Ideal Time: 1-2 hrs
Ooty Botanical Gardens lie on the lower slopes of the Doddabetta peak, the Government Botanical Garden is a splendid garden in Udhagamandalam, near Coimbatore in the state of Tamil Nadu. Sprawled over an area of 22 hectares, the garden is divided into several sections that are trimmed beautifully to present an endearing sight. Visitors are greeted with astounding colourful natural beauty from the moment they pass through the gates. For more than 160 years, foreign and local travellers have visited the lush green lawns of the garden, admiring the stunning variety of flowers, ferns, and orchids present here. Another highlight of the Botanical Garden is the Toda hill, known as the Toda mund, which gives the visitors an insight into the lives and culture of Todas (a tribe of the Nilgiris).
The foundation of Ooty Botanical Garden was laid down in the year 1848 and was designed so as to have a terraced terrain. The slopes of the hill lie at an ascent of 2500 metres above mean sea level, as a result of which the garden enjoys a temperate climate ideal for a number of plants and shrubs to grow. The Botanical garden in Ooty is home to many rare species of trees, chief among them being the cork tree, the only one of its kind in India. The paperbark tree, the monkey puzzle tree and an old fossilized tree estimated to be 20 million years old round out the other rare species. The monkey puzzle tree has been named so because even monkeys fail to climb it. In addition to these, a number of exotic and indigenous vegetation of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants are found here as well.
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