Ooty is a city and municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a multi-cultural and multi-linguistic place and observes a variety of festivals throughout the whole year. A majority of festivals fall during the summer. Ooty attracts tourists not only from India but also from other countries. Mariamman Temple festival and Thaipusam festival are the famous festivals celebrated here. The Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu also conducts several festivals. The Summer Festival is a prime festival celebrated by the local dwellers and the tourists. During festival holidays, Ooty becomes truly colourful. The following are the three significant festivals observed in Ooty:
The Summer Festival
The Summer Festival is a yearly festival conducted by the Tamil Nadu Government in May. The festival comprises many cultural events, flower and spice shows, carnivals, etc. At the Botanical Garden, the flower show will be organised for 3 days. It is a prime event of the festival. A huge variety of flowers are kept for exhibition here. During the Summer Festival in Ooty, visitors can enjoy classical art exhibitions and adventure activities as well. During the summer holidays in Ooty, consider visiting the city to celebrate the Summer Festival.
Tea and Tourism Festival
Like the Summer Festival, Tea and Tourism Festival, an annual festival, is organised in January by the Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu. Various types of tea are exhibited so that visitors can taste them. They can also buy the flavour they want. The fundamental objective of this festival is to popularise the Nilgiris tea. Visitors and the local public will participate in the tea making competition. During this festival, traditional and folk performances are held.
Ooty Mariamman Temple Festival
Ooty Mariamman Temple Festival is the longest festival celebrated in the month of February. Mother Aadhi is worshipped in various forms like Bhagavathi, Kamakshi, Rajarajeshwari, Durga, Heddhai Amman, etc. Devotees follow the custom of throwing salt on the idol. During the festival holiday in Ooty, many tourists visit.
The Top Tourist Points to Visit in Ooty:
Visitors have to travel a distance of 19 kilometres from the city of Ooty to reach Pykara, the name of a river and village. With a lake and pine trees, it is a great tourist point. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy capturing the beauty of nature. A prime attraction at this place is a boathouse. There is a restaurant and a forest house here. Tourists can also enjoy speed boats and motor boats. The entry time is 9:00 am whereas the closing time is 6:00 pm on the weekdays. Other remarkable places located near Pykara include Bison Valley, Mudumalai and Mile.
Mudumalai National Park
Mudumalai National Park, a tiger reserve, is situated in the blue mountain bordered by Karnataka and Kerala. The park is a house to various species such as Indian elephant, Indian leopard, Bengal tiger, white-rumped vulture, etc. The park has spread across an area of 321 square kilometres. It is clustered into five areas: Masinagudi, Theppakadu, Mudumalai, Nellakota and Kargudi. Karugudi is a beautiful location where you can find a few halls. Mudumalai is a part of the park where you can spot various types of birds. Masinagudi is another part of the park where a few hotels can be found.
Ooty Lake, an artificial built lake, is a vital tourist landmark in Ooty. The boat race is a prime attraction you find here. You can also find many stalls selling local items such as shawls and eucalyptus oils. The lake has spread across 65 acres and is surrounded by many Eucalyptus trees. During the summer holidays in Ooty, it is one of the top places to visit in Ooty. A garden, an enjoyment park and a mini train are a part of Ooty Lake. A canteen administered by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Limited is another feature of the lake. The entry fee for foreigners is Rs.560 and Rs.10 for domestic visitors.
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Wax World Museum
Wax World Museum the best alternative to sightseeing mountains in Ooty. A distance of 3 kilometres has to be travelled from Railway Station to reach this spot and from Ooty Botanical Garden, you have to travel a distance of just 2 kilometres. Shreeji Bhaskaran initiated the museum. In the month of March 2007, Wax World Museum was instated by Santosh K Mishra, Collector of Nilgiris district. The museum has a vast collection of statues of the famous political leaders and freedom fighters in India. The duration of the trip is 30 minutes to 1 hour. The museum is liked by the students and lovers of history. According to the latest reports, the entry fee to be charged to adults is Rs.20. The same is charged to kids as well.
Ooty Rose Garden
Ooty Rose Garden is one among the biggest rose gardens in the country and is situated in the middle of Ooty. Scattered across 10 acres of land, the garden has a wide collection of roses in India including black roses, green roses, hybrid tea roses, floribunda, etc. It is a favourite tourist point for the people interested in horticulture. More than 3000 varieties of roses can be found here. Currently, The Horticulture Department of Tamil Nadu is in charge of managing the garden, which received the Award of Excellence for the best rose garden in South Asia. The garden remains open on all the days of the week from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. The entry fee of Rs.20 is charged per person. Ooty Rose Garden is another popular tourist place to visit during the summer holidays in Ooty.
Botanical Gardens are maintained by the Department of Tamil Nadu. They are clustered into five sections: the Lower Garden, the Italian Garden, the Conservatory and Nurseries. The Lower Garden has a rose garden and natural ponds whereas Conservatory has a lot of flowering plants. The Nurseries have a wide range of glass houses. Many people prefer visiting the gardens particularly during the summer holidays in Ooty. Children are charged an entry fee of Rs.15 whereas the entry fee for adults is just Rs.30. If you would like to carry a still camera along with you, you have to make a payment of Rs.50. For carrying video cameras inside the gardens, you are charged Rs.100.
Annamalai, a major Hindu temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Thiruvannamalai. Lord Shiva is revered as Annamalaiyar by devotees. The complex of the temple covers 10 hectares. On Maha Shivaratri festival holiday in Ooty, the temple is visited by many Lord Shiva devotees from Ooty and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Poojas are performed by the locals. Behind the temple, you can witness a senior man running a small ashram. Despite their religion and caste, devotees will perform the ceremonial of Anna-Dana. During the summer holidays in Ooty, the temple invites a huge number of devotees.
Murugan Temple is an old temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Jayanthipuram is the historic name for the temple situated in Tuticorin district. In the state of Tamil Nadu, Murugan Temple is the fourth temple to obtain ISO certification. The son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is Lord Murugan, who is also known as Lord Kartik. Visitors of the temple can watch lush greenery. The locals take a visit to this historically important festival every day.
As its name indicates, Thread Garden is a place where you can watch a huge collection of non-natural plants and flowers made by adroit artists by using thread. The garden was conceptualised by Antony Joseph, who worked along with 50 talented artists consistently for a term of 12 years. Artists created Tread Garden using around 6 crore meters of thread. The garden attracts the visitors from all age groups. More than 150 types of handcrafted flowers that are enthralling to watch. At a distance of 12 kilometres from Doddabetta, a distance of 3 kilometres from Botanical Garden and a distance of 4 kilometres from Rose Garden, Thread Garden has turned out to be a famous place to visit in Ooty during holidays (the summer holidays).
Kalhatti Falls is also known as the Paradise of Bird Lovers. A prime attraction of Kalhatti is the lake. Frequently, elephants visit this beautiful lake and thus it makes a great view for tourists. The residents of Ooty call it Kalahasti Falls. One can watch tigers, woodpeckers and monkeys here. Different types of festivals are conducted at Kalhatti Falls to keep the visitors happy. Moreover, Kalhatti Falls provides an outstanding sight of the flowing water from the Chandra Drona Hill. Lord Veerabhadra’s annual fair is organised here in the months of March and April every year. Visit this beautiful place with your loved ones particularly during the summer holidays in Ooty.
When the Duke of Buckingham was the Governor of Madras, he built Raj Bhavan (Government House) in the year 1877 at a distance of four kilometres from the city bus stand. The Governors of Madras visited Raj Bhavan during the summer to relax. In the year 1900, Sir Arthur Havelock added a ballroom. In the year 1904, electrical installation for the entire building was green signalled. The building has a ballroom, a banquet hall and a reception room. Raj Bhavan’s elevation is 2303 meters above the sea level. In the year 1988, banquet hall was completed. The building also features an astonishing garden.
Tribal Research Center
On 2 October 1983, Tribal Research Center was established. The centre was funded by the Central Government and the State Government of Tamil Nadu. In India, Tribal Research Center is the youngest of all the Tribal Research Institutes. The centre was established with a prime objective to make a study on tribal communities, including the weaker communities under the SC/ST list of the state and develop potential plans for the betterment of the tribes. Currently, the centre is focusing on the Nilgiris district. It is usually visited by students who can also take a look at the well-furnished guest house and a library. Since the year 1989, Tribal Museum has been functioning in the campus of the centre, which is not a mandatory place to visit in Ooty during holidays.
St Stephens Church
St Stephens Church is an ancient church visited by tourists throughout the year. Needless to say, it is a popular tourist destination in the city of Ooty. The church is an epitome of the opulent history of the city. On the island of Srirangapatna, the chief beam in the St Stephens Church was gotten from the palace of Tipu Sultan. Captain J J was the mastermind behind this attractively constructed church. Christians visit this church on Christmas every year. The church remains closed on Sundays. From Monday to Saturday, the church remains open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Note: Ooty also has many tourist spots in addition to the aforesaid places to visit in Ooty during holidays.
If you are a music lover, you have a chance to celebrate Mad Festival, which stands for music, arts and dance. The musicians from the city of Ooty and other cities will perform at this great festival. In the year 2012, the first version of the Mad festival was inaugurated. Over the last five years, the festival gained prominence. During the summer holidays in Ooty, the festival is celebrated by several tourists and the locals.
Ooty also observes the festival of Pongal. The celebrate Pongal in the honour of the Sun God. Pongal is a major Hindu festival and is a regional holiday in Ooty. Usually, Pongal is observed in the month of January every year. Pongal dish is served on the festival day. If you are willing to visit the city during the Pongal holidays in Ooty, you can also celebrate this remarked festival with the residents. The Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu makes the festival of Pongal unforgettable for visitors. Another festival celebrated in the entire state of Tamil Nadu is Aadi Peruku, which is one of the regional holidays in Ooty.
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