Located at a height of 2240m above sea level Ooty is surrounded by hills on all sides. The main four hills in this region are Club Hill, Elk Hill, Dodabetta Hill and the Snowdon Hill. An irreplaceable part of the Western Ghats, Ooty is a place that will capture the imagination of a first timer with its sheer visual grandeur. The vegetation of the Nilgiris differs with the height of the mountains. As the name suggests, the mountains give off a mystique blue appearance, which is sometimes credited for naming the mountains so (Nilgiris translates to Blue Mountains).
If it is tropical forests that cover the foothills of the Nilgiris, you find savannah type grasslands meddled in between and then you find endless stretches of pine trees in some places. If you are visiting Ooty during the monsoon you might be surprised to find a lot of seasonal waterfalls appearing out of nowhere and disappearing into the deep forests below. Ooty has a climate that tilts towards the chilly as the year progresses. But the variations are not so dramatic with a huge difference in the summer and winter temperatures as you find in Northern India.
The summer temperature varies between a maximum of 25 degrees and a minimum of 10 degrees. The winters can get much chillier with a maximum temperature of 21 degrees and a minimum temperature of 4 degrees. Ooty receives an average rainfall of 121 centimeters, with torrential rain lashing at times. Monsoons can become quite unpredictable at times and can catch an unprepared traveler by surprise.
Ooty is accessible from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka all through the year. It is widely connected to all these states through a good network of roads. But the mountain roads can also get pretty nasty during the monsoons, though the chances of getting stranded are close to nil when you compare it with the Himalayas. The climate of Ooty favors the growth of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, like cabbages, carrots, radish, peaches, plums, strawberries; the list is endless. You might also come across a couple of vineyards.
The quality of the fruits and vegetables that you get here is so good that you might come across a few tourists who actually buy these to take it back home with them. If you go deeper into the mountains you are sure to come across a wide range of wild flowers with strong colors.
It is proved that the Western Ghats is home to a wide range of plants that are seen nowhere else in the world. The biodiversity that we see in the Ghats can be viewed only in very few places around the world.
Due to the wide variety of flora and fauna that are present in the Ghats, and the fragility of the eco system, some of the places in Ooty have been declared as protected areas. The local people also chip in and do their part, by banning plastic and preferring recycled paper bags and cloth bags over plastic.