If I am being asked as to which is my favourite destination, I would say all the hill stations and the ancient temples are my favourite destination. I love more the hills of the north the Himalayan ranges. The sight of snow capped mountains makes me happy. That doesn’t mean I do not like the hills of the south. I like them too. So down the southern part of India, my favourite is Ooty. All the hills including those of Ooty always have had a deep impact upon me. Their fresh air entered my lungs and rejuvenated my system. Also the hills have something to do with spirituality. They make me more calm. Hills always have a positive impact upon me.
The most famous hill station of the south Ooty is known by many names. It is alos known as Udagai, Ootacamund and Udhagamandalam. My trip to Ooty added to my knowledge. I read on a sign board that Ooty was spelt as Wotokymund in 1821 issue of the Madras gazette. Indian name was always a tongue twister for the British. May be perhaps they shortened the original name Udhagamandalam to Ooty.
As I entered the old Ooty the endless stretches of glandes and fragrant groves, tea and coffee plantations and long eucalyptus trees welcomed me. They transported me to a different world altogether, far from the maddening crowds of the city to which I belong.
I first went to the famous botanical gardens of Ooty. The flaura and fauna over there had a deep impact upon me. The greenery always makes your mind calm.
The botanical gardens are spread over sixty-five acres on the slopes of Charing cross. These gardens too are the legacy of the Raj. They were laid out in the year 1847 on a lavished scale. You name the tree and the garden has it. I spotted laurel, oak, maple and azalea. There were creepers and pendant flowers too. The mini- Italian and Japanese gardens elevated my mood. Such was their impact.
But what floored me was the fossilised tree trunk that was twenty million years old. I wish we could conserve all the parts of the history in similar manner.
I enjoyed boating in the Ooty lake. This lake is created artificially. The then collector of Coimbatore John Sullivan dammed some of the streams to ensure that there was ample water supply to the hill station. The lake is beautiful. I enjoyed boating across its placid waters. The placid waters made me contemplative. Such was their impact.
The trip to Ooty had a great impact upon me. It rejuvenated every pore of my body. My mind was fresh. The hills have always worked with me. It is the impact of Ooty that my work efficiency has increased by leaps and bounds.