Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Queen of the Nilgiris, Jiyo life in Ooty this Monsoon!

It has begun pouring cats and dogs everywhere. Everyone is stuck in this mad rush of getting up, going to office and then coming back home drenched late at night. Slowly we begin grumbling about the rain and how it affects our daily commute and dampens our life. But no one realizes how beautiful the rains are! You just need to break away from your stressful lives and go to a place where you can experience the rain from a very natural perspective, away from our big and polluted cities. And when it comes to such places, Ooty is heaven on earth.
Ooty or Ootacamund is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Udhagamandalam is the official Tamil name for the town. Ooty stands at an approximate height of 7,500 feet (2, 286 m) above sea level. Its stunning beauty and splendid green deep valleys made the British name it "Queen of Hill Stations".
Ooty is well connected with rail and road routes. It is situated within a day’s journey from Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Mysore. The town also has direct bus services to various cities and towns of  TamilNadu,namely Tirupur,Erode, Salem, Sathyamangalam, Karur, Dindigul, Chennai, Thiruchirapalli, Madurai, Thanjavur and Kanyakumari. Trains towards Ooty are also very well established but they are very few since there is a track change involved. Also, there is no civilian airport in Ooty, the nearest being at Coimbatore. So the best way to get there is to get to Coimbatore and then carry on to Ooty.
The main attractions of Ooty besides the idyllic natural existence and life changing vistas are:
Ooty Botanical Gardens:
The Botanical Garden is a lush green and well maintained Botanical garden. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year at this garden. The garden also has a 20 million year old fossilized tree. One can find a diverse variety of flora, ranging from rare trees like the cork tree, the paper bark tree, and the monkey puzzle tree, flowering bushes and plants, fern house consists of ferns and orchids.
Ooty Lake & Boat House:
This is an artificial lake. It used to be much larger than its present size of 4 km2 and is 2.5 km in length, and encompassed the present bus stand and race course as well as much of the present market. Boating is the major attraction at the lake. The boat rise allows visitors to enjoy the serene environs at a laid-back pace.
Stone House
This was the first "Pukka" house in Ooty. It is situated inside the premises of the Government Arts College. It now houses the government office.
Toda Huts
There are a few number of Toda Huts up in the hills of Botanical Garden were Todas still dwell.
Railway Station
This is a important junction for The Nilgiri Railways. It is very clean and well maintained.
St. Stephen's Church
This one of the oldest churches in the town, it architecture is essentially old style with tall spires. It is located near the District Court house building.
Wax World, Ooty
A wax museum that houses life-size look-alike wax statues of personalities of Indian history, culture and heritage housed in a 142 year old bungalow.
Ooty Golf Links
It is a forested and grassy area, partially home to a golf course.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there now and stay a week or two and experience bliss like never before. Please post your ‘Jiyo Life Moments’ stories and share with the rest of the world so that they too can experience this heaven on earth.


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