First Day in Ooty
A thing of beauty is a joy forever” – P.B. Shelly.
Travel makes a person modest and everyone should travel as much as their pocket supports to realise how small part of the world we actually live in. Ooty, the queen of hillstations situated near to Bangalore is in TamilNadu. Its officially known as Udaghamandalam. It’s a very beautiful place and can cheer up anyone irrespective of their mental status.
We started form Bangalore at around 4 a.m by ola outstation and halted for an hour in Bnadipur Tiger reserve. We followed the route : Bangalore-mandya-Mysre-Bandipur-Ooty. We reached the hotel following Google map by 10.30 a.m through hairpin bends. A hairpin turn (also hairpin bend, hairpin corner, etc.), named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a very acute inner angle, making it necessary for an oncoming vehicle to turn about 180° to continue on the road. Such turns in ramps and trails may be called switchbacks. After taking a refreshing shower and having breakfast, we went for the tour of the city, had our lunch in the mid-way and finally carried dinner to the hotel. Next day day after bath and breakfast, we departed for visiting the view point of the city- Dodabetta peak and on our way back to Bangalore, we visited Pykara lake.
Let me take you all through the first day tour.
First day, after we started from the hotel at around 12, we visited Tea Estate View Point, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Boat House and Thread Garden.
Tea Estate View Point : The Nilgiri region is renowned for its tea and most of the areas in Ooty are surrounded with the tea plantation. One of the most popular and old tea estates is Glenmorgan which is a famous picnic spot as well. In Ooty, there are own tea factories for their tea plantations. The tourist is even allowed inside the tea factories and has a inflict. One can learn the method of tea processing by CTC (Cut, Twist and Curl) machines. Taste a hot cup of tea as you cherish the beautiful surroundings of the place.You can also learn the entire processing method right from the freshly plucked green leaves to its packaging.But you are not allowed to pluck the tea leaves from the tea estate.
Botanical Garden : The Ooty Botanical gardens are a 10 min walk from Charing Cross and a half hour walk from the Lake. The entrance fee is Rs 15. When you enter you will see a vast expanse of lawn like a golf course, going steeply uphill. There are a variety of trees and shrubs as well as some conservatories with exotic ferns and flowering plants. Most of the trees are introduced Australian species, and it is a pity that there are not too many indigenous shola varieties. The Gardens have around a thousand species, both exotic and indigenous, of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants. In the centre of the Gardens lie a fossilized tree trunk estimated to be 20 million years old. There is a food shop inside but better to carry food with you as its quite expensive.
Rose Garden : Government Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in India. It is situated on the slopes of the Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram of Ootytown in Tamil Nadu, India at an altitude of 2200 meters. Today this garden has more than 20,000 varieties of roses of 2,800 cultivars. It is one of the largest collection of roses in India.
Boat House : Ooty boat house also called as Ooty lake, 1 km distance from Ooty busstand, opened by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. Boating is the prime attraction at the lake. The boat house offers boating facilities with Paddle boats, Row boats, and Motor boats. It also features a garden, a mini train and an amusement park. Ooty lake is an artificial lake constructed by John Sullivan, in 1824. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake in 1973, for providing boating facilities as a tourist attraction. The lake is surrounded by groves of Eucalyptus trees with a railway line running along one shore. During the summer season in May, boat races and boat pageantry are organized for two days. Following activities are available there at the cost of nominal price :
Thread Garden : It’s a feast to the eyes. Located by the side of North Lake Road, opposite the Boat House in Ooty, is a marvel of creation, the Artificial Plant Kingdom – The Thread Garden. A magnificent display of flowers, plants and lawns fabricated entirely from thread, canvas and wire awaits you here at the Thread Garden, Ooty! A stunning spectacle to behold, it is the end result of the untiring work of nearly 12 Years of Mr. Antony Joseph and an enthusiastic group of workers. Absolutely everything is done by hand and no machinery or needle is used at any stage. Many artificial models of plants and flowers, creepers, climbers, lawns, lotus ponds etc. are kept in the most natural ambience. The whole creation is made using our self invented technology of ‘Four Dimensional hand-wound Embroidery’, unknown hitherto without needles or machinery. Developed and perfected through many scientific and artistic observations and experiments and consuming thread measuring a mind boggling 60 million metres in length, Thread Garden is made challenging a machine like perfection with the skillful effort of 50 specially trained artists. More than 400 different shades and plain natural coloured embroidery threads have been used to create such a colour spectrum in order to get natural colour combinations. Painting or printing has never been entertained and an embroidery system is followed. Designs, colours and shades are adopted as far as possible from nature and are designed making use of different natural coloured embroidery threads. Designing of different filament structures in different species of flowers are brought out of threads. Since machines or even needles are not involved, the operation demands long time and intense labour.
I am a Bengali and my mother is fond of Mithun Chakroborty, the filmstar. He has a hotel in Ooty, The Monarch. She wanted me to visit that hotel and I went there just to take snaps for her.
We missed staying at the Sherlock Hotel. From what was an exclusive, privately-owned summer mansion during The Raaj, Sherlock, more than a century later, still stands in its original architectural splendour as if mocking the concept of age & time. The Victorian elevation, the old-school brick chimneys rising out of every room, all give a glimpse of what London would’ve looked like in the late 1800s. With the refurbished lawns, the entire ambience to make it what it really is – Holmesian.
We did not visit Eagle Dare and Thunder World. Those are like adventure activity specific park.
We came back with some dinner packed with us from PlaceTooBee, an Italian restaurant. That’s all about our first day in Ooty.
It was a refreshing break for us and a lifetime memoir of our visit to such enchanting hillstation.