Ooty: Blue Mountains
On a hot summer day in early 19th century British India, you would be one of the lucky few, if you were making your way up to more favourable climes of a lovely hill station, Ooty, locally called Udhagamandalam.
If you choose to journey up to ‘Snooty Ooty’ by the more romantic toy train, enjoying the stunning scenery it would be better to board the train from Coonoor. Along with the train and the road, development also trekked up this lovely South Indian summer retreat and clashed with the comforting silence of tall pines rising above pretty hill paths, colonial era bungalows, echoing temple bells and relaxing garden and lake views. What resulted is the messy ugliness of the town centre.
While in Ooty, do not miss out on the chance to hold a Stone Age bow at the Tribal Research Centre Museum, 11km south of Ooty. If kitsch is what you dig, you might end up enjoying the Thread Garden. Here a 150 species of ‘plants’ from around the world meticulously re-created using ‘hand-wound’ thread. Wake up early and take a ride to Dodabetta, the highest point on the Nilgiri Mountains for mesmerising views.