KARNATAKA HORTICULTURE DEPARTMENT FERN HILL, OOTY
Ooty, in the Nilgiris range, is regarded as the "Queen of Hills". The word Nilgiri is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Nilam’ means blue and ‘Giri’ means hill. The literal meaning of the Nilgiris is ‘The Blue Hills’. Ooty with an attitude of 7600 feet, is also called Ootacamund or Udhagamandalam. This beautiful and all season hill resort was founded in 1821, by John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. Ooty is one of the important hill stations of South India and it is popularly called as the Switzerland of South India.
The entire Nilgiris range is cladded with tropical, semitropical and temperate vegetation. The range is also rich in grasslands, interspersed with shola vegetation. The summer temperature of Nilgiris varies between 10o C and 27o C and the winter temperature varies between 0oC and 21oC. One can really experience the biting cold and frosty nights from November to February. Vast expanses of tea estates can be seen in Ooty. Temperate vegetables are also grown in the region.
Ooty is enriched with dense forest, ever-flowing springs, cool climate and scenic beauty. It is said that the pleasant weather and natural beauty of the hills inspired Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Mysore State, to build a summer palace at Ooty and called the area as Fern Hill. A portion of the land owned by the Maharaja was gifted to the Government of Karnataka. The Karnataka Horticulture Department is now located there.
The Karnataka Horticulture Department
The Karnataka Horticulture Department has an area of around 30 acres at Sudarshan - Fern Hill area and 10 acres of land at Mysore House, which is under the control of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Protocol), Government of Karnataka. Here, the Department of Horticulture is maintaining the ornamental gardens, lawns, nursery and fruit orchard. The topiaries found in this garden are ajudged as the best in the whole of the region. The beautiful lawns and scenic beauty of the Fern Hills attract visitors from all over India and abroad. It also has ample collection of exotic and indigenous flowering plants, ornamental plants such as Magnolias, Camellias, Pines, Cinerarias, Calceolarias, Gloxinias, Tuberous rooted Begonia, Cyclamen, Gerbera, Liliums and other flowering plants which thrive well in the temperate regions.
The Karnataka Horticulture Department has accommodation facilities for tourists. There are two tariff rates for the guesthouses - one is on-season, from April - July and the other is off-season from August - March. The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation also runs a hotel and the DPAR (Protocol), Government of Karnataka, provides accommodation facilities in the Karnataka Horticulture Department premises. Reservation for these must be done at DPAR, Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore.
For enquiries and booking, please contact :
On-season Booking ( April to July )
Lalbagh, Bangalore - 560 004.
Director of Horticulture,
Karnataka Horticulture Department,
Fern Hill, Ooty. Ph: 0423 / 2441942