OOTY

kuch kuch hota hai

Udhagamandalam, popularly known as Ooty, has been rightly called the ‘queen of hill stations’. The serenity and the beauty are the salient elements of this paradise on earth.

Drawing its name from the TODA word “othakal-mund”, it literally means “house in mountains”. Located in the Blue Mountains of Nilgiri ranges, the weather remains pleasant around the year with 15-20°C. The temperature falls to 0°C in winters.

This place is marked for its dense vegetation, small hills and plateaus covered with tea cultivation. It has a history of being the British summer headquarters of the Madras Presidency in the 19th century.

It has always been hard for men to keep away from the spellbinding elegance of Ooty. So how could Bollywood abstain from displaying its affection for the Nilgiri beauty? The film industry has been recording in Ooty since the early 1980s from SADMA staring Kamal Hasan and Sridevi to KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI in 1998 staring Shahrukh khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherjee to BARFI in 2012 of Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

 

Locations: covered in movies

Ooty Lake

Ooty Tourism

/Flickr_ raghvendra yadav

SceneMovieYear
Mujhe Need na aayeDil1990
Ranbir Proposes KatrinaAjab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani2009
Dil Deewana Bin Sajna keMaine Pyar Kiya1989

This is one spot which has never been missed by the film makers. Famous songs such as dil deewana bin sajna ke from MAINE PYAAR KIYA (1989) and  mujhe neend na aaye from DIL(1990) have been beautifully filmed at this location. Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) also captures the charm of the beautiful lake in the scene when Ranbir Kapoor proposes Katrina.Covering an area of 65 acres, Ooty Lake has been a favourite among the tourists. The eucalyptus trees and the railway line running on the shore cannot be missed. The lake has been well facilitated for the vacationers with boating facilities.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway/Blue Mountain Railway

Ooty Tourism

/railnews

This beautiful 46 Km toy train found a place in the movie JAB PYAAR KISI SE HOTA HAI (1998) whereSalman Khan and Johny Lever reach Lovedale Station. Built by the British in 1908, the Nilgiri mountain railway is a world heritage site. What’s special about it is that it is the same railway on top of whichShahrukh Khan dances to the beats of Chaiyya Chaiyya in the move DIL SE. It is definitely a ride you can’t afford to miss.

Pykara falls

Ooty Tourism

/Flickr/Midhun Thomas

Approximately 30 Km from the Ooty town, Pykara falls is a destination to find solace. The slow flowing, clear water and the surrounding forests might compel you to spend hours here hypnotised by the scenic beauty of the falls. You could enjoy fast food in the nearby restaurants and boat rides in the Pykara Lake. The lake has been featured in SHOLA AUR SHABNAM (1992) in the song Tu pagal premi aawara, NAGINA (1986) in the song Aaj kal yaad kuch and DIL (1990) in the song humne ghar choda hai.

Doddabetta

Ooty Tourism

/Flickr_/ganuullu

The highest mountain in the Nigiris at 2,637 meters above the sea level provides you with a magnificent panorama of the hills. A perfect destination for the wanderers and nature lovers, Doddabeta could be an enjoyable 3 km trek on a clear day or a quick easy ride. No wonder the chilly, romantic weather on the peak made Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit sing and dance to the songDekha hai pehli baar in the movie SAAJAN (1991)

Pine forests

Ooty Tourism

/flickr/Raj.Vardhan

If there is a place that Bollywood filmmakers just can’t ever miss out in Ooty, it’s the pine forest! The sky touching pine trees on the downhill area creates a peaceful and delightful destination for a relaxing day out in the woods. The most beautiful scenes have been shot in these forests. Fromsearching for reshmi in the movie SADMA (1983) to Aamir khan and Madhuri Dixit singing mujhe neend na aayein DIL (1990) and Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla singing Gazab ka hai din in QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK (1988) to Ranbir Kapoor cycling in the silent woods with leanad’cruz in the song mai kya kroon in BARFI (2010), the industry hasn’t left any possible opportunity to capture the splendour of the towering trees.

Botanical Garden

Ooty Tourism

/Deccanchronicle

With a variety of admirable flowers and lush green lawns, the botanical garden of Ooty is home to indigenous vegetation such as cork trees and other rare species such as paper bark trees, monkey puzzle trees and old fossilized trees. Covering an area of around 55 acres, the garden was laid out in 1848. One shall surely experience the leisure of walking through the garden and enjoy its six different sections.

The Garden has found its place in various movies such as DIL (1990), DIWANA (1992), MAINE PYAAR KIYA(1989) and SAAJAN(1991) and featuring in many popular songs like mujhe neend na aaye, Teri Umeed, kabootar ja ja, Dekha hai pehli baar etc.

Dolphin’s nose

Ooty Tourism

/Wikimedia

Dolphin’s nose is a huge rock resembling the nose of a dolphin. Located in the Nilgiri district at a 25 min drive from Ooty, this place is famous for the picturesque view. It is a well-known picnic spot and is recommended for photo fanatics. With such an amazing view of the Blue Mountains, it seems that there couldn’t have been a better location for the song mera dil bhi kitna pagal hai from SAAJAN (1991).

Wenlock Downs

Ooty

/Flickr/Siddharth Ilangovan

Remember the camping site in KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI (1998)? Located 6 and 9 miles away from Ooty, these grassy pastures are perfect for lazy picnics. Once up there, you are capable of experiencing a view embracing 20,000 acres of vast stretches covered with pine trees. You might even get a chance to experience mist and light drizzles, thus enhancing your excursion experience.

The vast lands have also been pictured in other popular movies such as Aisi deewangi song sequence in DEEWANA (1992), that memorable kiss scene from RAJA HINDUSTAANI (1996) and jaane jigar jaaneman song sequence form AASHIQUI (1990).

Western Catchment

Ooty Tourism

/Flickr/Balachandar Subramaniam

You would require special permission from the forest department to visit the place, but the natural beauty is worth a visit. Situated 20 km away from Ooty in the Nilgiris, the area is covered with green grasslands and lake reservoirs. The view of the lush green vegetation and beautiful streams surrounded by the hills is fascinating.

Though the permission to film in the catchment area is prohibited now due to environmental protection concerns, movies namely JO JEETA WAH SIKANDER (1992) for the song Pehla Nasha and SADAK (1991) for tumhe apna banana ki were shot in this beautiful location.

Must see:

Avalanche Lake/Dam

Ooty Tourism

/samayakkaninde

Located 28 km from Ooty, the lake is an important tourist spot. It gets its name because of the huge land slide that occurred in 1823. Tourist activities such as trout fishing, rafting and trekking in the nearby hills are unavoidable attraction.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Ooty Tourism

/ootyexoduscabs

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the junction of the dense forests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. An early morning ride in the wildlife sanctuary could make your trip an adventurous one. Tigers, elephants, boar and deer are spotted in the area.

Annamalai Temple

Ooty Tourism

/geocities.ws

A narrow and curvy road leads to the Annamalai Temple which is known for its enthralling view and peaceful environment. You could also visit the river and a cave beneath the mountain.

Must try:

Ooty is most famous for tea plantation and you would want to visit the DODDABETA TEA MUSEUM.You could take a tour of the tea factories and know about various types of teas and also take them home as souvenirs.

If you are a cheese lover, you would surely want to visit ACRES WILD, a family-run arm-stay in Canoorand buy fresh cheese from Jersey and Holstein cows.

Ooty is a chocolate paradise. Walk in to any bakery and you could find variety of chocolates like white chocolates, bitter chocolates, strawberry chocolates etc.

Reaching there: by air, bus, car, train

By Air:

Coimbatore, the nearest airport to the hills, is about 3 hours from Ooty. There are flights from almost all parts of India and also international flights from Singapore, Colombo and Sharjah are available.

Mysore is the second nearest airport from Ooty which is about 4 hour drive away.

By Road:

You could either take a bus to Ooty or travel by your own car through the heavily forested roads. The road trip can be quite scenic.

By train:

The nearest railhead is METTUPALAIYAM from where you would have to board another rail to Ooty. There are trains from Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore and Bengaluru connecting Mettupalaiyam. The route from Mettupalayiam to Ooty is about 46 Km long.

Stay options: stay resorts and hotels and other locations

If you wish to spend your time away from the hustle of the town, you could look up to these cottages with a beautiful backdrop. They also provide you with facilities such as trekking, campfire and jeep safari.

  • Mango Tree Bungalow
  • Sultana Bungalow
  • Palaniappa Bungalow
  • Bison Valley Cottage
  • Madawa Rooms

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