The beauty of Ooty, a popular quaint hill station in Tamil Nadu, is truly hypnotizing. Home to majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and sprawling tea estates, Ooty is the perfect retreat for travellers who wish to spend some time amidst nature. Besides serenity and natural beauty, there is one more thing that attracts tourists to this hill town – the majestic waterfalls in the region that are perfect spots for both nature and adventure lovers. Though the list of falls in and around Ooty is long, we have zeroed in on a few popular ones to help you choose.
Here are 8 must-visit waterfalls on your trip to South India’s ‘Queen of Hill Stations’:
1. Kalhatti Falls
Situated amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Sigur Plateau, Kalhatti Falls cascades down the verdant Nilgiri mountains from a height of about 120 feet. Besides the striking views and serene atmosphere, tourists come to this place to explore the rich biodiversity of the region. The endemic avian population here makes this site a paradise for birdwatchers. Visitors can access this waterfall through the Kalhatti village, near the popular hill town of Bellikkal.
- Distance from Ooty: 13 km
- Location: Sigur Ghat Road, Sholur
2. Halasana Falls
Popularly known as Oteh Kodaaru in local Tamil dialect, Halasana Falls plunges down from a height of 150 feet. The waterfall is so high and fierce that its gushing waters have created a deep crater on the rocky ground over the years. As this cascade is located in the Kollamuby Estate – a privately-owned property, visitors need to take permission to visit the site.
- Distance from Ooty: 14 km
- Location: Dindigul
3. Katary Falls
Third largest in the Nilgiris, Katary Falls is a two-tiered cascade gushing down an altitude of 180 meters. Besides the height of the waterfall, the location’s scenic beauty is a major pull for tourists visiting Ooty. Interestingly, this is also the site of India’s first hydroelectric power project – Kathary Hydroelectric System, so don’t miss out on the massive dams when here.
- Distance from Ooty: 5 km
- Location: Adikaratti
4. Pykara Falls
Originating from the cliffs of Mukurthi, Pykara Falls cascades down in two sections – from a height of 55 m and 61 m. It is formed by the Pykara River, which holds religious importance for the Toda people inhabiting the land. The falls merge into a lake at the bottom that goes by the same name and is popular among tourists as a beautiful picnic spot. You can indulge in a lot of fun activities near the falls, including boating and horse riding. We suggest visiting Pykara Falls in the month of July to see the cascade and its surroundings in all their glory.
- Distance from Ooty:7 km
- Location: Ooty-Mysore Road, Sholur
5. Law’s Falls
Falling amidst dense forests and vast stretches of unspoiled beauty, Law’s Falls is a paradise for nature lovers. Its gushing waters, falling from a height of 180 m and diverging at several levels before entering the pool, are a sight to behold. As the place has a rocky landscape, it is often visited by adventure enthusiasts as well. Post-monsoon is the best time to visit this fall – named after Col. Law, who commissioned the construction of the Coonoor Ghat.
- Distance from Ooty: 26 km
- Location: Ooty-Mettupalayam Road, Coonoor
6. Kolakambai Falls
An idyllic retreat for those who wish to spend some time appreciating the pristine beauty of nature, Kolakambai Falls is definitely a must-visit near Ooty. It falls from a height of 400 feet without any interruptions and is known to be the highest of all waterfalls in the Nilgiris. The best part is you can reach this fall by hiking, trekking or biking through the wilderness, which makes it quite popular among adventure enthusiasts. The best time to visit Kolakambai Falls is April to June and September to December, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
- Distance from Ooty: 35 km
- Location: Adikaratti
7. Catherine Falls
Falling from a height of around 250 feet, this two-tiered cascade is the second largest in the Nilgiris. The lush green forests and tea plantations surrounding the waterfall make it a must-visit for those willing to disconnect from the world and get lost in the lap of nature. It is also one of the most-loved places among trekkers owing to the adventurous terrains, leading up to its top. Originally called Geddhehaada Halla, the site came to be known as Catherine Falls after the wife of M.D. Cockburn – the man who introduced coffee plantations in the area.
- Distance from Ooty: 41 km
- Location: Kotagiri
8. Elk Falls
A visual treat for nature lovers and a perfect refuge for wandering souls, Elk Falls are nestled in the Echoing Valley of Kookal. Situated near Uyilathi village, this waterfall must be on your itinerary owing to its celestial charm and the serenity of the woodlands leading up to it. You can visit the falls at any time of the year, but they look most beautiful during monsoons. It is also the time when you can relish one of the tastiest orange varieties grown in the world. A major attraction near the falls is a European House, which dates back to the colonial era.
- Distance from Ooty: 41 km
- Location: Mettupalayam Road, Kotagiri
A trip to Ooty will definitely be incomplete without visiting these mesmerizing creations of nature. Make sure to add these names to your itinerary to make your vacation perfect.