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Things to do in Ooty
Things to do in Ooty (courtesy: fayizmusthafa)

Nestled amidst the heavenly Nilgiri Hills in the lap of the verdant Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu is this lovely paradise, Ooty. Popularly known as the “Queen of the Hill Stations”, Ooty, a beautiful and romantic destination in India, has forever attracted travelers from all across the nation.

Not only does it have gardens and museums that exude family vibes, but this place simultaneously works best for all who wish to try their hand at a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities.

Featuring a perfect blend of modernism with traditions, Ooty offers a pristine environment and gorgeous setting for nature lovers and is bestowed with scenery, viewpoints, and several lakes for travelers looking to dive into its vibe.

For locals and tourists alike, there are umpteen number of things to do in Ooty that will keep you engaged and occupied throughout your trip. While you can always indulge yourself in the usual sightseeing and other must-visit attractions, there are a few out-of-the-box things that you shouldn’t miss at any cost.

Right from the soothing boat trips to experiencing the tribal life in Toda Huts, from learning about the tea making process to trying out homemade chocolates at the Main Bazaar to the several adventure activities such as trekking, camping, and hiking, this hill station has almost a bit of everything for all types of people.

Here is a list of some fun things to do in Ooty for all those who want to make the most of their trip and fill their Ooty tour with many once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

1. Enjoy a Fun Railway Ride in the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train

Get ready to experience the most fun and joyful railway ride of your life with the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train. Offering a pleasant view of the lush green hills, picturesque valleys, forested landscapes, and verdant meadows from the window seat, the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train, commonly known as Ooty Toy Train, invites people to witness the sheer beauty of the Nilgiris in its own way.

It is the best mode of transport to travel from Mettupalayam to Ooty and presents its tourists with a kind of experience that is hard to get anywhere else.

Popular among holidaymakers of all ages, especially children, the Ooty Toy Train passes through 16 tunnels, 208 steep curves, and 250 beautiful bridges to cover a total distance of approximately 46 Km in 5 hours.

Built in 1908 by the Britishers, this century-old UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you through the best of nature with a glimpse of lovely mountain ranges and picture-worthy sites.

The overall scenery you get to see on this spectacular journey is simply breathtaking! And the best part is, it makes you forget everything about the destination as you go up from 300 feet to 7200 feet, thus giving you a chance to travel altogether with a different feeling.

  • Entry Fee: INR 205 per person for first class, INR 30 per person for second class, and INR 15 for unreserved category.
  • Timings: The departure time of the train from Mettupalayam to Ooty is at 7:10 AM every day and from Ooty to Mettupalayam, it is at 2:00 PM every day.
  • Distance: 2 Km from Ooty Centre
  • Exploration Time: 5-6 Hours

2. Admire the Natural Beauty and Cascading Waterfalls at Dolphin’s Nose

Witness the lush green tea estates and the delightful view of the mountains from the hilltop location at Dolphin’s Nose. Nestled amidst the rolling hills, the Dolphin’s Nose creates a picture-perfect setting for a much-needed getaway and offers a jaw-dropping view of the Catherine Falls.

A preferable destination for tourists to soak in the serenity and admire the surrounding beauty, Dolphin’s Nose catches the attention of people from all walks of life. It is a delightful treat for nature buffs and is no less than a heaven for adventure junkies as well.

The blue mountain ranges and the spectacular landscapes are hard to miss here and the fresh breeze blowing your hair lets you relax soulfully, far away from the chaotic life. Unlike other tourist places to visit in Ooty, this famous attraction remains less crowded and is bestowed with excellent weather conditions so you can have a fun-filled day out with your family.

Walk hand-in-hand with your loved ones to overlook the 180-degree view of the adjoining scenery. Here you can also watch the sunrise or sunset to soothe your eyes with breathtaking scenery. Positioned at an altitude of 1,550 meters above sea level, this attraction is just a stroll away from Lady Canning’s Seat and has also become an ideal picnic spot for locals as well.

  • Entry Fee: INR 15 per person
  • Timings: Open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 12 Km from Coonoor, 10 Km from Coonoor Railway Station, 24 Km from Ooty
  • Exploration Time: 1 Hour

3. Discover the Exotic Flavours of Tea at the Tea Museum

Treat yourself to an exciting weekend getaway at Tea Museum. Also referred to as Ooty Tea Factory, the Tea Museum is a famous scenic point for all interested in exploring the amazing tea garden on their Ooty tour and is indeed a must-visit destination for tea lovers.

Situated adjacent to the Doddabetta Tea Factory, the Ooty Tea Museum boasts of an excellent location with lush-green tea plantations encircling the area. It’s a place where you can learn everything about the evolution of tea from origin to the present. It’s a place where you can indulge yourself in the aroma of fresh tea leaves and see how it is being brewed. It’s a place where you can see how your everyday morning cup of tea is prepared.

The magnificent Nilgiri mountains take you one step closer to nature and the emerald tea fields please your senses with enchanting views. Owing to its surreal setting and pleasant atmosphere, the museum draws thousands of people from everywhere and has become the best attraction for wanderers as well.

When you leave this place, you’ll definitely fall in love with tea and would want to sip it for a lifetime. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the in-house souvenir shop and buy a diverse range of tea back home. Other than that, the shop also sells a variety of teacups and tea plates at pocket-friendly prices.

  • Entry Fee: INR 250 per person
  • Timings: Open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 5.5 Km from Ooty Centre and Ooty Railway Station
  • Exploration Time: 1 Hour

4. Walkthrough the Ooty Botanical Gardens

Be sure to take some time off for the Botanical Gardens in Ooty when you’re on your Ooty tour. Home to 650 plus species of different flowers and trees, the Government Botanical Garden is a well-maintained, well-organized garden where you can enjoy astounding colorful natural beauty at its best along with overlooking the verdant landscapes at its backdrop.

Perfect for sightseeing lovers, fun seekers, and photographers, the Government Botanical Garden invites people to have a fun-filled day out amid lush greenery. Situated on the slope of the famous Doddabetta Peak, the garden serves as an idyllic destination for all who fancy spending some time away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. It is a great place to discover a rare species of exotic plants and is definitely a go-to place for a half-day excursion.

Sprawling across 55 hectares of land, the Government Botanical Garden is mainly divided into 5 sections named as a Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, The Conservatory, and the Nurseries. It boasts an array of spectacular lawns, exotic woods, man-made ponds with lilies, orchids, flowering plants of over 50,000 varieties, and several medicinal herbs.

Other highlights of this park include a fossil tree that is supposed to be 20 million years old and Toda Hill that gives a glimpse of the lifestyle and culture of the Toda tribe.

Another point of interest of the Ooty Botanical Garden is its flower show which is successfully organized as a part of the summer festival of Ooty in May month every year. It is a 2-day affair that showcases a magnificent collection of flowering plants, thus attracting approximately 1,50,000 tourists from different corners of the world. So, don’t miss it if you happen to visit this romantic hill station during that time.

  • Entry Fee: INR 30 per person for adults, INR 15 per person for children
  • Timings: Open from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM on all days
  • Distance: 2.5 Km from Ooty
  • Exploration Time: 2-3 Hours

5. Take a Joyful Boat Ride at the Ooty Lake

Your trip to Ooty won’t be complete if you didn’t take some time out to experience the joy of boating in the Ooty Lake. Spread over an area of 65 acres of land, Ooty Lake, also known as the Ooty Boat House, is one of the prime attractions of this hill station where you can enjoy leisure evenings with your loved ones in a serene and peaceful atmosphere, backed with Eucalyptus trees, Nilgiri ranges, and lush-greenery in the background.

Boating is the major attraction of this Ooty Lake and it lures thousands of tourists from all around the world every year. You can also choose to hire Paddle Boats, Motor Boats, and Rowing Boats from the boathouse to explore the nearby areas of this beautiful lake. Other must-to-do activities at the lake include horse riding, cycling, and photography.

There is also an amusement park along with a Deer Park for the entertainment of children. What else? Kids can also take a mini-train ride to have a quick tour of the lake as well as the park. All-in-all, it won’t be wrong to say that it is a good place to have a fun-filled day out with your family and to get immersed in the blissful environment that nature offers.

  • Entry Fee: INR 10 per person for Indians, INR 560 per person for foreigners
  • Timings: Open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 1 Km from Ooty Bus Stand, 2 Km from Ooty
  • Exploration Time: 3-4 Hours

6. Indulge Yourself in Photography at the Pykara Lake

Treat your eyes to the gorgeous waterfalls at Pykara Lake. A must-visit sightseeing place in Ooty, Pykara Lake presents its tourists with an exceptional experience, with the tall pine trees and a thick lush green cover at its backdrop.

The tranquility of the surroundings allows people to relax, unwind and de-clutter their mind, far away from the overcrowded areas and the unmissable scenic beauty encourages you to take some jaw-dropping photographs from different angles to bring some memories back home. It is undoubtedly a great spot for all those who love to click pictures and can also be visited by nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and wanderers as well.

Here you can also enjoy a short stroll with your partner, go for a perfect boating experience, or simply opt for hiking to add some adventurous flavor to your trip. The Pykara Lake is also considered as a preferred destination for families to have a picnic. In fact, you can say that it is blessed with almost everything one can ever ask for right from the pleasant atmosphere to ambiance and comfort.

So, whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or with family, this is one such place that you should not miss on your Ooty tour.

  • Entry Fee: INR 10 per person
  • Timings: Open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on all days
  • Distance: 24 Km from Ooty Centre
  • Exploration Time: 2 Hours

7. Trek to the Doddabetta Peak

Lush greenery, picturesque beauty, romantic setting, and Nilgiri mountains along with a tranquil environment create a picture of a much-needed getaway. A visit to Doddabetta Peak lets you not just loosen yourself free in a magical setting but also offers several recreational activities so that you can bring out the best of adventure in you.

Strategically located between Eastern and the Western Ghats and at a distance of 10 KM from the heart of Ooty, the Doddabetta Peak is a great sightseeing place for couples as well as families. It allows you to immerse into the oasis of the stunning beauty of the nearby areas which are usually encompassed with dense forests, and on sunny days, when the sky is clear as crystal, one can also see as far as Mysore.

A haven for hikers, Doddabetta Peak, perched at an altitude of 8606 feet, is the highest mountain in South India that presents its tourists with a panoramic view of the verdant vistas as you reach the top. The unrivaled beauty of the countryside from this picturesque peak allures everyone’s eyes, thus making it an exquisite point for tourists to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Nilgiri hills.

Once you reach atop the mountain, you’ll find a telescope from where you can observe the beautiful skyline of Ooty and witness the marvelous vistas of Bandipur National Park. The viewpoint can be easily accessed via vehicle or on foot, so you don’t have to worry in case you’re traveling with someone who cannot pass through a spectacular trail of 3 KM on their own.

  • Entry Fee: INR 6 per person for people above 5 years of age; there is no entry fee for kids under 5 years.
  • Timings: Open from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 10 Km from Ooty Centre, 8.7 Km from Ooty Railway Station
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 Hours

8. Spend a Day Chilling at the Emerald Lake

Revel in the Picturesque Beauty of the Emerald Lake in Ooty. Nestled in Emerald Village in between the blue hills of Nilgiris, Emerald Lake invites people to dwell in a peaceful and calm atmosphere of this famous tourist attraction and offer a serene setting so that you can relax in the lap of nature, far away from the crowded areas of the hill station. It is a famous spot for people looking to do some romantic things in and around Ooty and has a kind of environment that makes the overall experience worthwhile for you.

Visit the lake in the early morning to witness the hues of the sunrise and give a kick-start to your day. And say goodbye to the sun in the evening to perfectly end your day with a view to die for. If interested and have time, you can also try your hand at a diverse range of adventure activities near the lake. These include Fishing, Mountain Biking, Trekking, and Bird Watching.

Known to soothe your soul, the Emerald Lake is frequently visited by nature lovers and is also an all-time favorite destination for solo travelers, couples, families, a group of friends, and among those on a one-day tour. Here you can also purchase a variety of tea products along with engaging in photography since the location has the best backdrop for beautiful clicks.

You can also carry your picnic basket to create some unforgettable memories with your children. Or if you wish to do nothing other than just laze around on the lake, it’s better to sit with your pastime book and read in tranquility.

  • Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit Emerald Lake in Ooty
  • Timings: Open from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 20 Km from Ooty Centre and Ooty Bus Stand
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 Hours

9. Experience a Spiritual Retreat at St. Stephen’s Church

If you’re interested in spending some ME time at a place surrounded by peace and spirituality, St. Stephen’s Church can be the right place to visit in Ooty. Situated on the road to Mysore in the hill station, St. Stephen’s Church is the oldest church in the Nilgiri district that redefines its charm in its own way, thus appealing to visitors and tourists from all across the nation.

It is a wonderful house of worship for people who believe in Christianity and can also be visited by other religions of people. Widely known for adorning elegant and intricate architecture, the church offers a tranquil atmosphere to calm your restless mind and has positive vibes to let you experience a holy retreat.

Here you can take a walk in the garden which is all decked up with numerous flowers to enhance the beauty of this church or simply choose to capture some fun pictures of yours – to make it memorable for you and your family members as well.

Don’t forget to visit this church on special occasions especially on Christmas. The overall ambiance looks colorful and vibrant in the month of December every year.

  • Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit St. Stephen’s Church in Ooty.
  • Timings: Open from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on all days except Sunday
  • Distance: 1.5 Km from Ooty Centre, 2 Km from Ooty Bus Stand, 1.9 Km from Ooty Railway Station
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 Hours

10. Enjoy Safari at Mudumalai National Park

Visiting the Mudumalai National Park for a safari ride is undoubtedly the highlight of everyone’s trip to Ooty. With so much to see and do throughout the day, it is a place where you can leverage the benefits of the world’s best safari with unexpected twists and turns.

One can choose from Bus Safari, Jeep Safari, or an elephant safari to explore the surrounding area of the wildlife reserve. You can also opt for the nighttime safari tour to add more adventure to your visit. All the options are equally fascinating and rewarding. So, you don’t have to worry about anything.

The most sought-after tourist destination happens to be on the north-western side of the Nilgiri mountains, Mudumalai National Park or Mudumalai Tiger Reserve boasts more than 500 different species of endangered creatures including animals, birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and thousands of insects. In addition to this, you also get to see majestic Elephants, Deer, and Langurs roaming freely inside the park.

Famous for its tiger population, the wildlife reserve is considered as the popular wildlife habitat in South India that provides breathtaking and captivating scenery for anyone who appreciates nature. It is a place where you can soak in the gorgeous greenery and uncover a variety of hidden forests on your way.

A must-visit tourist destination for wildlife lovers, the Mudumalai National Park promises to deliver the best safari experience to all its tourists and allows you to be one step closer to nature.

  • Entry Fee: INR 30 per person; however, there will be an extra charge for a safari ride.
  • Timings: Open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 29 Km from Ooty Centre
  • Exploration Time: 4-5 Hours

11. Visit the Pine Tree Forests to Recollect the Old Bollywood Movies Memories

All Bollywood buffs who wish to get the same feeling of walking through the dense pine forests just like the famous directors show us in the movies can head to the Pine Tree Forests in Ooty.

Widely recognized as the popular shooting spot in the Nilgiri district, the Pine Tree Forests are beautifully captivated by the vast landscapes of the Nilgiri hills and have soaring pines complemented by the jaw-dropping sights of the mountains and magical setting, thus making it the best place for filming various movies.

Several Hindi movies such as Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Dil Se, Sadma, Khuda Gawah, etc., have been shot here. Other than that, this location has also been featured in a Tamil Song “Dheena”. That means it won’t be wrong to say that the vicinities of these forests are quite famous among the Bollywood as well as Kollywood Film Industry and the entire location works as a cherry on the ice cream for many scenes.

Owing to its popularity, the Pine Tree Forests catches the attention of people from all around the world and is frequently visited by locals and tourists for recollecting those old Hindi movies memories. So, don’t miss it whenever you plan a holiday to the Queen of hill stations. One visit to Pine Tree Forests would be enough to feel drenched in a sense of excitement.

  • Entry Fee: INR 5 per person
  • Timings: Open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 7.8 Km from Ooty Centre
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 Hours

12. Seek Blessings at Elk Hill Murugan Temple

If you are bored of seeing the lakes, gardens, and waterfalls in Ooty and you’re in search of a place that can offer you a completely different atmosphere, you should pave your way towards the Elk Hill Temple.

Perched atop the Elk Hill, the Elk Hill Murugan Temple is a famous Hindu Temple in Ooty that offers holy and divine vibes to the devotees of Lord Murugan. Widely renowned for its pleasant setting and a resplendent backdrop, the prime highlight of this shrine is the 40-feet tall statue of the presiding deity that can be observed by the tourists at the entrance of the temple.

It is a spectacular sight to behold and hence, attracts pilgrims from far and wide. Other idols such as Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Nava Kanika, Goddess Shakthi, etc., can also be worshipped within the premises of this place.

Encompassed by dense forests, panoramic vistas, and gorgeous landscapes, the calm and composed environment of the Elk Hill Murugan Temple enhances the overall beauty of this site and one can also witness a 360-degree view of the complete Ooty town from the top location of the temple. In addition to this, Elk Hill also features rich wildlife and abundant nature to give you another reason to make a visit to this temple.

Thaipusam is the major festival that is celebrated with great zest and endeavor at the temple in between the period of late January and early February. On this particular day, devotees from across the nation present large containers filled with milk as an offering to Lord Murugan. Few of the pilgrims also bring a carrier all decked up with flowers and peacock feathers on their way to the temple. You can also enjoy the Kavadi Attam, which is a form of dance at this event.

  • Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit
  • Timings: Open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM onwards
  • Distance: 2.3 Km from Ooty Centre, 4 Km from Ooty Railway Station
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 Hours

13. Head to the Wax World Museum to Learn about Indian Personalities

Last but not the least, the Wax World Museum is a truly unique and equally fascinating attraction in Ooty that invites tourists to spend some time with the look-alike wax statues of prominent personalities, political leaders, and freedom fighters from Indian history. These include Mahatma Gandhi, APJ Abdul Kalam, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Subhash Chandra Bose, Shirdi Sai Baba, Mother Teresa, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and many more. In addition to them, you can also find the life-size statues of Arnold Schwarzenegger and former American President Barack Obama as well.

Located in a 130-year-old charming mansion and is in close proximity to Ooty Lake, the Wax World Statue is considered as a fun and educational place for kids to learn about the different world personalities. Designed to give you a unique holiday experience to all, the museum also houses replicas of village-style rural household life and has figures of people doing pottery and farming, all beautifully made out of wax.

Conceptualized by Shreeji Bhaskaran who was an IT professional from his profession, the museum is beautifully designed to give you a unique holiday experience and provides a wonderful break from nature-based and lake-based attractions. Visit this place once for sure to appreciate the hard work, efforts, and time that has been put there to meet all your expectations.

  • Entry Fee: INR 20 per person
  • Timings: Open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on all days
  • Distance: 2 KM from Ooty Centre, 1 Km from Ooty Railway Station
  • Exploration Time: 2-3 Hours

The Queen of Hill Stations has a lot more for its avid travelers. So, if you wish to explore it all, you can plan a long getaway to Ooty to create some unforgettable memories in your life.

Book an all-inclusive Ooty tour package with us to make the most of your trip at pocket-friendly prices. We at Ooty Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, design a variety of tour packages to suit everyone’s holiday duration, needs, and other preferences.

Our team of travel experts also assists you in customizing the itinerary of your choice so that you can cover the best sightseeing places in Ooty on your next visit. What’s more? You can also avail the benefits of travel discount coupons/deals to enjoy your trip within the budget.

To know more about our offering in detail, we request you to fill in your details in our Contact Us form. For your convenience, we have also curated a list of top car rental companies in Ooty from where you can hire a cab/taxi to commute within the hill station at your own comfort. All you need to do is just pack your bags! Rest, everything will be taken care of by us.

Top Tourism Places to visit in Ooty