Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those
who visit Ooty,
one of the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl over 50-acres
and lie on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point
in Ooty. Marquis of Tweeddale established these gardens in the year 1848.
A Unique Layout
The gardens are formally laid out with lily ponds, and there are clipped bushes in the form of elephants, with raised trunks. One can find a thousand different species of plants including some thirty types of eucalyptus in these gardens. There is also a fossilised tree trunk, which is said to be 20 million years old. Towards the eastern part of the garden there is a wooden house made of logs known as "Toda Mund", which provides an excellent view.
A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Garden, which is an added attraction for tourists. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure sports like trekking also form a part of the festival.
The gardens include many mature species as well as Italian and Japanese sections. The "Todas", regrettably, live in abject conditions.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Coimbatore, which has daily flights to and
Rail: The gardens are located just 2-km away from the railway station. It is advisable to travel by train for a magnificent view of the hillside covered with forests. The Nilgiri Express leaves Chennai at night, reaching Coimbatore in the morning, and continues to the small town of Mettupalyam, at the foot of the mountains. From Mettupalyam, it connects to the Nilgiri Passenger, which takes to Ooty.
Road: Ooty is well connected by road with all the places in the country. Ooty has taxis, three wheeler scooter rickshaws, local buses, and during the season guided tours to take you around the city.
Accommodation is available at the star and economy class hotels in Ooty.