Botanical Garden – Ooty
This garden was laid out in 1897 by the Marquis of Tweedale and is spread over 55 acres. Lush green, well maintained lawns, rare trees species (like the cork tree which is probably the only such tree in India, the paper bark tree and the monkey puzzle tree-monkeys cannot climb this tree), a 20 million year old fossilized tree, an Italian-style garden bordering a clear pool, a vast variety of flowering bushes and plants in myriad hues (exotic and ornamental), fern house with a vast range of ferns and orchids, are some of the many highlights of this garden. A flower show along with an exhibition of rare plant species is held every year in month of May at this garden.
Best time of the year to visit: April, May & Sept.
Rose Garden – Ooty
Situated in the heart of Ooty town, this garden has been beautifully laid out in terraces with rose tunnels, pergolas and bowers with rose creepers. To commemorate the centenary Flower Show, the Rose Park was established at Vijayanagaram in Udhagamandalam covering an area of 4 hectares in five terraces. Today this garden has the largest collections of roses in the country like Hybrid Tea Roses, miniature rose, Floribunda, Ramblers, roses of unusual colours like black and green are some of the more than 3,000 varieties of roses that will captivate your senses. The Rose Garden is situated in slopes of the Elk Hill. The rose varieties planted in this park were assembled from different sources. The ‘Nila Maadam’ is located in a spot from where viewers can see the entire rose garden. This garden is maintained by Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. It has also received the award of Excellence for the best rose garden in entire south Asia from the International Rose society in 2006.
Ooty Lake and Boat House
The Ooty Lake is the pride of the Blue Hills. It is the central and strategic attraction. Mr. John Sullivan formed this artificial lake in the year 1824, the then Collector of Coimbatore. The Ooty lake which extends to an area of 65 acres. Earlier the entire lake was used for fishing. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake for pleasure boating facilities in the year 1973. Another added attraction of the Ooty lake is the Mini Train and an amusement park.
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
This is the first Sanctuary to be set up in India and forms part of the Jawharlal Nehru National Park. It is located 36 kms from Ooty from Kalhatty and 67 kms via Gudalur. From Mysore it is 91 kms away. This Sanctuary extends over an area of 321 sq.kms in the junction of the three states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It is at an elevation of 1,140 mtrs. A variety of habitat ranging from tropical evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, moist teak forest, dry teak forest, secondary grasslands and swamps are found here.
It is rich in wildlife, like Elephants, Gaur, Tiger, Panther, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Porcupine etc., birds like-minivets, hornbill, fairy Blue Birds, Jungle Fowls etc., and reptiles like python, Monitor Lizards Flying Lizards etc., You can take a ride into the jungle on elephant back or take a vehicle ride along designated visitor’s route inside the jungle. The elephant rides have to be booked at Ooty. The Mayor river and the life around it is an experience by itself. The Theppakadu elephant camp is popular tourist attraction.