Ooty – The Queen of Hill Stations
Ooty, short for Ootacamund (an anglicized name for Udhagamandalam), is a popular hill resort in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. The name meaning blue mountains in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Badaga and most other Indian languages might have arisen from the blue smoky haze given off by the eucalyptus trees that cover the area or from the Kurunji flower, which blooms every twelve years and gives the slopes a bluish tinge.
Legend has it:
It was originally a tribal land that was occupied by the Toda along with other hill tribes. Today, the major tribes of Nilgiris area are the Toda, Kota, Irula and Kurumba. The old Tamil work Silappadikaram states that the Chera king Senguttuvan, who ruled during the 2nd century CE, on his way to the Himalayas in the north, stayed in the Nilgiris and witnessed the dance of the Kannadigas.
Now known as the Queen of hill stations, Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency; it was visited by British officials during the colonial days as a popular summer resort. Soldiers were sent to nearby Wellington to recuperate. (Wellington is the home of the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army.)
Major festivals celebrated at Ooty include; Tea & Tourism Festival, Thaipoosam, Mariamman Temple Annual Festival, Car Festival, Boat Race, Boat Pageantry, Flower show, Summer Festival, Dog Show, Fruit Show & Vegetables show and World Tourism Day.
Tamil is the state language, but the major languages spoken at Ooty are Tamil, Kannada, English and Hindi.
You can find simple food here like idli, dosa, uttapam, vada, pongal and uppama and since this is their delicacy, we strongly recommend you to try these. They also serve non-vegetarian food.
Best time to visit:
Ooty is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between the months of April to June and September to November.
- Built by John Sullivan, Ooty was once the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.