2 Days in the Nilgiris – Ooty Travel Guide
Ooty was the fourth stop of my South India travel spree in the months of June-July.
Nestled in the Nilgiri hills, Ooty is a famous hill station of South India. And despite it being touristy, the city is a sure treat to the eyes.
Ooty has welcomed tourists from all around the world for leisure and recreation for more than 50 years. And many people say it still looks the same - serene, quaint, and beautiful.
Use this travel guide to make the best of your time in Ooty.
How to reach Ooty?
I was in Wayanad before Ooty, so I had took a from there. Two buses go from Wayanad to Ooty in a day. These buses leave from Sultan Bathery KSRTC bus stand, one at 8:00 am and another one at 12:30 in the noon.
The nearest airport to Ooty is in Coimbatore (~88 km from Ooty). After flying in Coimbatore, you can either self-drive, take a taxi, bus or train to Ooty. You will find many TNSTC buses that commute between the two cities daily.
Where to stay in Ooty?
Ooty shares a border with another beautiful Niligiri town of Coonoor. Some people prefer to stay in Coonoor and drive to Ooty, but many others look for accommodations in Ooty itself.
If you have your vehicle, it doesn't matter where you stay of the two cities, Ooty or Coonoor. But if you don't have one, it is better if you stay in or near the Ooty city centre, since it is closer to the most points of interest, and you can also get a TukTuk(auto-rickshaw) from there conveniently.
I stayed in a BnB, Prabhu's Place, a 2-minute walk to the main road but in a quiet locality. The place was pretty basic but had a cozy and a homely vibe to it. There was a large organic farm as part of the property, which serves as a source of job for many local women.
Things to do in Ooty
Visit a tea factory
Ooty is well known for its tea plantations, and I can swear on the tea I had there. It was one of the best flavored teas I had.
There are two tea factories in Ooty that I know of, one is the Benchmark Tea factory which is famous among the tourists, and which is where I went. It was extremely crowded at that time, and although I was able to see the whole tea making process, there wasn't much guidance. In addition to this, the factory is commercialized so much so that it took its charm away.
The other one is on the way to Dodabetta Peak and seemed less crowded from outside.
PS: Don't miss to taste the tea of Ooty and also get some for home!
Ride through the Nilgiris in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway
If you are a Bollywood fan, you'd know the song "Chaiyan Chaiyan" has been shot on this train.
But if that does not interest you, I believe there are more reasons to take this ride. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the most scenic rides in South India. The train passes through beautiful mountain ranges and inside the caves, that makes you want to take this ride.
PS: The seats get full soon, so buy the ticket from the counter at least 4 hours before the train departure, or book an online ticket in advance.
I missed the train twice, only because all the tickets were sold out.
See all of Ooty from Doddabetta Peak
I was in Ooty in June'19, and at that time the path up the peak was closed due to ongoing construction. The walk to the starting point was very scenic though. On the way, you will also see the tea factory that I mentioned above, so make sure to make a stop there as well.
Dodabetta Peak is not very far from the city center. It will take an hour and a half to reach the starting point of the peak, and another few minutes to climb up.
Spend time walking in the market
End your time in this beautiful touristy city by walking in its crowded yet impressive market. There is so much to see and buy from the market, varying from chocolates, to tea, to intricate craftwork, organic fruits and vegetables, masalas, and so much more.