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The name Ooty is derived from Ootacamund, also popularly known as "Udhagamandalam or Udhagai" in the regional language. India is a growing Tourist destination. The southern most part of India lies the State of Tamil Nadu, the cradle of the Dravidian Culture, founded over 5000 years ago. This state is the home to some of the most ancient architectural beauties, sculptures and the natural beauties of which Ooty is one among them. In 1821 a batch of British soldiers discovered Ooty. The gusty evenings, the cold nights, the grassy downs, the hills and dales gripped the imagination of the British. They surveyed and mapped the hills and started filling in what they felt as missing parts of the landscape.
Thus spacious Victorian houses, country-style churches and spruced gardens came into being. They even brought the English vegetation like cabbages, cauliflower, strawberries, raspberries and flowers like buttercups and rhododendrons. They built the first railway line in this area and made Ooty the summer capital of the then Madras Presidency. Before the arrival of the British Ooty was inhabited by Todas the tribal people who still inhabit the area, but only around 3000 remain. The picturesque and green Ooty, is located in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 2240meters above the Mean Sea Level (MSL). Ooty is the headquarters of the Nilgiri District.
The temperature varies from 25c to 10c during summer and between 21c and 0c during winter. The best time to visit Ooty is between April to June and September to November. This hill station can be reached by rail and road. The nearest air port is at Coimbatore which is about 100kms from Ooty The main tourist attraction in Ooty is The Government Botanical Gardens. The Government Botanical Gardens laid out in 1847, is the most beautiful jewel on the crown of the "Queen of Hill Stations". Well over 650 species of plants are in the garden and the fossil of a tree trunk believed to be 20 million years old is preserved here.
The garden spreads over 22 hectares has lush green lawns, six sections comprising varieties of tree species, variety of ferns, fashioned beds, an Italian formal garden, flowering plants, house ferns, orchids and nurseries. It is indeed a great pleasure for me to reside very close to the Botanical Gardens. Visiting the Botanical Gardens was always a great pleasure and refreshment. The Lush green meadows the ever green woods inspire everyone. The Dodabetta is the highest point in the entire Western ghats section, standing at an altitude of 2619 MSL. It is a breath taking experience and gives a birds I view of the entire Ooty town and surrounding villages At time the clouds descend to the extent that you feel at heaven.. This peak is a paradise for trekkers, mountaineers and photographers.
This location is well connected by road, at a distance of 10kms from the town. The other place of tourist interest around my home town is the artificial lake called Boat House. This was constructed in 1824 by Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore and the founder of Ooty during the British Empire. His 150 death anniversary was celebrated recently on the 16th Jan 2005. The lake provides ample atmosphere for boating and boat races and boat shows are held annually. The Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary lying in the Nilgiri District abutting Kerala & Karnataka State, this is situated at an elevation of 1000 meters and extends over an area of 321 sq kms.
The wild animals commonly seen here is Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Panther, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Parcupine etc. There are cottages, dormitory and jungle huts which provide basic amenities to the wildlife lovers and also brings them closer to the nature. I am indeed happy to be born and brought up in this unique hill station with splendorous natural beauty. The major concern of the dwellers of this unique town is its rise in pollution levels, large scale deforestation, slow change in the climatic conditions and the increase in commercialization. A few Non Governmental Organisation have come forward to protect the nature and safeguard against over exploitation. Campaigns against use of disposal plastic bags and containers were organized and the Government has imposed a total ban on use of plastic disposable goods in the entire district. I hope that such measures will help in stimulating the local public and visitors to preserve the myth of Ooty for the generations to come..
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