Yes, we’ve been waxing eloquently about Ooty often enough now. But, we just can’t seem to help ourselves! This little hill station wonder is filled with so many magical things that one lifetime feels a lot less time to explore. While we all are quite attached to and supremely patriotic about our homes and the place where we are from, we guarantee you that after one visit a part of your heart will always pine for Ooty. And speaking of pining here’s a few attractions listed down below that will ensure that Ooty will be firmly etched into your soul if you happen to visit the lovely place this May!
The Ooty Summer Festival
The Ooty Summer Festival, a 121 year old tradition that is still carried out today and celebrated with the same pomp and splendour as before. Organised by the Government of Tamil Nadu, this prominent festival sees visitors arriving from all corners of the world to take part in or just revel in the festivity.
This summer festival has fairs, carnivals, flower shows, fruit and vegetable show and spice show along with cultural activities. The event is conducted over a period of 3 days with numerous activities taking place all over the hill station. Classical art exhibitions and adventure activities are also part of the festival’s activities and make it an even more memorable experience for everyone involved.
You’ll face hassles while parking your vehicle and ease of movement might be a bit restricted what with all the security to protect and help with the large crowds that are expected, but it is an event that is un-doubtedly the most beautiful part of visiting Ooty in the summer.
The Ooty Flower show
The most famous attraction of the summer festival is the flower show that is organised at the Ooty Botanical garden, where more than 20,000 varieties of flowers from different countries are displayed, and spectators from all over the world throng to marvel in the flowery heaven that the Botanical garden becomes.
It opens at 7.00 am and closes at 6.30 pm. You have to pay a fee to enter the show: Entry fee is Rs 30/- for adults and Rs 15/- for kids (Below 10 yrs), Camera Fees: Rs 50, fees for Video Camera: Rs 100. A large number of people visit her during the three days that the festival is conducted, so go as early as possible to avoid standing in a long queue.
This year it was conducted on May 19th. If you’ve missed the show, don’t lose heart and cancel your trip for there are always some stragglers or late bloomers among the flowers and the place is charming with or without a flower show.
The Boat Race
Every year in May, the Ooty Lake comes alive with boats whizzing past its smooth, glassy surface in the hopes of winning the infamous Boat race! Another popular event of Ooty’s summer festival and a firm favourite with the crowds, the Ooty Boat Race which held over a period of two days, is an annual event that should not be missed. The tourists can take part in races too and take those cute, brightly painted paddle boats out into the water and test their mettle against others to win the coveted prize for themselves. Go grab a boat and paddle away to glory!
The Vegetable show
The vegetable show is another event during the summer festival that shouldn’t be missed. Conducted by the Horticulture department for a period of two days in Nehru Park, Kotagiri; you get to witness the finest vegetables grown here. The highlight of the vegetable show is the map of India made with red, yellow and green bell peppers. They do have some more interesting tableaus made entirely of vegetables, like a Toda hut for example. It was conducted on the 6th and 7th of May this year at Kotagiri. If you’ve unfortunately missed this spectacle this year, it’s ok there’s always another time.
The Rose Show
Held at the Government Rose Garden in Ooty during the second week of May, it’s quite a treat for your optical and olfactory senses. Highlights include towers made of thousands of roses and elaborate rangolis made of rose petals. The garden has more than 3,000 varieties of roses which are in bloom during the festival.
The spice show is held for two days is organised by district administration and the departments of horticulture and tourism in Gudalur, Nilgiris at Saint Thomas Higher Secondary School. The spice show showcases the indigenous spices that grow in the surrounding hillside of Ooty.
Coonoor’s infamous fruit show is conducted in Sim’s Park, for a period of two days during the last week of May. The annual event which has been has been held for the past 53 years in great splendour is organized by the Department of Horticulture. It attracts about 25,000 visitors annually.
Other events of note during this festival include a hot air balloon show, a tour of heritage buildings, a competition for amateur photographers, a painting exhibition, an eco-trekking programme, a vintage car rally, a marathon race and a market show. The programmes are conducted all across Ooty and your Hotel concierge is your best friend to organise a visit to any of these events.
So what are you waiting for? There’s a summer festival waiting for you in the Nilgiris Mountains with lots of fun activities to make a memorable holiday, rush to book tickets now!