Ooty - Queen of hill stations
Udhagai / Udhagamandalam / Ootacamund / ஊட்டி / ऊटी
Mukurthi National Park
Ooty and Coonoor Accomodations
How To Get There - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Bus Plenty many buses to the village of Emerald.
By AirAir Timing at Coimbatore. The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 100 Km away. It has domestic flights to several major Indian cities and is an international airport with direct services to Singapore, Sharjah and Colombo. You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi-Kochi via Mumbai and Coimbatore. The next nearest airport to Ooty is Bangalore Airport which is at a road distance of 290 Km north of Ooty.
By TrainOoty is on the narrow gauge railway, connected to Mettupalayam (47 Km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway, connected to Mettupalayam (47 Km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
Nearest broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam (46 Km). Major broadgauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected with all major cities. Mettupalayam to Ooty, is connected by a Mountain Railway which is 4 hours journey. At a height of 2,600m stands Udhagamandalam (Ooty) the Queen of Hill Stations. The 'Nilgiri toy train' connects Ooty to Mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris.
The construction of this line was a big challenge as the terrain is rather tricky. It was in 1854 that the first plans were drawn to build a mountain railway from Mettupalayam to the Nilgiri Hills. But it was a good 45 years later in 1899 that the first train chugged up this track. This itself is a charming blue and cream with wooden coaches and large windows. It is hauled uphill by steam engines, designed and built by the Swiss Locomotive Works. Twelve of such locomotive engines survive even today.
The train covers the 46 Km to Udhagamandalam in four - and -a half hours. There are five stations between Mettupalayam and Coonoor - Kallar, Adderley, Hill Grove, Runnymede and Kateri - and, at one time, there were five between Coonoor and Ooty too. Though Wellington, Aruvakkadu, Ketti, and Lovedale are still functional, Fern Hill, the last one, was closed down a few years ago.
Extensive rice fields surround the 7 Km stretch between Mettupalayam and Kallar. Soon after is an impressive 21 Km section through truly rocky terrain. The track passes over 26 viaducts, and twists and bends through 13 tunnels. After a steep climb, the train enters Coonoor, the little hill station known for its tea plantations. From here, the track is uphill till you reach Fern Hill at a height of 2,218m, the highest point on the railroad. Shortly before Ooty, the line dips downhill. If you enjoy taking pictures, keep your camera ready for a few shots of the viaduct between Kallar and Adderley.
This ride is sure to turn the most hardened rail critic into an avid fan. You'll delight in the edge - if -the - seat twists and turns as the train runs across tall girder bridges, and over green hills before gently meandering through rolling tea estates. The exhaust beat of the loco never falters, maintaining a deafening staccato which can be heard for miles around. Truly a journey to remember.
A typical Nilgiri train on the rack sectionThe Nilgiri Mountain Railway(NMR) is one of the oldest mountain railways in India. The NMR was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2005. This connects Ootacamund with the town of Mettupalayam, at the foothills of the Nilgiri Mountains. It is the only rack railway in India, and uses the system.Accommodation Stay in the imperial Red Hill Nature Resort, in the middle of a tea estate. Food, service and the locale are excellent. You could do this cheaper by camping on their grounds and using their services. Closed during the rains.
By RoadOoty is situated on National Highway 67. It is connected by road to travellers from the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka via the five main accepted Nilgiri Ghat Roads.
A good network of roads and national highways connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupathi and other important destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major cities of Kerala and Karnataka.
Local TransportTaxis, tourist cabs, auto rickshaws are available in plenty. There are no standard rates except tourist cabs. Town buses are also available to all important places. Conducted sight seeing tours are arranged by the private operators and the Government Tourism Development Corporation.
Ooty is well connected by good roads. It is 535 Km from Chennai (via Salem), 89 Km from Coimbatore, 18 Km from Coonoor (via Gudalur), 155 Km from Mysore, 187 Km from Calicut, 290 Km from Bangalore, 281 Km from Kochi (via Coimbatore and Palakkad), 236 Km from Kodaikanal (via Coimbatore and Palani) There is a regular bus service from Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Kanyakumari, Thanjavur, Tirupathi and Cochin. Buses ply regularly to Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Kotagiri, Coonoor and Dodabetta. Local Transports City Bus, Taxi and Call Taxi Auto available
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