Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is a beautiful town in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for its stunning views of the Nilgiri hills and its temperate climate. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Ooty to experience its stunning natural beauty.
The hills of Ooty have long been a beloved destination for travellers and adventurers alike. With its lush green forests and breathtaking views, it’s easy to see why this small town in the Nilgiri Hills is so popular. From the winding roads that lead up to the hill station to the famous toy train that winds its way through the mountains, there is something magical about Ooty.
Whether it’s the peace and tranquility of the forest or the adventure of riding the toy train, Ooty is a perfect destination for anyone looking for a relaxing getaway.
Ooty Toy Train
The scenic Nilgiri Mountain Railway, also known as the Ooty toy train that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty, is a popular attraction, with many people taking the toy train for the sheer joy of it. From the moment the train departs the station, riders are entranced by the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
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Taking a ride on this narrow-gauge railway is an experience unlike any other. As it winds its way through the hills, passing lush green fields and valleys, passengers can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the landscape. The journey is not only scenic, but exciting too – the train’s sharp turns and winding tracks make it an adrenalin-pumping ride.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the oldest mountain railways in India, and it has a long and fascinating history. The British began construction on the railway in 1854, and it was completed in 1908. Over the years, the railway has been upgraded to improve safety and efficiency, but it still retains its classic charm.
In July 2005, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its historical and cultural significance. Today, the railway operates the train services to Ooty and is a popular tourist attraction. The railway has old world glamour and its many bridges, tunnels, and curves make it an especially thrilling ride.
The scenic ride
The 46km train journey from Mettupalayam to Ooty is a stunning trip that takes passengers through some of the most beautiful landscapes in India. The journey starts at Mettupalayam, which is 330m above sea level, before gradually climbing up to Ooty, situated at 2200m above sea level.
Along the way, passengers will be treated to breathtaking views of the lush Nilgiri hills, deep valleys and dense forests. This journey is especially popular with tourists and provides a unique opportunity to experience some of the best of nature’s beauty.
Relax and take in the view
The Ooty toy train is a beloved part of India’s history and culture. It winds through the picturesque landscape of the Nilgiri Hills and passes through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges, and 208 curves. The train takes 4.5 hours to cover 46 kilometers, running at an average speed of just 10.4 kilometers an hour. That makes it the slowest train in the country.
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Despite its slow speed, the Ooty toy train is a favoured way to explore the Nilgiri Hills in southern India. Passengers can take in the stunning views and marvel at the amazing diversity of the surrounding countryside.
The train is so popular that tickets sell out quickly, so it’s important that travellers plan their trips in advance to make sure they get a seat.
The Nilgiri Railway is a unique way to experience the beauty of southern India, as it is the only mountain railway in the region that runs daily services. The train leaves from Mettupalayam at 7.10am every day and chugs its way up the mountains, taking in the stunning scenery, before arriving into Ooty at 12 noon.
The return journey from Ooty starts at 2pm and winds its way back down the mountain, arriving in Mettupalayam at 5:35 pm.
Leaving Mettupalayam, you’ll pass Coonoor, Wellington, Aravankadu, Ketti, and Lovedale on your way to Ooty.
How to book tickets?
The railway offers both first-class and second-class tickets. The Indian Railway’s website (www.irctc.co.in) is an easy and convenient way to book train tickets online.
Due to its popularity and the influx of tourists, it is highly recommended to book tickets for the Ooty Toy Train journey at least 2 or 3 months in advance.
The Ooty Toy Train Ride is a truly unique and unforgettable experience, one that all tourists should try when visiting South India.
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