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A Budget Traveller’s Guide To Ooty
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Tired of routine life? From hectic work schedules, meeting targets, paying bills to everything possible life just throws them at us when most unexpected! Work 5 days a week and spend the next two days catching up with all the sleep you lost the whole week. If this is your perfect idea to de-stress your mind and body we recommend you change your entire idea of a weekend! Sleep is important but if you want to wake up happy on a Monday morning looking forward to the whole new week, then I suggest sleep is just not the answer!
For anyone living in Karnataka, Kerala or Tamil Nadu, Ooty is just a drive away! Remember the good old, when every movie had at least a song shot in Ooty? And we just sit there watching them on screen just to imagine what it would be like to visit Ooty? Well, honestly the Ooty we saw in movies is LONG DEAD! Now, the town and many places around the town that were considered the most beautiful have turned into a complete mess. Blame the tourists, locals or the government for the damages caused to this beautiful town, we should just be thankful that a little bit of the town is still unexploited!
The universal truth is that we all have money crisis at sometime or another and at times like these who would want to go on a vacation? Like seriously! Well honestly, Ooty is actually not that expensive as we think. However, it is necessary that it still fits our budget because honestly everyone hates going broke.. Especially on a vacation! And so it is very necessary to be super wise while planning a trip and sticking to your plan!
Here is a budget guide for a three day-two night trip to the Queen of Hills- Ootacamund!
It is always cheap to travel in own vehicles. It always has its advantages. However, one major disadvantage to traveling in your own vehicle to Ooty is the lack of proper parking facility. Ooty is a small town with most locals having a vehicle of their own. And adding to this are the normal tourist vehicles. So if you want to escape this hassle and enjoy your stay here, we suggest you take the local transport to reach the town. There are government as well as private buses to the town from major cities. A decent private bus may cost you up to Rs.800- Rs.1000. But again, if you want to lower the budget, pick a government bus that may not be very comfortable but will give you the best experience! A one-way travel from Coimbatore to Ooty costs you Rs.53 only! And you pay this for the amazing feeling you get when you start traveling uphill, the second you enter the lane of beautiful trees on either side and a gush of cold wind hits your face and your entire body feels so good and relaxed!
Well other than the public transport, you can always opt for cabs that are available in the bus stations from the city you travel from if you are ready to spend a few thousand. They are definitely expensive for a person looking into a budget trip!
And the last option you have is reaching Ooty via the Toy train from Mettupalayam that would cost you around Rs.200 and takes 5 hours to reach Ooty.
So as discussed, you can choose your mode of transport and reach Ooty. The first thing you would possibly do is find a very nice stay. But trust us when we tell you, most hotels will mint money from you for a room that’s not worth half the price you pay. So why take a risk to search for a stay after you land in Ooty, when you are already tired? We suggest you the best of online sites to choose an amazing stay within your budget. When you plan the trip and fix budgets, we recommend you search through www.ootycottage.com to browse through the long list of cottages, all in very beautiful and serene locations! And most of them are quite a stay with a feel home environment, very near to the town.
Once you check into your room, relax a bit because you definitely have a long day ahead!
The next thing you can possibly do is find a private taxi and definitely, bargaining is the key to success! Once your cab is set, you are good to go! We suggest you visit the major places in Ooty and its surroundings because of time constraints.
The first day of your trip can be spent by exploring Coonoor. We suggest this because, after the check-in and travel, you will hardly have a few hours to sunset and thus, its always better to visit Coonoor as it has lesser places.
The major tourist attraction in Coonoor:
Sims Park: Like the botanical garden in Ooty, Sim’s park is another pleasant garden to visit with family. We hope you do not miss the 200-year-old tree in this garden. There are a few fun activities for kids that include boating in the small pond in the park. The park also has a glasshouse that is open for visitors.
Lamb’s Rock: A very beautiful location, a few kms from Coonoor, Lamb’s rock gets its name from a collector by the name Captain Lamb, only by whose effort the rock was accessible. This place gives a perfect view of the lush green forests cascading the valley.
Dolphin’s Nose: Very near to the Lamb’s rock is Dolphin nose, another rock known for its beautiful view! The path to Dolphin’s nose is quite a route to remember.
And this could be the end of your day 1. Have some good food and if the cottage has the facility, enjoy a campfire!
After a good breakfast, you can leave for the day to explore Ooty. Ooty has too many places that have to be seen. But in this trip, you can cover the most accessible ones and by following the order given, you can definitely save some time.
Ooty Lake: The Ooty lake is located a few minutes from the Ooty bus station. Enjoy the boat ride on pedal boats. Also outside the lake, you will find other fun activities like cycling, horse rides, 3-D shows, etc. You can also do a mini shopping here.
Centenary Rose Garden: Famous for its rare collection of roses, this garden is a must go to anyone who visits Ooty. Situated on top of a hill, the rose garden gives a very beautiful view of the entire town.
Botanical Garden: The first place you can visit is the very famous botanical garden. The Ooty Botanical garden is divided into 6 different areas and also with special permission you can visit an actual Toda temple above one of the gardens. Enjoy exploring this garden that has the rarest of plants and trees collected from all over the world
Tea Factory: On the way to Kotagiri, just a few minutes from the town you can find a two-storey building on the side of the road. The building is more like a tea museum giving us information about tea and how its made. You can also enjoy a hot cup of any tea of the flavor you choose.
Dodabetta Peak: The highest peak in the Nilgiri mountains, this peak stands at about 8,650 feet above sea level. This scenic beauty gives us a bird’s eye view of all the little villages and towns around Ooty. And more to this beautiful place is that it is surrounded by reserved forest which is the home to a variety of flora and fauna!
After a good night’s sleep, and exploring Ooty and Coonoor for two long days, it’s time to leave. But how can we leave without some shopping? You can take an hour or two to stroll around Charring Cross and Commercial Road to buy gifts and souvenirs. And go back to the cottage, pack up and check out. Pick your mode of transport and head home!
And that my friend is how you go on a budget getaway to Ooty!
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