QUEEN OF NILGIRIS
The Blue Mountains have always been shrouded in mysticism, and Ooty is no exception to that. For every mountain lover, the very idea of travelling to the city known as the Queen of the Hills holds an allure like no other. Once regarded as the summer headquarters of the East India Company (and for a very good reason), Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a hill station in Tamil Nadu which serves as a very popular tourist destination for anyone looking for a picturesque place to relax and unwind. Ooty is nestled amidst the Nilgiri hills at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level and enjoys a favourable climate all year round.
Ooty oozes simplicity, devoid of any boundaries, so anyone who visits the place can feel at one with the local culture. The journey to Ooty itself is dotted with magnificent sights of the awe-inspiring Nilgiri hills, tea gardens, and serene waterfalls. The cool, peaceful landscape of Ooty is almost movie-like – winding country lanes that you can spend hours simply walking on, and the charm of old-world colonial architecture infuses fresh air into the souls of travellers. For anyone looking for a respite from the mind-boggling humidity and the scorching Indian sun, Ooty is the place to be.
Ooty is a very popular destination for couples and honeymooners, and there’s no better way to fully take in all that this city has to offer than to take a trip on the Toy Train, which lets you enjoy panoramic views of this beautiful hill station right from your seat. The whole city is tinged with beautiful hues of green, with oases of sparkling blue waterfalls popping up here and there. The Nilgiri Mountain Railways has the steepest track in all of Asia, and it is one of the best train rides you will ever have the chance of experiencing. Remember the hit song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ where Shahrukh Khan and Malaika Arora were seen matching steps on top of a train? Remember the breathtaking locales as the train chugged its way across lush greenery? Yes, that was the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, and the Nilgiri Mountains all along.
As every traveller who has ever gone to Ooty knows, once you’re in the city, a visit to the famous Doddabetta Peak is a must. Standing tall at 8,606 feet as the highest point of South India, the Dodabetta Peak trail is flanked by towering Eucaplytus trees, offering you uninterrupted views of the luxuriant valley.