A getaway from the heat of the city, Ooty has been a perfect vacation spot. I remember my mother telling me stories about her serene vacation in Ooty and even when she didn't do anything, walking on the roads to go places and sitting by the gardens were the best times she could ask for. I wouldn't deny that when I travelled to Ooty recently and I understood why it is such a romantic favourite. The closeness to nature, the hilly curves and the mist-covered forests on the peak seemingly called out to me. While I did all the touristy things I could, I realised there were a lot more things I enjoyed doing more than just the usual there. Hence, the list. Check out my list of some offbeat things to do in Ooty.
More Than Scenic Views. Check Out This List Of Offbeat Things To Do In Ooty
Trek To Doddabetta Peak
I don't know how "offbeat" this is but trekking to the peak is one hell of an experience. Muddy roads and dew trickling down the leaves just make you want to go on and on, all the way to the top. While people usually prefer going up to the Doddabetta peak to spectate the magnificent view from the highest "top" in the state, it is the trip there that makes all the difference. Walk along the sides of the roads, through the tea gardens and water channels. You will come across pretty Nilgiri blue flowers! Don't forget to carry enough water and wear hiking shoes.
Drink Hot Chocolate
One of my favourite ways to start the day when I was there was to have a sip of hot chocolate first thing in the morning. You may know Ooty for its chocolates but you need to get the idea of how well Ooty peeps can churn their chocolate to this steamy beverage. The fresh smell of the gooey cocoa and the warmth that calms you, hot chocolate is a must-try here. Ditch your tea for once (although Nilgiris tea is one-of-a-kind). Two of my favourite picks for this drink in Ooty are Cocopods and The Willy's Coffee Pub.
Go Shopping In Main Bazaar
New place and no shopping - now that is a breach of the itinerary in my world. Taking a walk in the bustling Main Bazaar was one of my favourite things to do. You will find hawkers selling street favourites, the aroma of kebabs hitting you and tourists bustling everywhere. However, the best of this place is that you can find shops selling almost everything. Check out the Skins Leather Shop where they have some beautiful handmade leather crafts. If you are looking for budget wear, the sweater shops sell colourful beanies, cute sweatshirts and even adorable jackets! Here, you can even find handmade rugs, carpets and other knick-knacks. In addition, this is the best place if you are looking for Ooty chocolates, Nilgiris tea and Nilgiris oil.
Take A Local Bus To Coonoor
So much hype about the toy train in Ooty and guess the saddest part, I didn't get to take it because of the overcrowded ticket counters and neverending queues. Wouldn't blame them; they have been seeing these in movies since forever. So, I took a local bus to Coonoor instead which was just an hour and a half ride. It may not take you through forests and mountains, but it takes you through the slopes filled with tea gardens, overlooking hills with waterfalls and the sweet wind gushing past your hair. Not only do you get a scenic awakening, but you get a glimpse to the local lifestyle as well.
For top things to do in Coonoor, click here.
Visit The Toda Village
We have been going to Ooty for relaxation since god knows how long but how much do we know about the original tribes who have made it what it is? Toda Village that's located approximately 3 km from Upper Bazaar holds the answer to that. The walk to the village takes you through roads and valleys overlooking dense forests. Upon reaching the village, you realise the true nature of the once glorified tribe of the hills and how much they contributed to making Ooty what it is today. Their huts are strangely beautiful, perfected in an arch-shaped, placed a little below the ground and coated with straw and mud. A must-visit for any architectural or a cultural lover! Know more here.
Go Boating In Pykara Lake
You may have heard of the famous Ooty lake and as excited I was to go there, I couldn't visit it owing to the crowd. So I took a local bus to Pykara Falls instead which was just 45 mins away. Making for a more serene picnic spot with a panorama view of the hills and a walk ahead, you will get to see a magnificent view of white waterfalls cascading down. It is much cleaner and less crowded. You can go boating here and get a closer view of the surrounding greenery.
Wander Inside The Pine Forest
As mysterious as the forests look from outside, they are much of a thrill when viewed from the inside. As you enter the forests, you will be surrounded by gigantic pine trees for as up as your eyes can go. They form a canopy at the top allowing a few rays of misty sunlight to flow in. The view of it all is astounding. You can take a stroll and click some pictures for your Instagram too. The thrill of the ghostly horror yet the warmth of the birds chirping makes it all the more worth it. Romantic, ain't it?
End Your Night With Some Brandy
Brandy may not be anything special but, here in Ooty, the same taste can do magic in your body. Ooty boasts of some rustic country clubs such as Club Mahindra, The Selbournes Bar or The Valley Bar. Pick a few finger snacks and a few glasses of brandy here and soon you will be humming to the tunes of the music and swaying your hips as the warmth of the brandy fills you in. For those cold nights, it is the best remedy!