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The 'Queen of Hill Stations' Udhagamandalam, better known as Ooty, is the most popular hill station in South India. Located in the Western Ghats at a height of 2240 metres, Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiri district. The Toda tribe has been living here since time immemorial, but the credit for 'discovering' Ooty, making it accessible and developing it, surely goes to the British. In 1822, John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore, constructed the 'Stone House', which is now the Chamber of the Principal of the Government Arts College and one of Ooty's better known landmarks. Ooty was the summer capital of the Madras Presidency, in the days of the British Raj.
Places to Visit in Ooty
The Rose garden located just 3-4 km from Charing Cross encompasses 10 acres of flowerbeds and exhibits 1919 varieties of roses!
The Ooty Lake
The beautiful Ooty Lake is a favorite haunt of tourists. There are facilities for boating on the lake and pony rides for children around it.
Maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Botanical Garden has a wide variety of plants that include different types of roses, imported shrubs, rare flowering plants, eucalyptus trees, several old trees and even a fossilized tree trunk that is 20 million years old. There is also a beautiful Italian floral garden.
The Dodabetta Peak
At a height of 2623 meters, Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in South India. On a clear day, one can see the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore plateau.
The undulating countryside just outside Ooty is ideal for long walks.
ONE DAY EXCURSIONS AROUND CITY:
Kalhatti Falls (14 km)
The picturesque waterfalls come down a 36 m drop. A popular spot for picnics and treks.
Glenmorgan (17 km)
The beautiful countryside with tea and eucalyptus plantations undisturbed sholas and fine views is ideal for drives and picnics.
Coonoor (10 kms)
A pretty hill town, Coonoor is located amidst tea gardens. The Sims Park, established here in 1874, has fine lawns and a collection of rare plants and trees picturesquely located along a steep slope. Scenic waterfalls - Law's Falls and St. Catherine Falls and fine vantage points with breathtaking views and amusing names like Lamb's Rock, Dolphin's Nose and Lady Canning's Seat dre popular picnic spots.
Pykara (21 km)
The grassy meadows around the Pykara Dam and reservoir are popular with visitors.
Avalanchi (28 km)
Here, a calm lake is surrounded by forests.
Delhi tourist attractions
Living testament to the glory of the Mughal days, patron of palaces and tombs and the capital of India, New Delhi is all of this and more. Situated about 160 kms south of the Himalayas and on the west bank of the Yamuna River, a tributary of the Ganges, Delhi has the distinction of being the historic hub of politics.
Delhi is as modern or ancient as you want it to be. Today's Delhi is cosmopolitan, modern and fun-loving. With feasts for art and theatre lovers, concerts for the musically inclined and food that can make a gourmet cry with delight. Delhi is a place with something for everyone.
People from all parts of the country inhabit Delhi. There are different cultural pockets with Punjabi's being the most dominant section here. The most common languages spoken here besides English are Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
Top tourist attractions in Delhi
Also called the Lal Qila, the Red Fort in Delhi is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon. It is surrounded by a wall of about 2.4 kms in circumference and is built of red sandstone. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and after nine years, the fort was completed in 1648. The fort has two main entrances, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate.
Formerly the Vice-Regal Palace, it is the official residence of the President of India. This 340 rooms palace and its gardens cover an area of 330 acres. Special permission has to be obtained in advance to visit the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India was built by Shah Jahan. The Masjid overlooks the old markets of the city that are massed around Chandni Chowk and stretches till the great Red Fort. Walking through this area can prove to be a trip down the times, where the flavor of old Mughal charm still lingers.
The emblem of Delhi, the 72.55 meter high Qutub Minar was erected in the 13th century by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. Within the complex is an Iron pillar, which has never rusted. This five-storied tower is visible from a distance of several kilometers. Which means that you could be visiting a lot of places in Delhi and the Qutub Minar stays with you.
Rajpath is worth a visit. Every January 26, the grand Republic Day Parade is held there. At one end, is the India Gate where the eternal flame burns to commemorate India's war heroes. At the other end is the Presidential Palace, the Rashtrapati Bhavan. On some days in early spring, visitors are allowed to wander around the building's famed Mughal Gardens.
The hall of Public audiences is where the Emperor listened to the grievances of his subjects, settled disputes and generally dispensed justice.
The hall of Private audiences, a structure of white marble, is where the Emperor held private meetings and met dignitaries. The famous peacock throne, studded with precious stones, was in this hall before Nadir Shah carted it away to Iran.
Jantar Mantar is an observatory. About 300 years old, it can measure the movement of the earth and the stars. It is also a very peaceful park in the centre of town.
This massive 42m tall structure was built as a memorial to the 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. The structure has the names of the soldiers engraved on it. An eternal flame burns here in commemoration of the brave soldiers.
These beautiful gardens have majestic domed tombs of many Sayyid and Lodi Sultans. The well-kept gardens with fountains, ponds, flowering trees, blossoming shrubs and bushes are ideal places for joggers and those who seek solitude.
Haji Begum, the senior wife of Emperor Humayun built this mausoleum in the mid 16th century. The tomb is situated amidst avenues of trees, watercourses and flowerbeds. A magnificent example of refined early Mughal architecture, the structure harmoniously blends with nature.
This is the sixth city of Delhi. Located south-east of India Gate, it is one of the most prominent monuments in Delhi. Humayun started the fort's construction but Sher Shah, who drove him out from Delhi, completed the city during his own reign (1538-1545). The massive walls and huge gates were constructed by Humayun. The octagonal Shermandal and the Quila-i-Kuhra
India tours: Shimla Tour
Shimla, the summer capital of the British India, is situated at a height of 2,196 meters. While the British have left, the echoes linger on. Today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and many attractions make it one of India's most popular hill resorts in the Himalayan lower ranges. It is surrounded by pine, cedar, oak and rhododendron forests.
Towards the north lie the snow-covered high ranges, while the valleys below hold streams and swaying fields. Within the town are splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks. You can go shopping on the fashionable Mall, visit its neo-Gothic churches, the grand former Vice-regal Lodge or the cemeteries.
Places to see around Shimla include- Mashobra. Bekhaltv road, camp sites and the Golf Course at Naldehra, Tattapani, the Shiv-Parvati Caves, The Kufri Slopes, etc.
How to get there
By Road: Well connected with Delhi, 375 kms away.
By Air: Shimla Airport is 23 kms from the city and is served by Indian Airlines flights during the summer months.
By Rail: The nearest mainline station for Shimla is at Kalka, 95 kms away. From here, there is a picturesque toy train upto Shimla four times daily.