Must Visit

Ooty Botanical Gardens

4.4 / 5 80 votes

Weather:

Ideal Time: 1-2 hrs

Timings:

7:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Entry Fee:

Adults: INR 30,
Kids: INR 20,
Photography: INR 50,
Videography: INR 100
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Ooty Botanical Gardens, Ooty Overview

Lying 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 strolled 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 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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The Ooty Botanical Garden is meticulously designed into different sections as follows:-

1. Lower Garden: The lower garden is a lush spread of Kikiyu grass embellished with 127 species of ferns along the road leading to Raj Bhavan. One of the most attractive pieces of garden work here is the carpet-bet design of the map of the Indian Union laid out with assorted plants and the fossil trunk which is a whopping 20 million years old, erected on a platform. Other tress present here include Hymnosporum flavum, Cordylline australlis, Cedrus deodara, Cupressus funebrils, Araucaria bidwillii, Cupressus macrocarpa, Cryptomeria japonica, Eucalyptus maculate, Eucalyptus citriodora and Quercus grilffithi among others. 

2. New Garden: The new garden, as the name suggests, is a newer section of the garden which has a beautiful rose garden with as many as hybrid roses, Floribunda and Polyanthas rose varieties. FLower beds and carpet bed emblems of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India are present here as well. Trees such as Taxodium mucronatum, Pieris ovalifolia, Juniperus virginiana, Eucalyptus eugenoides, Pinus wallichiana, Photinia lindleyana, Pinus canaariensils, Ginkgo biloba, Araucaria cunninghammi and Cupressus lawsoniana are present here in abundance. A quaint pond with aquatic plant varieties is present here as well. 

3. Italian Garden: This part of the garden is called so because it was laid down by Italian prisoners after the World War I, who at that time was shifted to Ooty. Astres, ageratum, balsam, begonia, petunia, pansy, phlox, cosmos, zinnia and perennial flowers like salvia, delphinium,  larkspur, and dahlia are the main attraction in this part of the garden. These are laid out in typical Italian fashion where the beds surround the central octagonal bystand. A crescent-shaped lake gives way to lotus and other aquatic plants as well. 

4. The Conservatory: The conservatory is a public accessible establishment meant for classifying various flowering plants into groups. Cineraria, Schizanthus, Calceolaria,
Balsam, Cyclamen, Gloxinia, Tuberous begonia, Coleus, Geranium, Chrysanthemum, Primulas, Tydea and Achemenes find a place in this conservatory. 

5. The Nurseries: Lying about 300 feet above the lower lawns, the Nurseries consist of glass houses and terraces that are meant for the breeding of exotic plants. Begonias, Ferns, Cacti,  Succulents, Orchids and Bulbous plants are the main focus of the nursery, while the terrace is used for growing plants for cut flowers, seed and also for trial purposes.

Every year in the month of May, a flower show is conducted at the Ooty Botanical Garden that exhibits various flowers along with rare plant species, which is a major attraction of the place.  The celebration is held over a period of two days during which the inauguration of the show is held on the first day while prize distribution takes place on the second day. The entire garden is decorated with floral arrangements, Indian and Japanese decorations, vegetable carvings, bosai and flower rangolis.

As many as 250 exhibitors including several government departments and voluntary agencies presenting 50 varieties of potted plants, 150 varieties of cut flowers, various kinds of tropical and temperate vegetables and tropical and temperate fruits can be seen during the Flower Show. Momentos and cash prizes are distributed among the best performers, which adds an edge to the events held here. A garden competition is also held in which Estate Gardens, Private Cottage Gardens, Public Gardens and various other categories of gardens take part. On an average, about 200 gardens compete in the event. Garden competition is held prior to the flower show and best gardens are awarded prizes and cups.

Ooty Botanical garden is 2.5 kms away from the Ooty railway station and can be reached by walking/ auto rickshaw. You can also take the bus or hire a cab to reach this destination. 

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