Discover the Magnificence of Nilgiris Tamilnadu
Located at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats, this small district in western Tamil Nadu which has its headquarters in Udagamandalam – A4 (popularly known as Ooty) is probably the most beautiful District in the state. The major tourist attraction in the district, of course, is Ooty, known as the ‘Queen of the Hill Stations’. At no point of time is Ooty stiflingly hot or unbearably cold.
This place is packed with many interesting destinations to sightsee. All tourists will wonder what to visit first since the entire destination are covered with that much beauty and magnificence. Listed below are such interesting ones.
PLACE TO VISIT IN NILGIRIS:
Established in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweeddale, the gardens host a variety of exotic and ornamental plants. It is now maintained by the Agricultural Department of the Tamil Nadu Government. A 20 million-year-old fossilised tree trunk can be seen just below the mini lake in the midst of the garden. The annual flower show of the Agri-Horticulture Department and the dog show of the show of the South India Kennel Club are held here.
This small, picturesque, artificial lake was conceived in 1824 by John Sullivan. Row boats, paddle and motor boats are available for hire.
CHILDREN’S LAKE GARDEN:
This garden is near Ooty railway station and bus stand. Its musical lights attract all tourists.
Also called Kal Bangla, this was the first bungalow built in the town. It was the residence of John Sullivan, founder of the Ooty. The Principal of the Government Arts College now lives here.
STEPHEN’S CHURCH AND GRAVEYARD:
This Protestant Church was Ooty’s first church. Built in the 1820’s it is a quaint, Gothic castle-like structure, reminiscent of English village churches. Adjoining St. Stephen’s is the old English cemetery. What would most strike the interested visitor to this cemetery would be the short span of life most of the British buried here enjoyed.
THE NILGIRI LIBRARY:
The library building, as it stands today, was built in 1868. It is a heaven for history buffs, a treasure trove of precious documents, biographies and old books. The library is open for members only, though the reading room and fiction section are open to the public.
Built in the 1820’s, this club with its classical pillared frontage and red-tiled roof, its manicured lawns and immaculate gardens take you back in time to the days when the rulers lived and enjoyed life on the grand scale. Snooker is said to have been invented on the billiards table of this club by a subaltern called Neville Chamberlain. The club is still maintained as it was during the British time and is open to members and their guests only.
Doda Betta (height 2,637 m), Elk Hill (height 2,700 m), Valley View and Snowden Peak (height 2,677 m) are the most important viewpoints here in Nilgiris.
The 20,000 acres of undulating landscape that comprise the Downs are endowed the extraordinary scenic beauty. The Gymkhana Club, the Government Sheep Farm and the Hindustan Photo Films Company, the only factory of its kind in India manufacturing sensitized photographic materials, have all chosen to nestle amidst the picturesque Downs. Golf, hunting and seemingly endless hours of enjoyable walking are what the Downs have to offer.
Overlooking the Botanical Gardens, the Government House or Raj Bhavan built in 1877 is used only occasionally during the ‘season’ for official entertaining.
Apart from visiting the interesting places, you can also plan for an excursion. You have wide ranges of spots that can be added to your tour list. List are some of the best places that need to be added to your list of your area planning for an excursion in Nilgiris.
AVALANCHE (25 KM):
This place got its name after an avalanche that occurred in 1823. There are cool and fragrant forests, ideal for trekking. The Avalanche River, abounding in trout, is an angler’s delight.
COONOOR (13 M):
Smaller than Ooty and at a lower altitude, Coonoor, nevertheless, commands its own band of loyalists, who prefer to holiday in the milder climate of this charming, more homely health resort rather than in the colder, bustling city of Udagamandalam. Sim’s park in Coonoor has evolved into a botanical garden with well-laid out terraces of rare flowers and shrubs providing scholars ample scope for study. From Coonoor, one can visit Lamb’s rock (8km), Lady Canning’s Seat (10 km), Dolphins nose (10 km), Droog (15 km), Loz Falls (5 km) and Ralliah Dam (10 km).
GLENMORGAN (25 KM):
This lovely picnic spot commands an excellent view of the Mudumalai Sanctuary.
KALAHATI FALLS (13 KM):
Situated on the Ooty-Sigur-Mysore road this 70 m high waterfall is much-frequented picnic spot. The Sigur dam nearby is an added attraction.
KOTAGIRI (29 KM):
This beautiful hill station derives its name from Kota-Keri, meaning ‘the street of the Kotas’. It is originally believed to have been a settlement of the Kotas, one of the aboriginal hill tribes of the Nilgiris. From Kotagiri one can visit St. Catherine Falls (8 km), Elk Falls (7 km), Kodanad View Point (16 km) and Rangaswamy Pillar and Peak.
MUKURTI PEAK (26 KM):
The 2,554 m high peak resembles a severed nose. Hence this destination has got this name, where ‘muku’ meaning nose and ‘artha’ meaning half. Visitors are lured here by the beautiful Mukurti River, the peak that forms a ruggedly beautiful backdrop to the dam across the river, and the picnicking possibilities offered by the place.
MUDUMALAI (67 KM):
Situated at the tri-junction of the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this is one of the most important and beautiful sanctuaries in the country and the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the State. Extending over an area of 321 sq km the sanctuary houses herds of spotted deer, elephant, bison (gaur), tiger, leopard, bear, panther, jackal, hyena, sambhar, barking deer, Indian wild boar, mongoose, wild cat, civet, four-horned antelope, mouse deer, monkeys and several other animals. The scaly ant-eager pangolin, one of the most primitive mammals in the country, is to be found in this sanctuary. The sanctuary also has an extensive bird life. Elephants, jeeps and vans are provided by the sanctuary authorities for sightseeing. The best time to visit the sanctuary is March-June and September-October. Contact the District Forest Officer (North), Udhagamandalam, for accommodation.
PYKARA (19 KM):
There is s dam and a power plant here. It is also a much-frequented picnic locale.
WELLINGTON (5 KM):
This is the cantonment area. It is the home of the country’s only Defense Service Staff College and the Headquarters of the Chennai Regimental Centre. Places of interest in Wellington are Aravankadu, Pomological Station, Pasteur Institute, Silk Worm Rearing Station and Stanley Park.