February 06, 2020
The State of Tamil Nadu in India is known for an ideal blend of culture and heritage. It offers a chance to pilgrims to be enchanted with the extensive history and beauty it has. Tamil Nadu can be rightly called as the perfect blend of modernity and ancient traditions, and it is indeed one of the best destinations to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the country. Tamil Nadu is located along the Bay of Bengal, and it has many years of history. It has also become one of the promising states in the country. One of the best places to visit in Tamil Nadu is the hill station of Ooty. Tourists from across the world have a fascination to explore the beauty of Ooty, and one can never have enough of it. No words can describe the beauty of this hill station. Ooty is indeed a picturesque hill station, and you have to see to believe it. It is easy to reach Ooty, and it has pleasant weather throughout the year.
The Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains have always been surrounded in mysticism, and Ooty is not an exception. Known as the ‘Queen of the Hills,' travelling to Ooty has been a favourite for most mountain lovers. There are a number of things to do in Ooty. It was once regarded as the summer headquarters of the East India Company and is a hill station that has become a popular place for one to relax and unwind. Located in the beautiful Nilgiri hills, Ooty has an altitude of 2,240 meters above the sea level, and it has the most pleasant climate around the year. Ooty is all about the simplicity of life. Everyone who visits this place feels connected to nature and the local culture. The road to Ooty is filled with magnificent sights of some of the most beautiful Nilgiri hills and serene waterfalls. The peaceful landscape of Ooty is straight out of a movie. You can enjoy the colonial architecture and soak in the natural beauty of the place.
If you are wondering what to do in Ooty, there is no dearth of activities and sight-seeing places for you. You can enjoy the beauty of the city on a Toy Train or spend an afternoon sipping exotic tea at the Tea Museum. You can choose to trek to the mountain peak or explore the life of Todas in Toda huts. Stop wondering what to do in Ooty and make a note of the below mentioned ten best things to do in Ooty with your family.
1. Explore the Toda huts
2. Trek to Doddabetta Peak
3. Participate in the Summer Festival of Ooty
4. Enjoy exotic blends of tea at the Tea Museum
5. Learn honey extraction at the Honey and Bee Museum
6. Chill at the cosy pubs in Ooty
7. Enjoy the adventurous drive to the Upper Bhavani Lake
8. Spend time with the legends of India at the Wax World Museum
9. Camp on the banks of Avalanche Lake
10. Visit the Mariamman Temple in Ooty
11. Picnic around Ooty Lake
12. Pykara Lake in Ooty
13. Toy train rides from Ooty
14. Trekking in Ooty
15. Botanical Garden of Ooty
16. Catherine Falls in Ooty
17. Dolphin’s Nose in Ooty
18. Higginbothams in Ooty
19. St. Stephen’s Church in Ooty
20. Thunder World Amusement Park in Ooty
A local tribe in Ooty, Todas live inside bamboo huts that have thatched roofs, and they are in a semi barrel shape. These huts have no windows, and they are indeed one of a kind. They have a tiny entrance which will require you to bend to enter the hut. This is one of the best things to do in Ooty. Spend your time checking these huts and gain an experience of a lifetime. You might not have seen anything like these huts anywhere in the country. You will be surprised at the way the locals manage to live in these tiny huts. Also known as Todas Hamlets, these huts are set at a distance of about 5.6 km from Ooty and are an original representation of how the Toda community lives. It will be an educational and enriching experience for children. You will be able to learn about how the community in Ooty lives and how they have managed to live in the tiny huts for all these years. The hut has an entrance which is about 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. This small entrance serves as a means of protection from the weather and the attack of the wild animals. The front part of every hut is decorated with Toda art forms which are a type of rock mural painting, and on the side of the doorway, there is a raised platform which is similar to a veranda where people can sit and talk. The Toda land in Ooty is now a part of The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and their territory is declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It remains as one of the best and the unique things to do in Ooty. You can visit the Toda huts anytime and can easily spend anywhere between half an hour to one hour exploring the huts and interacting with the locals.
If you are an adventure seeker, trek to the Doddabetta Peak in Ooty, it stands at 8,650 feet above the sea level and is the highest point in the district. On a clear day, you will be able to view the Chamundi Peak on the north and the Kattadalu on the west. You can start the 3 km ascent of Doddabetta Mountain on the winding path which leads into the open field. While you walk up to the peak, you will pass through the long and grassy slopes which are lined with rows of ferns and herbs that fill the air with an excellent, rich aroma. The peak has a slightly curved flat surface, and you will find many places to sit as well as relax on the way. The trek is not very difficult, and it will be possible for you to reach the peak without any difficulty. Do not miss out on the octagonal shaped telescope tower which rises out of the middle of the peak; there are a number of telescopes you can use to make the most of the stunning views of Ooty. You will be able to see the open highlands of Mysore, and in the north, you will notice the Bandipur National Park. Trekking to the peak is one of the best things to do in Ooty. You can easily reach the mountain in Ooty on a public bus. It is only about 7 km from the east of the city centre. If you are not keen on walking to the top of the peak, you can catch a ride in the shuttle jeep. If you reach early in the morning, you will be able to avoid the crowds. A trek to the Doddabetta peak is one of the best things to do in Ooty, and it should be a part of your Ooty itinerary. You can trek anytime between 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM and the entry fee is INR 10 per person.
If you are in Ooty in May and are wondering what to do in Ooty, participate in the Summer Festival organised by the Tourist Department of Ooty. It is indeed one of the best things to do in Ooty. The festival aims to promote tourism in Ooty, and there are a number of cultural programs including the boat faces and the flower shows. Famously known as Udhagamandalam in Ooty, the summer festival is a time when there are a number of local and foreign tourists visiting the place. Ooty turns into a beautiful tourist destination in May. There are social programs, such as the rose show which has about 8,000 assortments, flower shows, vegetable and fruit shows, a boat race, and parade which is the highlight of the Summer Festival in Ooty. There is also a dog show and a spice show which attract a number of tourists every year. If you happen to be in Ooty in May and are wondering what to do in Ooty, leave everything and head to the Summer Festival. It is indeed an experience of a lifetime and will be worth your time. If you are travelling with children, they will thoroughly enjoy this experience and it will be an opportunity for them to learn more about different cultures and activities in Ooty. It is indeed one of the top things to do in Ooty. You will get an opportunity to interact with the locals in Ooty, and you will be able to enjoy the entire experience and the eclectic vibe of the festival.
Your visit to Ooty remains incomplete if you do not visit this famous Tea Museum. This museum in Ooty is one of the must visit places. It will enlighten you about the history of tea and how it evolved in the Nilgiris area. This museum is surrounded by stretches of lush tea plantations and houses a souvenir shop which sells all kinds of mementos such as different types of teacups, tea leaves, plates, etc. The best time to visit this museum is in August because this is when the tea plantations look green and fresh. It remains open from 10 AM to 6 PM, and the entry fee is INR 250 per person. You will be able to see almost everything related to tea production in their factory tour. You can start right from the tea plantations. You will learn how the tea leaves are brought into the factory for withering and then dried until the tea grains are poured inside the jute bags. The tea will pass through different processes and a number of machines. You will be able to view the entire process and learn how your favourite tea is produced. A visit to the museum in Ooty is enriching and will be a memorable experience for you. The factory has an area of more than 1 acre in Ooty and is surrounded by lush greenery on all the sides which makes it look like a stunning wonderland in Ooty. This is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Ooty. The tea museum is very popular amongst the tourists because of the natural beauty and the enriching experience it offers every tourist.
Ooty is undoubtedly famous for its gorgeous lakes and stunning viewpoints, but a trip to the Honey and Bee Museum with the family is sure to make your visit to this hill station more interesting. It is indeed one of the best things to do in Ooty. Irrespective of your age or tourism philosophy, you will have a wonderful time at the Honey and Bee Museum in Ooty. The Museum is located in the Sargan Villa Club Road and can be rather enlightening when it comes to learning about honey. Here, you can learn about the different kinds of bees and traditional ways in which honey is extracted. It will be a tremendous learning experience for your children. The Museum remains open from 9:30 AM to 7 PM. The museum in Ooty was started as a novel project by an NGO known as Keystone Foundation. You will learn about the traditional tribal people, the ones who harvest honey at this museum. The museum has a children's activity room and also a resource unit on bees and the environment. It has different tools which include the traditional and modern tools which are demonstrated live in the museum. These tools are used to gather honey and for beekeeping. One part of the museum is honey and beekeeping, and the other part is the green shop. You can easily spend a couple of hours at this museum. It is a famous place to visit for those travelling with children.
If you are wondering what to do in Ooty, do not forget that Ooty has a number of excellent pubs and bars, including Club Mahindra, The Valley Bar, Selbournes Bar, Four Quarters Lounge Bar and Canterbury Bar. The bars have an elegant and chic ambience which makes them an ideal place to relax and chill with your friends and family. Most bars remain open until 11 PM hence plan your day accordingly. These bars are well known in Ooty and they offer an excellent vibe and environment for you to relax and enjoy a drink when you are in Ooty. You can also spend your time shopping at the local markets in Ooty. However, if you are someone who prefers to relax at the end of the day with a chilled beer, there are many pubs you want to include in your itinerary. With the perfect service and setting, these pubs are one of the most happening places in Ooty when it comes to the nightlife of Ooty. If you only want to sit back and relax, exploring the pubs will be one of the top things to do in Ooty.
A reserved area in Ooty, taking a drive to Upper Bhavani Lake is among the most enjoyable things to do in Ooty for the whole family. However, do note that only vehicles from the Forest Department are allowed once you pass the Avalanche check point. This lake is less crowded and has crystal blue water. It is indeed one of the top things to do in Ooty especially in June. Majority of tourists in Ooty are not aware of the beauty of this lake. It is an untouched and virgin spot which should be at the top of your things to do in Ooty. The lake is the backwater of the Upper Bhavani Dam, and it is one of the most amazing places to visit for nature lovers. It is calm, peaceful and serene. You will need half a day to visit this place but every minute spent here will be worth it. The distance from Ooty to Upper Bhavani is about 38 km, and the drive will take an hour. You will be driving through the Nilgiris and amongst the beautiful spots are a few more lakes and small springs. If you want to spend time by the Avalanche lake, you need to drop the plan for Upper Bhavani for the day because you might not be able to make it on the same day. You will have to follow the schedule of the Forest Department to visit the beautiful lake in Ooty. You will be able to see the mist and fog if you are visiting during winters. Private vehicles are not allowed here; hence you will have to drive down to the check post, and from there the buses of the forest department will take you ahead. It will take about an hour on the bus to reach this beautiful, well-kept secret of South of India. The lake will make you want to stare in awe. It is crystal clear and extremely beautiful. Even if you are in Ooty for a very short period, include a visit to this lake in your itinerary. It is a must visit when in Ooty.
Located in Ooty, the Wax World Museum is one of the top places to visit. This museum can is housed in a 130-year-old mansion and is very close to Ooty lake. If you have already spent a lot of time by the lake and are wondering what to do in Ooty, visit the Wax World Museum. It has many wax replicas of well-known characters from Indian history. If you are travelling with kids and have no idea what to do in Ooty, here is your answer. The museum is sure to exceed your expectations. The entry fee to the museum is INR 20 per person and it remains open from 9 AM to 8 PM. It is indeed one of the most popular museums in Tamil Nadu and will offer a unique holiday experience to you. At this museum in Ooty, you will learn to appreciate the hard work which has been put into this tourist spot. There are some not to miss attractions in the form of wax statues. There are replicas of some of the most famous personalities which are a part of the history of the country like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bar Gangadhar Tilak, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi. It also has some sculptures of renowned personalities which include Chhatrapati Shivaji. It will be a fun and educational experience for your kids and one that you should not miss out on. When travelling with kids, it is one of the best things to do in Ooty.
A thrilling stay with a number of activities like camping, rafting, and fishing, Avalanche Lake is one place you cannot miss when in Ooty. It remains surrounded by the Nilgiris on all the sides and has clear waters. It is the perfect scenic point with cloudy skies and the right mix of blue and green. Camping at the lake is one of the most exciting things to do in Ooty in the night. It is located close to the Emerald Dam, and its timings are from 8 AM to 6 PM. If camping at night is not your idea of fun and you think about what to do in Ooty, you can visit the lake during the day. It is located about 40 km from Ooty and showcases the best of nature. The lake has panoramic landscapes with blooming flora and fauna. Once you reach the spot, you will be gaping in awe at the natural beauty and the picturesque location in Ooty. You will be able to notice waterfalls at a distance and the forests surrounding the lake. Visiting the lake is one of the must do things in Ooty. You can hire a private vehicle to reach here. The lake has retained its beauty over the years because it has remained untouched for many years. It has a colourful appearance which makes it unique and attractive. It is an ideal destination for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a perfect place to go in Ooty for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and spend some time in peace and serenity.
Also Read: Top 38 Places to Visit in Ooty With Family
Mariamman Temple in Ooty is named after a Hindu goddess of rain and the temple is situated close to the main market in Ooty. One of the most popular temples in town, the Mariamman Temple celebrates an annual festival which happens in April, and this festival is no less than a carnival. In the temple, you can find an idol of Kaliamman, sister to the goddess Mariamman (who many believe is an incarnation of another famous goddess - Kali). An extremely popular temple in Ooty, devotees flock to it throughout the year, and it is during the temple festival that the majority of locals choose to visit this place. To show their devotion to the goddess, many people walk over burning coal barefoot. Even if you are not very religious, a visit to the temple is one of the popular things to do in Ooty. If you happen to be in Ooty during April, it will be an opportunity for you to be a part of the festival. The temple remains open from 6 AM to 8 PM throughout the week, and it is located near the Ooty market which is also the centre of the town. It is easy to reach and will take about half an hour here. If you are here during the festival, you might want to spend a long time at the temple.
One of the best things to do in Ooty is to picnic around the man-made Ooty Lake. Surrounded by groves of eucalyptus trees that add a pleasant touch to the breeze, you are unlikely to find a more idyllic picnic spot. The lake also serves as a place for fun-filled family activities, including boating, cycling, and hill climbing. Take along a deck of cards or play catch by the lakeside. The best time to unwind at this spot is during evenings. Not only is it bustling with activity, it also has a very pleasant, active vibe.
Located about an hour from the town centre, tranquil Pykara Lake offers travellers a chance to go boating on one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. The waters are surrounded by wooded slopes and lush green landscapes, so make sure you keep your camera handy. It is the perfect spot to spend some quality time with your loved ones while soaking in the gentle morning or evening sun. Since the lake is open between 8 am and 5 pm, you can plan your visit at a time when the crowd is sparse.
Don’t miss out on these other beautiful lakes of Ooty while planning your vacation here!
Ooty is the terminus of the narrow-gauge Nilgiri Mountain Railway. You can take a joyride on this ‘toy’ train all the way from Ooty to Mettupalayam and vice versa, spanning a distance of 46 km. With countless tunnels, undulating terrain, and forested landscape, it is a great way to explore the sheer beauty of the Nilgiris. It may be ideal to hop on the train early in the morning when the weather is at its best. Toy train rides are one of the best things to do in Ooty with kids.
An ideal holiday in Ooty would include exploring its varied terrain. The topography opens up a new vista at every stop, making it the perfect place for hiking and trekking. You will come across perfectly pruned tea plantations on your way. The most popular tourist trails are arguably those leading to Parson’s Peak and Doddabetta, where the panoramic view from the summit is unparalleled.
Know more about must visit trekking places in Ooty during family vacation.
Stretched over 55 acres of greenery, Ooty’s Botanical Garden is a canvas that portrays a dazzling array of flowers, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. For a minimal fee, one can stroll through this garden from 7:30 in the morning. It is an easy way to unwind. An interesting place you will come across in the garden is Toda Mund, which has traditional homes of the Toda tribe. The topmost part of the gardens was provided to these tribal people by the government for housing.
Located in Kotagiri, this double cascading waterfall descends 250 metres and disappears into a thick canopy of pine trees. A major tourist attraction, Catherine Falls is the second highest waterfall in the Nilgiris. The falls are open for public viewing from 9 am, and it’s best to head there as early as possible if you wish to avoid the crowd.
Located in the Nilgiri district of Coonoor, it is about an hour away from Ooty centre. Positioned at a height of 1000 feet above sea level, Dolphin’s Nose is a cliff that offers panoramic views of the cascading waterfalls and misty mountains around it. This rock resembles a dolphin’s nose – hence the name – and is a must-visit spot for all adventure junkies and nature enthusiasts.
Higginbothams bookstore is a haven for anyone into legacy bookshops. This store, located on Market Road, is home to books of several genres and adds significantly to its collection every month. Avid readers who enjoy a good read in an old, serene bookshop must check it out. It opens at 9 am, so you can head there immediately after breakfast!
Dating back to the early 19th century, St Stephen’s Church is a stunning reminder of colonial times. The rustic pale yellow pillars bear testimony to the grandeur of times gone by. Visit this church for its exquisite architecture, the famous painting of the ‘Last Supper’, and the gorgeous stained glass windows depicting various biblical scenes. The church is open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm.
Thunder World is a fun way to spend a day in Ooty, especially if you are travelling with children. Don’t let your kids miss out on the popular rides – Vortex, Jurassic Jungle, Haunted House, Snow World etc. The park is open from 9 am to 6 pm, and you can have a fun-filled experience for as little as Rs 320 per adult.
There are tons of places that you can visit and things to do in Ooty. If you are ever caught wondering what to do in Ooty, keep these activities in mind and make the most of your stay to the beautiful hill station. It is an ideal place to switch off and get away from the monotony of daily life. Ooty has something to offer for every traveller personality, and while you are here, you need to ensure that you make the most of it in every manner possible. If you are an adventure lover, you will find a number of trekking activities to engage in. One of the top hill stations in the South of India, Ooty is indeed a gem and will leave you mesmerised with its natural beauty and pleasant weather. Ooty looks equally beautiful throughout the year, and it is one of the best hill stations in the country for a reason. There are a number of tourists who visit Ooty time and again and yet they can never have enough of the beautiful destination in the Nilgiris. Make the most of your trip to Ooty with these interesting things to do in Ooty. You can plan your entire trip keeping these activities in mind and do not miss out on any of these exciting activities. Every place of visit and every activity will give you a new and memorable experience to remember for a lifetime. While you are travelling to Ooty with your family, make sure you do not miss out on any of the things mentioned above.
Have a look at this Tamil Nadu tourism guide to ensure you make the most of your family vacation in Ooty.
Also Read: All About the Best Time to Visit Ooty
When in Ooty, book your stay at the Club Mahindra Ooty Resort in Tamil Nadu and tick off your list of things to do in Ooty. There are two resorts of Club Mahindra in Ooty. One is the Derby Green and the other is Danish Villa. The Derby Green Resort by Club Mahindra in Ooty is surrounded by lush environment and is located right in the middle of the Nilgiris. A tranquil environment and pristine surroundings are what await you and your family at Ooty. The Nilgiris are a part of the Western Ghats and the forest comprises rich flora and fauna. The resort spans more than five and a half acres of meadows, and from here, you can enjoy beautiful views of the race course. It is indeed one of the loveliest resorts you can stay at in Ooty and an extremely popular one in Tamil Nadu. Located at a distance of 165 km from Mysore and 95 km from Coimbatore, this Club Mahindra Ooty resort is sure to thrill you with its numerous offerings. You can find the Danish Villa Resort right in the centre of Ooty city, and it is easy to reach. It has cosy rooms, and the resort is built in colonial architecture. It gives a stunning view of the neighbourhood and offers a number of fun-filled activities for you to engage in with your family.
Both the resorts have well-appointed, comfortable rooms with many modern amenities. If you want to spend some time enjoying the amenities at the resort, splash around in the swimming pool, or laze by the pool while catching up on a good book. For something more relaxing, head to the spa for a massage. The resorts also have in-house restaurants where you can relish various local cuisines of Tamil Nadu with family. Enjoy strolls at the resort and sip a hot cup of tea. A quick search on Club Mahindra reviews from former guests will give you an idea of how much travellers enjoyed their stay at both these Ooty resorts. With a Club Mahindra membership, you will be able to enjoy family holidays for 25 years across different resorts in and around the country. Club Mahindra resorts are located across various destinations in India and abroad.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.