1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best time to visit Ooty

Discussion in 'Tamil Nadu' started by Raina, May 10, 2017.

  1. Raina

    Raina New Member

    I plan to celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary with my wife at a hill station. Ooty is one place where my wife has always wanted to go and it seems like a good place to visit.

    One thing that I would like to make sure is that the weather is good when we go, as we would be planning to some sightseeing and would like to be sitting outside in the fresh air. This is where I require some help from the forum, as I would like to know when the best time to visit Ooty would be?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Raina, welcome to the forum!

    (Images from Vinrox, Arunchaitanya, Vinayaraj and Swaminathan)


    Located amidst the Blue Hills or the Nilgiris Hills is truly enthralling hill station known as Ooty. With its riot of colours, from the distant bluish mountains, to the greenery of the estates, the emerald lakes and the pinks or reds of the flowers, Ooty is almost like a work of art waiting to be discovered. Its beauty is known far and wide, in fact, during the British colonial rule, Ooty was one of their summer retreats. The hill station is also one of the most popular tourist destinations of Tamil Nadu, thronged to by many tourists at any time of the year. For the first-time tourists to Ooty, one vital aspect of planning for your visit here is the season. While the hill station has pleasant climate almost all-year round, each season offers different things to tourists. Thus, in this guide, you can plan your trip to Ooty more easily, deciding on which time of the year would be best suited for your interests and goals.

    Best Time to Visit Ooty

    Ooty's seasons can be divided into three, namely: summer, monsoon and winter. It has the usual features of mild summers, green monsoons and chilly winters. South India only has a few hill stations which have truly amiable climates and Ooty is one of them. This is the very reason why Ooty is a preferred summer getaway for many locals from surrounding plains or cities. In the guide below, you would be taken through the different seasons of the hill station, their average temperatures, the pros and cons of visiting during that time and more.

    1. Summer Season (March to June)

    (Images from Thotamadhu and Sehrawat)

    With the onset of school vacations in the summer season, tourists throng to the hill station. March is the beginning of the summer season and temperatures around 23°C to 25°C during this time. As April approaches, temperatures go slightly higher, averaging around 27°C. In both months, the dry climate is apparent and onsets of rainfall are very rare. By May, temperatures can climb to 30°C or even higher but the cool breeze, sometimes sporadic drizzles, help in alleviating the heat. As June comes, temperatures start to drop again, usually staying below 30°C while rainfalls become more apparent.

    Summer is the peak tourist season of Ooty so crowds are inevitable during this time. When it comes to hotel rates, they are at their highest during this season too. Plus, the possibility of booking hotels at the last minute is not high so you need to book in advance. Flowers are in full bloom during this season which is a huge pro for the nature lovers. In some attractions or activities, tourists might need to queue for a few minutes because of the higher influx of crowds. For clothing, you can survive with light cotton clothing but do bring some light woollens as nights can get a bit cold. During day time, you might need a few sun gears such as shades, hats and caps to shield you from sunlight. Sightseeing isn't an issue at all during this time as the climate is very much suitable for that.

    At the top of your itinerary during the summer should be the Botanical Gardens. The gardens are divided into several sections of trees, flowers, cactus and more. The flowers of the gardens are in full bloom during May though, which is a part of the summer season. Also worth visiting is the Rose Garden, which has thousands of species of roses in it, again, in full bloom during the same month. View points such as the Doddabetta Peak, Shooting Point and Ketti Valley Point are also good attractions to visit during this season. About 35 kilometres away from the centre of Ooty is the Mukurthi National Park, a lesser known attraction of the hill station. This wildlife reserve isn't as teeming with wildlife but during summers you might be luckier to spot sambars, Nilgiri tahrs, Indian elephants and Nilgiri langurs.

    During April, the Mariamman Temple Festival is held at the temple of the same name. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, a form of Goddess Kali. Aside from the usual rituals, the festival sees the unique ritual of devotees walking through burning coals barefoot to show their obeisance to the Goddess Mariamman. You also can't miss the Summer Festival held all throughout the Nilgiris during the month of May. There are two flower shows, held in both the Botanical Gardens and the Rose Garden. Cultural programs such as dance performances and musical performances can also be witnessed by tourists. In the Ooty Lake, boat races can also be enjoyed by on lookers, as well as other fun activities and games that can be enjoyed by everyone.

    2. Monsoon Season (July to October)

    (Images from Koti and Rohan)

    A quieter side of Ooty is unveiled during the monsoon season. It begins in the month of July, when temperatures remain around 23°C. July is one of the wettest months with rainfall in most days of the month. Don't worry as the rainfall here is mainly drizzles or rain showers. By August, the monsoon rains continue with temperatures being on the same range. The last months of the monsoon, September and October, have temperatures below 20°C. Rain showers are still rampant especially during afternoons. The monsoon season has cloud covers making the atmosphere a bit on the gloomy side.

    The monsoon season is the off-peak tourist season of Ooty. Crowds are sparse during this time and the surroundings are definitely green. For the hotels, their rates are at their lowest, the same goes for travel agencies and their packages. Transportation might be a bit troublesome so make sure you book in advance if you don't have your own vehicle. Even sightseeing can be a bit troublesome due to the drizzles and rains. For that, make sure you bring waterproof coats or boots to protect you from the rain or mud. Nights can be very chilly so light woollens to heavy woollens might be necessary, depending on your tolerance for the cold temperatures.

    Ooty has several lakes that are worth exploring during this time. Ooty Lake, the most popular lake, might even be sparsely populated during this time. Other lakes such as Pykara Lake, Upper Bhavani Lake, Emerald Lake and Avalanche Lake are fuller during this time. Surrounded by green forests and lush mountains, the views become even more enchanting. Indoor attractions like the St. Stephen's Church, M & N Chocolate Museum, Mini Car Museum and Wax World Museum are all worth visiting during sudden rain showers.

    Festivals celebrated during the monsoon in Ooty are on the lower side. Perhaps the most noteworthy festival celebrated during this time is the Dussehra Festival. The festival is celebrated during the month of September or October. It pays tribute to the trinity of Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Parvati. It is a several day long festival which is very colourful and showcases the rich culture of the region. Though not as grand as the Mysore Dussehra, the Ooty Dussehra is still worth witnessing.

    3. Winter Season (November to February)

    (Images from Weirdly Wired and Narmadha)

    For the last season, winter, it extends from November to February. Temperatures are usually around 18°C to 20°C during the month of November. By December, temperatures can go below 15°C, sometimes even reaching 10°C. As January approaches, temperatures usually remain around 12°C and by February, temperatures start to increase a bit at around 15°C. This is a dry season as well so rain showers are sparse. Snowfall is very rare though sometimes Ooty has subzero temperatures during January which make the way for frost to occur. Frost is more possible than snowfall for the hill station of Ooty, as it is located in the south, quite close to the equator.

    Winter can be considered as the mid-peak tourist season for Ooty. Usually, you'd encounter honeymoon couples more during this season. Some families who want to enjoy the colder climate also throng to the hill station during this season. It's a must to bring heavy woollens and socks during this time to the hill station. For hotel rates, they are on the mid-range side, as it is not completely off or peak season yet. Sightseeing would be enjoyable owing to the misty environment though it can be troublesome during early mornings. Traffic won't be as bad so you can rely on both private or public transportation for getting around.

    For sightseeing, you can usually cover all the attractions mentioned above. The lakes are very picturesque during this time because the crowds are less. View points are best visited during the day when misty covers are less. The gardens would be serene but the flowers won't be in full bloom so that's one downside. You can visit the religious sites of Ooty during this time like the Annamalai Murugan Temple, St. Stephen's Church and Holy Trinity Church. The Deer Park is a delight for the wildlife lovers where they can spot some sambars on enclosures while enjoying the view of the picturesque Ooty Lake. During the winter season, the sky's the limit when it comes to sightseeing so explore to your heart's content.

    Winter is a festive season with the onset of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Aside from that, the Tea and Tourism Festival of Ooty is also held during this season. The festival is usually held during the month of January and celebrated the various teas grown and produced in the region. It is a vibrant event with cultural programs of folk dances and traditional music. During this event, it's also a must to taste the locally grown teas which have lots of variety in the hill station.

    Summary of Guide

    Short on time? Refer to the table below for a summarised version of the guide above. In a nutshell, Ooty is best visited any time of the year, but for those who truly want to make the most of their trip, opt for the summer season. You can then escape the heat in the city while exploring the paradise that is Ooty. If you want to avoid the crowds, then opt for the monsoon season, when the hill station is greener and its lakes are fuller but the tourist are lesser. If you want to truly enjoy the pride of the hill station, its salubrious climate, then opt to visit during the winter. It won't be completely crowded not desolate so just a good time for exploring without being too offbeat.

    Summary of Seasons of Ooty

    SeasonMonthsAverage TemperaturesBest ForMust Wear
    SummerMarch to June23°C to 30°CFamilies, Friends and Adventure SeekersLight Cotton Clothes and Sun Essentials Such as Caps, Shades and Scarves
    MonsoonJuly to October20°C to 23°CLone Travellers, Nature Lovers and Solace SeekersLight Woollen Clothes and Rain Essentials Such as Umbrellas, Raincoats and Boots
    WinterNovember to February10°C to 20°CCouples, Families and Cold Temperature SeekersHeavy Woollen Clothes and Winter Essentials Such as Jackets and Bonnets

    The best time to visit Ooty? Well, it depends on your interests as a tourist really. If you are okay with the crowds and want to do as much sightseeing as you'd like, the summer is the best season for you. More so for families and groups of friends who are not used to too cold climates. If you want to enjoy the serene side of Ooty, then go there during the monsoon season. You can bask in the serenity of nature while enjoying the here and there drizzles of rains. For couples or families who want a bit of a getaway during the rush of the season, then opt for winter, when Ooty marvels in its misty views.

    Enjoy your trip to Ooty!:)