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Nestled amidst the verdant embrace of the Western Ghats, a road trip from Ooty to Kodaikanal promises an adventure unlike any other. As you traverse through a distance of 253 km, you get to unravel the view of breathtaking landscapes, charming hill stations and unfiltered natural beauty. An Ooty to Kodaikanal road trip is one the etches to your memories, even after the trip concludes. However, with any road trip, planning and knowledge is paramount. From the route to the must-visit spots along the way, there’s a lot to unravel.This comprehensive guide will explore all the details about your road trip from Ooty to Kodaikanal and how to go about it.

Best Time To Plan Your Ooty-Kodaikanal Road Trip

Tourists in Kodaikanal while on Ooty to Kodaikanal road trip.

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Enveloped by misty hills, both Ooty and Kodaikanal thrive in pleasant weather throughout the year. However, the ideal window to embark on this road trip stretches from September to March. During these months, the monsoon showers subside, revealing clear skies and vibrant landscapes. The temperature usually ranges from 15°C to 25°C, making it pleasant enough for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Since it’s considered ‘peak’ season, prepare for crowds and slightly higher accommodation rates.

The summer months usher in slightly warmer temperatures (up to 30°C) and occasional showers. While the crowds start thinning, be prepared to encounter occasional roadblocks due to pre-monsoon showers. Between June and August, the monsoon paints a lush green, but frequent downpours and potential landslides can disrupt your travel plans. So, planning is key. Ensure that you research the road conditions before you set plans for the road trip.

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Routes to Consider For Ooty To Kodaikanal Road Trip

The jaw-dropping view of pillar rocks in Kodaikanal.

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The journey from Ooty to Kodaikanal offers two main routes, each presenting its unique charms. However, which route you opt for depends on the plans you have and the itineraries you make. Here’s a breakdown of the popular routes to consider:

Via Coimbatore (approx. 300 km)

Via Coimbatore

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This route takes you through the picturesque town of Coimbatore before ascending into the Nilgiris. As you begin the journey from Ooty, make your way to Mettupalayam, passing through the quaint villages and the lush tea estates. With such amazing and heartwarming locals, eating at a local food joint creates a new dimension to your vacation. Take the Coimbatore-Ooty-Gudalur Highway (NH 181) to reach Kodaikanal. The main highlight of this route is the smooth roads and convenience when driving. The backdrop of the natural beauty makes great opportunities for photography and leisurely breaks.

Via Mysore (approx. 330 km)


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The second route for your road trip from Ooty to Kodaikanal is through Mysore. Witnessing the royal grandeur of Mysore via the NH 181 and NH 766 is well worth the experience. Making your way through these spots further exposes you to the undulating terrain of Karnataka, including sprawling forests, serene lakes and charming towns along the way. Take the SH 17 from Mysore to reach Kodaikanal, enjoying panoramic views of the Western Ghats along the way. Depending on the route you choose, the speed of your car and the number of stops you plan, the entire road trip can take somewhere between 7-8 hours on average.

5 Must Visit Places Route Ooty To Kodaikanal Road Trip

Poondi village in Kodaikanal, a must-visit spot after the Ooty to Kodaikanal road trip

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Both Ooty and Kodaikanal are known for their natural beauty. So, as you embark on a road trip, don’t be surprised when you come face to face with views that take your breath away. Throughout the road trip, witness spots covered in lush greenery, blooming flowers, majestic hills, and tea plantations. When travelling from Ooty to Kodaikanal by road, ensure that you include the following spots in your itinerary:

1. Botanical Gardens, Ooty

The view of Botanical Gardens in Ooty.

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Besides the wide range of tea plantations, another place in Ooty that’s a must-visit is the botanical gardens. The place is home to a diverse range of exotic plants, flowers, and trees. Moreover, the garden’s picturesque views are worth dying for. Given that it is a government-managed sightseeing spot, the beauty of the place is reflected in the well-manicured lawns that offer a tranquil escape amidst nature’s bounty.

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2. Doddabetta Peak

The breathtaking view of Doddabetta Peak

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If you don’t mind indulging in a short detour while travelling from Ooty to Kodaikanal by road, prioritise including Doddabetta Peak in your itinerary. It is the highest vantage point in the Nilgiris and offers panoramic views of the valleys below. The surrounding hills are covered in lush greenery, further amplifying the beauty of the place.

3. Sim’s Park

The panoramic vista of Sim’s Park, a must-visit destination during the Ooty to Kodaikanal road trip.

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Coonoor is one of those hill stations you will cross through in your Ooty to Kodaikanal route. Besides exploring the unfiltered charm of Coonoor, one spot that you should specifically add to your itinerary is Sim’s Park. It is a botanical marvel that features rare species of both plants and trees. The laid-out pathway inside the park adds to its splendour and pairs that with the colourful blooms and the ornamental shrubs and there’s nothing you will likely ever want to witness in the future.

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4. Silver Cascade Waterfalls

The vista of Silver Cascade Waterfalls near Kodaikanal.

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Next on the list of the must-visit tourist places during your road trip from Ooty to Kodaikanal is the Silver Cascade Waterfalls. It is one of those experiences you couldn’t put into words until you witness it yourself. The gushing water falls from a height of 180 feet, gushing against the lush greenery surrounding it. It’s a treat to the eyes, is what you need to know.

5. Coimbatore

The picturesque view of Coimbatore.

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There are many amazing spots to explore on your Ooty to Kodaikanal route, and Coimbatore tops the list. Be it the bustling city or the quaint villages lining the Nilgiris, there’s so much that this place offers. Start your exploration with Sivagnanam Road. This vibrant street is a haven for textile enthusiasts. Explore a treasure trove of handloom sarees, cotton fabrics, and traditional textiles. You can also visit Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple for some spiritual recluse.

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Tips to Keep In Mind During Ooty To Kodaikanal Road Trip

Prioritising safety during your Ooty to Kodaikanal trip is of utmost importance. There are a few worth adding to your reminder list:

Check the weather conditions

Since you will be driving through hilly terrain, cross-check the weather and road conditions before starting the trip. This is especially crucial if you are travelling during the monsoon season. The roads get slippery and the risk of a landslide is also extreme. Check the local news to ensure that roads are functional and not blocked.

Cross-check vehicle maintenance

Servicing and maintaining your car are vital to ensure it is in top condition before you start your road trip. Furthermore, ensure that it has sufficient fuel until the next petrol pump. Carry essential spares and tools for minor repairs, especially if travelling through remote areas.

Pack all the essentials

When setting out on a trip, you’d think that clothes, footwear, etc. are your essentials. And, while these are important, a road trip requires you to carry proper vehicle documentation, a first aid kit, an emergency map and navigation set-up, power banks, snacks, etc.

Plan accommodation in advance

Depending on your itinerary, you’d also have to pre-book your accommodation. For example, if you plan to spend a few days in Coimbatore before resuming your road trip, you’d need to book the hotels in advance, especially during the peak season when the demand is high.

Drive safely

Safe driving is a quintessential need during the Ooty to Kodaikanal trip. Adhere to speed limits, road signs, and traffic regulations throughout the journey.

Further Read: Road Trips In India

A road trip from Ooty to Kodaikanal is an experience etched in breathtaking landscapes, cultural encounters, and serene escapes. With careful planning and the information provided in this guide, embark on a memorable journey. So, the next time you plan a trip to Kodaikanal, consider taking this road trip route instead.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ooty To Kodaikanal Road Trip

What is the total distance of the Ooty-Kodaikanal road trip?

The distance between Ooty and Kodaikanal can vary depending on the route chosen. The shorter route via Coimbatore is approximately 243 kilometres, while the scenic route via Coonoor and Palani is around 262 kilometres.

What are some best places to stay during the road trip?

The stopovers depend on the kind of plans you have made for the road trip. Several charming homestays, resorts, and hotels are scattered along both routes. Coonoor offers a variety of options, while Kodaikanal boasts a wider range of accommodations catering to diverse budgets.

Are there any local delicacies to try?

Both Ooty and Kodaikanal offer delectable South Indian delicacies you should try while on the road trip. You can start by sampling some Nilgiri tea and then trying the local “Kozhi Curry” or “Murtabak'' while there. While covering the distance between Ooty and Kodaikanal, you will realise the striking difference between two cities.

What are some souvenirs to buy?

The region is known for its exquisite handloom textiles, fragrant Nilgiri tea, homemade chocolates, and locally crafted wooden artefacts.

Are there any festivals that coincide with the travel season?

The summer festival in Kodaikanal (May) features floral exhibitions, boat races, and cultural performances. The 'Tea and Tourism Festival' in Ooty (January) celebrates the region's tea production and heritage. Depending on your convenience, you can plan the time of the road trip.

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