Introducing Ooty (Udhagamandalam)
Until about 20 years ago it resembled an unlikely combination of southern England and Australia: single-storey stone cottages, bijou-fenced flower gardens, leafy winding lanes and tall eucalyptus stands, all surrounded by the tea plantations that were the town’s original raison d’être. Times have changed and, if not for the climate and the rolling hills, Ooty’s centre resembles any overburdened provincial Indian town.
But Ooty has an undeniable charm and the nearby hills and forest are sensational for trekking. Life here is relaxed and just a few kilometres out of town you are in the peace of the hills with superb views. The journey up to Ooty on the miniature train is romantic and the scenery stunning – try to get a seat on the left-hand side where you get the best views across the mountains.
From April to June (the very busy season) Ooty is a welcome relief from the hot plains and in the colder months (October to March) it’s crisp, clear and surprisingly cool. You’ll need warm clothing – which you can buy very cheaply here – as the overnight temperature occasionally drops to 0°C.
Ooty (Udhagamandalam) destination guides
Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats or even on pilgrimage in Madurai.
Cycle Kerala and Tropical India
Unwind in India’s fertile South, a land dotted with spice plantations, crumbling ruins and scenic ocean shores. An active and fun way to see this relaxed corner of India, this cycling tour winds its way from Mysore to Varkala, crossing through lush national parks and laid-back Kerala backwaters.