Ooty is the first-ever hill station I ever get to know theoretically as a child. And one of the places I have dreamt about visiting in Tamil Nadu. It has been the epitome of cold weather and it has been the definition of winter throughout my childhood. But eventually, I got to visit Kullu Manali, Darjeeling, and Sikkim before this closest hill station. I never googled much about Ooty before, but I had my own fantasy about it. And after waiting for 24 years, finally, Ooty visit became possible exactly at the moment I left my job for the sake of improving my health. And the child in me got extremely curious to find if my imagination was close to reality.
Roads To Ooty
It was a sudden trip, decided one week right before my last day at the job. I had my aunt and her family living there which made it simple to execute such a plan in such a short time. We took the bus to Ooty. Of course, as a train-person, I was worried. But a long-distance bus journey didn’t sound that bad. To add more trip vibes to it, I packed some popcorn and Makhana(Popped Lotus Seed which I tried for the first time and it was a bang bada boom – delicious). Yet, the ride was a bit bad especially while sleeping uncomfortably and while hearing the guy behind me blabbering over the phone about all the women he was in a relationship with. The ride started to become extremely uncomfortable when it entered Salem when the temperature started to drop. The window next to me was hard to shut, so the chill breeze switched on the shivering mode button. It went like that until my dad saw me shivering in my most uncomfortable sleep and covered me with the thermals he packed for him.
As the ride extended and when every people left the bus as their destination arrived, I woke up. It was early morning, the sun still didn’t light up the sky, it was still cold, and it was still dark, but eventually, I managed to close the window. Yes! Finally! Finally, I got to sleep well at least for 2 hours. Then, again suddenly I woke up and slowly opened my eyes, I realized that the bus was already going ahead in hairpin bends. My ears were shut as the bus started to reach higher altitude. The view was splendid. Not just the view of the sun slowly breaking the clouds apart, but two sides of the road, dotted with the most nativistic trees showing off their vibrant flowers. They just said to me, “You idiot, your state also has the richest and vibrant flora that you have never dreamt of.” I wished I could have taken a walk along the road as the bus was too fast for me to look and admire those flowers. Because it was the first time. It was the first time I got to look at such a beautifully flowered tree. Red, yellow, orange, purple… You name it. Along the roads, you could witness jaw-dropping beauty. As it went further and further, eventually I noticed that Ooty is different from my imagination.
OOTY ON FIRST GLANCE
It is funny. The first thing that struck me about Ooty was fearless little sparrows… almost everywhere. Next, Ooty is not exactly the fairyland with just nature. It seems very urbanist to me. Buildings everywhere. Wherever I turn, I could see buildings – already built and being built. Honestly… I was disappointed. But. I kept my judgment aside and decided to get the most out of it. It has its beauty still reflected through its naturalistic presence that is reflected through the tall broad trees, wild creepers with vibrant flowers, the sleek tree with enchanting purple flowers, and the moody climate which I witnessed and experienced during my 3 days in Ooty. Besides, I realized how much of a sanctum it was for the people living in neighborhood district.
I was a bit lucky actually. Imagine that you are escaping the fastness of life, immense pressure, uncertainty, and chaos in life by placing yourself in a different environment where you are seeking comfort and solace but then you end up in a situation that is much more chaotic. That’s what happened in Ooty right after Ramzan. Since I arrived in Ooty exactly 2 days before Ramzan, there was a lesser crowd, so I was able to enjoy without being dashed by the crowd. But after Ramzan, Ooty was overflown with tourists from Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. I felt like entire Kerala moved to Ooty.
I am usually an offseason or low-season traveler and this situation literally put me off guard. But, well, this is new learning – that’s what I said to myself. I saw the entire streets filled with cars and traffic police were put through hell. Not just that, even the auto drivers refused customers because of the traffic. We went through an intense bargain on my day of return as almost all auto drivers refused to drop us at bus stops because of the traffic. But besides all these moments there are also little things that made me miss Ooty alot. Even the very moment I am typing this out it makes me want to visit it again.
5 Must Do Things In Ooty For First Timers
While in Ooty, if you are a nature lover or just a relaxation seeker, and if you are just staying for 4-5 days, there are some Ooty-centric activities you should never miss to do. If you browse through google, it will show various things to do. But, if you ask me, instead of trying to visit all the places and doing all the activities in an entire trip, try to take it slow. Because that’s how you could understand a place and fall in love with it. Places are like people too. So, instead of rushing into getting to know it. Take it slow. If you are unable to visit some, take another trip. So here are some of the things I would like to recommend to you guys.
- Experience Heaven On Earth Government Botanical Garden
- Treat For Your Eyes In Government Rose Garden
- Experience The Liveliness In The Boat House
- Ride Into The Woods In Toy Train
- Get One Step Closer While Visiting Local Markets & Trying Local Delicacies
Some of the places I am planning to drop by on my next visit are Emerald Lake, Doddabetta Peak, Pykara Waterfalls, TODA village, and Sims Park.
Make sure to check them out. Instead of dumping more information about my experience here, I have put a separate posts for each of these must-dos. (To Know More About These Activities, Click On The Lists, It Will Redirect You To Relevant Pages)
The Subtle Beauty Of Ooty
Even though it’s a part of Tamil Nadu, it felt a bit unfamiliar to me for almost 2-3 days. But after encountering the natural epitome of South Indian hill station in the Botanical garden when I witnessed different species of flora I have never dreamt of seeing anywhere. And after being attacked by the striking beauty of rose garden and trying the lustrous chocolate and walking around the steep roaded neighborhoods and listening to auto annas who were venting their worries with season begins and downpour that starts in the evening, the enchanting window view from the sloppy room of SK Cottage. Ooty looked like a character in a novel who is handsome and has a clumsy side to it and anyway you end up falling in love with in the end when you finish the novel. Its subtle beauty is its catchiness.