madrasi, Adi Kollu, Adi Kollu (Brave Madrasi, kill, hit and kill)

My Country Devotion arose in this hill walk.

One more Martyr of Freedom Fighter statue in the road. Famous Tamil Martyr "Veera Pandiya Kattabomman".

I was walking so fast to reach Coonoor station. Thanked to that local person, who gave me lift and brought me to the station as fast as possible. 
From the same walk path

It's almost 3.40 when I reached to Station. A Perfect going and connecting things happening from yesterday night. Everything was arranged in an unplanned time frame.

The back route to Ooty by train was the same trail but this time cold waves have taken its turn. It's wintertime and I wore my windcheater and cap. It was almost 8-10 C at that time.

Reaching to destination through Tunnels and beautiful evenings are so romantic and enjoying. That's why Ooty is a place for the newly married couple's first choice. !

It's almost 6.00 PM while I reached to Ooty. I roamed in the local market and bought varieties of Chocolates. I bought a roller Travel Bag in just 350 INR. 

I was thinking that, at this time if I was at home then I would have doing my monotonous office work or checking whatsapp stories but instead of that ridiculous habit, I was doing travelling.
Because I feel travelling is life.

Hand Bag

After taking dinner in the market, I was on the way back to my Hostel and it was nearly 8.30 PM and totally horrible scene. Very few persons were roaming on the road.

This is the tourist attraction board I found on the road while going back to the Hostel !
Really Awesome! Enchanting Tamil Nadu! Really ...

When I reached to Hostel, some school students came from Chhatisgarh for the trip. And I got dormitory partners. Some casual talk and I got to sleep. Tired! but enjoyed a day and worth it!

Good Night All !!

We will continue our story on next blog part 2! It is a more exciting and superb experience! Stay Tuned.

Link for Part 2 : Click HERE

Note: All the photographs are taken by the blogger. 

Any question regarding the blog can be asked in the comment section.

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  1. Ooti!
    I am greatful that I just search for travel in nilgiri and found this blog. it is an amazing.
    Thank you brother for share your memories.
    Actually our group is planning to visit after lockdown which seaseon is better?

    1. Thank you so much that I satisfied your need of travel by blog guidance. Best season to visit is October end to May.

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  2. Yeah I read....
    I think after explore Gujarat, next state should be Tamil nadu 😁

    Bye the way great blog....

    मजा आ गया 😷🤠🍾

    1. Surely, all India is my travel map. We will take Tamilnadu as next trip state.

  3. Wow!! It’s beautiful.. you are doing a great job.. glimpse of India at one place.. keep doing #encouraging work👌

  4. I always gave first priority to Tamilnadu and Kerala for explore the nature.
    People are there very honest and helpful.
    Such a very great place to visit specially youngsters

    I like travel blogs.
    Thank you.

    1. I like to travel. Keep travelling and feel the India.

  5. That was awesome enough to inspire me to plan my next trip..Thanks for sharing your experiences...

    1. Thank you buddy, you are a real life inspiration for me also. All the best for next trip.

  6. Nice blog. It helps some one to plan their trip.

    1. Right, then it would be success in my intention. Anyone can ask me any questions. Welcome

  7. Thanks for your valuable information shared on this site.This information very useful to me.
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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. A tour to Kerala is once in a lifetime experience which mesmerizes the visitors with it tranquility and beauty
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