The drive from Mysore to Ooty has made me fall in love with it. What makes it a perfect circuit for a road trip is the varying nature of landscapes – a flat highway that leads directly into a dense forest and then a steep hairpin bends with enchanting views all around and lastly, roads dotted with eucalyptus and pine trees as we reach Ooty, an ethereal place that flirts quite often with cold and rain. Now, you tell me how could I have stopped myself from falling in love(with the roads of course):P
We reached Ooty at around 8 pm and it was pretty cold that time, we all got layered with whatever we had handy that moment. The tantalizing cooking smell along with the cold breeze set our mood for dinner. Those meaningful conversation rolling around the dinner table along with the dinner was enough to shake off the travel fatigue. After having dinner, we reached our hotel rooms.
“You’re not going to believe this,” “D’ya know what?”, with these intros, Palak and I started gossiping about college mates, primarily over who got married with whom 😛 We had the greatest laughs over pictures and statutes that have been put out there. We then shared scoops of information on makeup products and dresses we recently purchased. By around 12.00 pm we decided to call it a night and shut down to have a fresh start the next morning.
ON PAPER PLANNING
I googled (read discovered ;)) all the must-see sights in Ooty and then jotted them all on paper. It’s best to list all the places that you’d like to visit before you start your travel in order to make the most out of your trip. And even after carefully choosing the right spots, there is every possibility that you might become victim to the ‘Have I missed that’ syndrome! Anyways, here goes my list-
- Botanical Garden
- The Ooty Lake
- Tea factory
- Doddabetta Peak
- Rose Garden
- Pykara Falls
Get up at dawn(well, 7 am will work too ;)) if you wish to experience the beauty of this place in real. I called up Palak and Preenika twice after turning off my alarm but the sleeping beauties didn’t want to hear me at all. Nevertheless, I was all set for my morning walk in botanical gardens along with my DSLR.
A few meters ahead of my hotel, I saw open stalls dazzling with flowers, exotic fruits, and vegetables. The streets bustling with brightly colored posters and hoarding all over the walls. Electricity wires dangling lifelessly from one end of the street light to another(such an optimization) and then I spotted an entry gate to the botanical garden on my left.
- Timing: Mon-Fri: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sat-Sun: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Fees: Rs 30 per Person (Adults), Rs 15 (Children from 5-10 yrs), No fees (Children below 5 yrs)
- Camera Fees: Still camera Rs 50/-, Video camera Rs 100
Come along and take a virtual stroll around the gardens-
Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it. ~Rumi
On my way back to hotel, I noticed the streets turned into a joyful market selling every colorful thing possible and I got infested immediately and bought couple of things I didn’t need 😉
Ok, so what’s next? asked Preenika
Mmm… let’s go towards the Ooty lake boat-house, a few kilometers from the botanical garden. After reaching there, we spotted the place offers a lot of activities for kids and grown-ups alike and hence, Piyush bought haunted house tickets instead of boat ride tickets 😉
Massive props, lifeless hands, skeletons and scary sounds were not enough to scare us at all but instead blossomed into an enormous belly laugh. I mean literally!! 😀
Pykara waterfall didn’t have much water but wasn’t so bad either. There was enough water for us not to regret coming to this place. Besides, the entrance fee was just Rs 5. We walked for around ~500m to reach the edge of the waterfalls. Those sand-laden rocks with falls amidst greenery were the pretty amazing sight to behold.
This natural paradise has an extensive cover of water bodies, shola trees, rhododendrons, and orchids. The whole ride was a marvelous one with us going through the forest. Even though the fun ends at the end when we could not take our vehicle beyond check post and the jeep safari had already been called off for the day. A word of prudence here!
We started walking towards the lake and managed to get a glimpse of that spectacular and eye-catching place.
One can travel beyond check post in government forest vehicles only and that would cost Rs 150/- per person for buses and Rs 1200 for the Jeep(max 8 pax).
FACTS AND TIPS ABOUT THE PLACE
Best Time: March to June is the best time as it constitutes the summer season in Ooty. Although the place can be visited all through the year keeping off the heavy rainy days in monsoon.
Sightseeing: Travel either by your vehicle or hire a cab. Otherwise, you would end up spending more money on local cabs than you would on one cab for the entire trip.
GPS: Do not rely on GPS while exploring places in and around the town. Do ask the locals. We found them very helpful.
Avoid crowd– Start as early as possible in the morning to avoid a rush and relish the nature in its full flavor.
Travel on the railway: The charming Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) offers panoramic views all through the journey and is widely regarded as a marvel of engineering.
This place infused with bright gardens and abundance of astounding views is truly a feast for eyes!! Definitely a great escape for those wanting respite from the scorching sun.
This trip was a great travel ride, all thanks to the weather which was really pleasant all throughout. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags to enjoy the realm of heavenly beauty and tranquil surroundings.
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