With all its naturistic getaways and lush peace hubs, Ooty is rightfully known as the “Queen of Hill Stations”. With rolling tea gardens, lush foliage, cloud-kissed mountains, serene lakes, colonial architecture, and a tranquil atmosphere, this endearing hill station in the Nilgiri hills draws the mindset of every traveller.
Within all of its picturesque views and enchanting silence, Ooty has a lot in itself to offer to its guests. There are so many offbeat and untouched places to be discovered by the travelling crowd. It is a place settled on the coast of festive murmurs of southern Indian culture while being a place that is occupied with soothing experiences such as:
1. Toda Village
We have been going to Ooty for relaxation since god knows how long, but how much do we know about the original tribes who have made it what it is? Toda Village, located approximately 3 km from Upper Bazaar, holds the answer to that.
The walk to the village takes you through roads and valleys overlooking dense forests. Upon reaching the town, you realize the true nature of the once-glorified tribe of the hills and how much they contributed to making Ooty what it is today.
Their huts are strangely beautiful, perfected in an arch-shaped, placed a little below the ground and coated with straw and mud. A must-visit for any architectural or cultural lover!
2. Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake is a fascinating lake that formed naturally in 1823 due to a massive landslide (Avalanche). Encircled by a rolling landscape with blossoming flowers and rhododendrons, Avalanche Lake is a paradise for nature lovers. Small waterfalls tumbling from the encircling mountains create a picture-perfect aura. It is one of the stunning offbeat places to visit in Ooty.
This lake is primarily visited after monsoons as the high water level presents excellent possibilities for trout fishing. Besides, the surroundings of Avalanche Lake are regarded as a sanctuary with various wildlife like Tiger, Gaur, Leopard, Nilgiri Tahr, Sloth Bear, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, and Nilgiri Langurs.
One can even camp or pitch a tent to gaze at the dense Shola forests surrounding the lake by the sides. The clear sky and deep blue water, the lush green tea manors, and calm vicinities will serve as a treat to your senses.
3. Bison Valley: Ooty
Situated 26 km from Ooty, Bison Valley is yet another covert gem in Belikkal. This Valley gets its title from the wild Indian bison that can be spotted at comfort in this area. The other animals, such as leopards, elephants, and tigers, can also be seen here.
Also, this Valley has diverse species of birds, such as bulbul, drongos, doves, shrikes and woodpeckers. Besides, this place is fit for adventure activities like rock climbing and trekking.
So for an adventure and an animal lover, this place should make it to the not-to-miss sites while in Ooty.
4. Wenlock Downs
A meadow of grass and well-paved pathways define Wenlock Downs, about 14 km from Ooty. The entire location is covered with the forests of Shola and qualifies as a great place to take a peaceful stroll. Furthermore, the endless stretch of grassland and the breathtaking view of Pykara Lake from Wenlock Downs is supremely scenic.
Wenlock Downs has two prominent film shooting points named — Sixth Mile and Ninth Mile, where you can click amazing pictures for your Instagram feed. You can also opt for horse riding or arrange a picnic down here.
5. Love Dale: Ooty
Once a colonized town, Lovedale is the ultimate getaway to the history of Ooty. It retains the influence of British cottages, mansions, and old churches. Moreover, Trekking trails to Doddabetta are prevalent here. The pleasant climate and scenery make Lovedale ideal for a quick weekend getaway.
You can ride on the toy train belonging to the Nilgiris Mountain Railway to reach other stations like Coonoor and Wellington. A visit to the famed Lawrence School and the Church of Ascension will surprise you with its beauty.
6. Parson’s Valley: Ooty
Parson’s Valley is a reserve forest area, which is why the place is one of the few new secret tourist spots in Ooty. Thus, visitors will need clearance from the forest department. The lucky ones permitted to visit Parson’s Valley will be treated to an enchanting vista of forested land. Tigers and panthers prowl in the undisturbed jungles, which appear like forts of pines and rhododendrons.
Additionally, the Parsons Valley Dam, located in the area, serves as a lifeline for Ooty, as it is the primary water source for the people living in many villages and towns.
The dam has also been of interest to filmmakers. A scene from the critically and commercially acclaimed 1992 movie Roja was shot here.
Wrapping Up Ooty
Tucked amidst the breathtaking tea gardens, these places let you soak in the tranquillity of nature. Furthermore, one can enjoy a serene ambience. With panoramic views of the blue hills and lush greenery, the landscape of Ooty promises a significant number of beautiful memories for tourists.