As a vlogger, unfolding the rustic beauty of a place like Ooty is a dream come true. So when the chance came for a weekend escape to visit Sterling’s beautiful Ooty Fernhill resort, I jumped at it. Little did I know that I was about to explore an all new side to Ooty like never before. It is my third trip to Ooty but my first time playing videographer on the journey and my guide this time was a local. The warm staff at Sterling Ooty Fernhill greeted me (like they will you) with an exotic tea upon arrival — one that is native of Ooty — which rejuvenated my senses at once.
I rested for a while in my amazingly comfortable bed, staring out through the beautiful over-sized French windows, to the fog-lined countryside. Then, it was time for me to head out. Come with me as I share it all with you in my video above.
Why You’ll Love It
Ooty aka Udagamandalam has earned the title ‘Queen of hills’ because of its unmatched mystical beauty. At an elevation of 7, 350 ft, this place is surrounded by Nilgiris, fresh lakes, tea plantations, coffee estates and is connected by an age-old mountain railway.
Sterling Ooty Fernhill has over 70 rooms, quaint roofed cottages, warm decors, a classy dining area, a café, an organic garden and large areas for outdoor activities. The view of tiny patches of vibrant flowers overflowing everywhere, seemed pretty as a picture against the cold mist.
WHAT TO DO IN OOTY
Explore the Toda Tribe
Isn’t it fascinating to learn that people from this century-old tribe are the original inhabitants of the region? Did you also know that buffaloes are primarily worshipped by this all vegetarian tribe since its inception? Todas are also popular for their non-violent ways of extracting honey. This undoubtedly proves that they are true nature lovers. What’s even more fascinating is the construction of their houses popularly known as ‘Dogles’. These oval-shaped marvels made of bamboo canes and stones are about 10-feet tall with a door as high as 3-feet tall. You may now be wondering if a person has to literally crawl to get inside and yes this was one of their ways to keep wildlife animals at bay. Well, I also couldn’t take my eyes off the intricate primitive rock paintings on doors dating back to stone-age. Their indigenous hand-woven fabrics in hues of red, black and cream are to die for, literally! Dancing with them to their captivating music, trying to imitate their intriguing moves will be one of the fondest memories to carry forward.
Unwind in Tea Plantations
The never-ending green covers all through Ooty, forms for a brilliant landscape. With dropping temperatures all through the year, you can expect to have a good time visiting tea plantations and exploring tea factories around. Don’t forget to pick up some exotic tea flavours as a souvenir to give away.
Visit the Chocolate Factory
Who does not have a weakness for chocolates? If you have always been intrigued to know how it is all crafted, Ooty is the most ideal place to explore and also satisfy your taste buds.
Ride the Heritage Train
A trip to Ooty is often incomplete without a ride on the century-old heritage mountain train, overlooking the blue hills, bridges, tunnels, heritage buildings and maiden lakes. It is among the oldest running trains in India and thus sets the place apart from a number of other popular southern destinations.
Bangalore to Ooty Weekend Itinerary
Here are the top spots you’ll want to visit for the perfect Ooty experience. A little bit of culture, a little bit of nature, tons of yummy food, and lots of fun!
- Botanical Garden
- The Ooty Lake (popular for boating)
- Doddabetta Peak
- Rose Garden
- Sims Park(Connoor)
- Pykara Waterfall
- Fernhill Palace
- St. Stephen’s Church
- Dolphin’s Nose(near Connoor)
Pro Tips >>
- Pack a lot of warm clothes. The climate is night and day different to Bangalore, for example!
- Carry an umbrella
- Book your tickets for the heritage train ride well in advance because they sell out quickly, especially on the weekends and key holidays
- Carry a power bank and extra batteries for your camera
Connect with Sterling Fernhill Resort, Ooty
Sterling’s Ooty Fernhill was not just about exquisite food and stay but more about connecting with nature, exploring the Toda tribe, visiting private tea plantations and exploring chocolate factories. I wore the hat of a local for three days and am glad to have holidayed differently!
For more information or to make a reservation, visit their website. And be sure to like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram for a healthy dose of travel inspiration.
Do what you love, love what you do!
#TravelWithShruthi for AngelasBangalore.com