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Ooty Holiday Travel

Recreations At Ooty

Ooty Activities

Ooty, India has a remarkable range of activities catering to almost every market segment. There are plenty of family friendly activities in Ooty, and children are never bored when holidaying anywhere in India. For young couples and singles, Ooty offers an exciting and diverse nightlife and is considered one of the culinary capitals of India. Ooty is also a world-class shopping venue for shopaholics. Click the activity links below for further information.

Children’s Activities

Ooty is fairly bereft of purpose-built attractions for young visitors and is far more of an adult visitor destination than anything else. However, the beautiful landscape is something that people of all ages will enjoy. Parents taking their kids on a family holiday here or a short trip as a part of a tour of the region, will find a small selection of possibilities for entertaining children.

Hotel playgrounds, swimming pools and organised events

Many of Ooty’s top hotels offer activities for young guests; so if you are travelling with little ones, it is worth checking what facilities are on offer before you make your reservation. The Taj Savoy offers a children’s playground and an indoor playroom while the Holiday Inn Gem Park Hotel has a children's swimming pool and playground. Most of the reputable hotels also have games rooms with billiards, snooker, pool, etc.

Jolly World

Although not necessarily comparable with Western theme parks, Jolly World in Ooty is perhaps worth a trip if you have young children (under 12 years), as its small selection of rides and games are geared towards the littlest ones. The park is located at the Lake Boat House.

Ooty Children’s Park

Located at the eastern end of the lake, this park is not really geared towards children; however, its wide-open spaces and pleasant natural beauty can be appreciated by all visitors young and old. A boating lake also provides some fun for the little ones with pedal boats.

Tamil Nadu beaches

If you are prepared to travel some distance from Ooty, then you can take advantage of some of the scenic beaches on offer in the state of Tamil Nadu. Some are close enough perhaps to permit daytrips while others might necessitate overnight excursions. Top beaches in the region include: Muttukkadu, Kanyakumari, Rameswaram, Mandapam, Covelong and the Kurusadai Islands.

Cultural Activities

Ooty has a fairly decent selection of culturally interesting sights and structures. It is possible to appreciate everything from fine gardens to old churches and religious landmarks. Additionally, if you are prepared to travel a little out of the city to Kalpetta or Coimbatore, you can see some magnificent old Jain and Hindu temples.

Glass Temple

Located in Kalpetta, this Jain temple is dedicated to Shree Parshwanath Swami and is notable for its interior mirrors which capture and reflect the temple’s extensive collection of religious icons. Also of note in the same region is the Puliyar Mala Jain Temple that is dedicated to Anantha Natha Swami.

Kandal Cross Shrine

This interesting religious landmark is Roman Catholic in origin and is popularly considered to portray the ‘Jerusalem of the East’ or, according to locals, the ‘Calvary of Tamil Nadu’.

Perur Temple

Also in Coimbatore is this Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva with its Garba graha (sanctum sanctorum) that was constructed by Karikala Chola in the early days of the region’s Christian era.

Varambetta Mosque
Located in neighbouring Kalpetta, this is the oldest mosque in the Wayanad district, having been built more than three centuries ago.

Dining & Shopping

Ooty’s cuisine hardly differs from that which is fairly firmly established across Tamil Nadu comprising of dishes of both a vegetarian and non-vegetarian nature. Essential ingredients in vegetarian dishes include coconut, tamarind and asafoetida, while garam masala is common to meat-free and meat-based creations and coconut oil is used as the chief cooking agent.

Breakfast in Ooty often includes dosa (rice and lentil flour pancakes); pongal (mashed lentils with rice, cashew nuts, pepper, cumin and ghee) and vada (doughnuts made from lentil flour). Lunch meanwhile is generally a selection of vegetable curry dishes served with rice, various chutneys and hot broth. Alternatively mutton, chicken or fish can be eaten at lunchtime. Evening meals are not dissimilar, generally comprising rice and vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry-style dishes accompanied by crisp papads and various kinds of roti (Flat bread).

Ooty has some great places to eat out and it’s worthwhile paying that little bit extra for the slightly more upmarket venues sometimes. Among the town’s reputable establishments, Hills Palace, the Tandoor Mahal and Chandan Vihar are notable for local cuisine. The restaurants of the town’s big hotels are generally fairly safe bets, offering good selections of local, national and international dishes. Chinese food is also popular in Ooty with Chinkos Chinese Restaurant among the better restaurants serving oriental cuisine.

As far as shops are concerned, Ooty is pretty well-equipped, offering a good selection of both small independent local traders and upmarket outlets in shopping arcades. In the former category, visitors will find shops selling a vast selection of locally made handcrafted products with everything from jewellery and clothing, to artworks such as pottery items, paintings and stone crafts.

Additionally, tribal crafts capturing something of the town’s past can also be found. Good places to shop for handicrafts include Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts and Kairali of Kerala Handicrafts; both located close to the supermarkets at Charring Cross.

Products that are exclusive to the Nilgiris region include tea, coffee, natural oils and indigenous fruit species. Tea in particular is very representative of the region and can make for a good gift for family and friends back home (customs rules of some countries may prohibit the importing of organic produce, so be sure to check first and declare such goods on arrival). For branded and designer goods, try the shopping arcades in Ooty’s reputable hotels

Outdoor Activities

Although Ooty has a relatively short list of outdoor activities on offer, its winter weather combined with its wonderful scenery, lush forest areas and variety of terrain, make it a destination where a plethora of sports could be pursued. Rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking are among the possibilities if you have the gear and the know-how.

Fishing is a popular Ooty past-time and avid anglers enjoy carp, goad trout and mixed water fishing at the town’s various lakes, streams and waterways. Fishing licences are necessary and can be obtained from the Assistant Director of Fisheries.


The Department of Tourism facilitates the pursuit of hang-gliding in Ooty by helping to organise courses during the months of March, April and May each year. Inquire at hotels or tourist information offices for more details.


Many of the town’s top hotels have their own pools, offering opportunities for a pleasant paddle or a few serious laps depending on your mood. Since pools get busy in the hot weather, it’s wise to hit them in early morning if you really want a good uninterrupted swim session.

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