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Ooty Travel Guide

Hidden in the Nilgiri Hills and enveloped in blue mist, the lovely laid back hill station of Ooty exudes its own special charm. Ootacamund or Udhagamandalam, as it is officially known, is Tamil Nadu's most sought after holiday destination. Ooty nestles in the hollow of four grand hills of the Blue Mountains. The hill slopes are veiled in a profusion of wild flowers. A little outside town, plantations of cardamom and tea, and eucalyptus forests take over the landscape. The heady fragrance of spices and the bouquet of tea waft across the hills around Ooty and envelop the town. There is a colonial side to Ooty- old British style cottages and bungalows, many with fireplaces and pretty gardens; and stone walled churches with stained-glass windows. The rolling meadows with cattle grazing peacefully complete the picture.

At 2286 metres above sea level, Ooty is essentially a small town that bustles and bristles with the activity of locals going about their daily business, kids rushing towards and rushing away from school and tourists ambling in the streets. A little outside town, plantations of cardamom and tea, and eucalyptus forests take over the landscape. Snuggling in the Nilgiri Hills, enveloped in the blue mist that the name implies (nil=blue, giri=mountain), Ooty continues to exude the charm of a laid back beautiful little town that it is and is a lovely tourist destination.

The Blue Mountain railway runs a pretty little blue and cream train. It was set up in 1899 and is still driven by a steam locomotive and chugs through a number of bridges and tunnels, climbing 1867m past tea shrubs and eucalyptus forests on its journey to Ooty.

Ooty and England had many similarities and this is how Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India so succinctly described Ooty to his wife "…such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud."

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