If the legendary poet William Wordsworth had “wandered lonely as a cloud” over the Nilgiri range towards picturesque Ooty to see its flower and rose shows, imagine the number of poems he might have been inspired to write celebrating the majesty of the blooms “fluttering and dancing in the breeze”. While the emerald tea gardens, sapphire mountains, shady avenues and dense woods of this ‘Queen of the Nilgiris’ attract tourists through the year, the place looks particularly glorious during its Summer Festival taking place from May 6 to 19 when Ooty flaunts its myriad charms for all visitors.
The sprawling botanical gardens spread over 22 acres are the venue for most events of the fun-filled festival that packs in not just a wonderful amalgam of fairs and carnivals but also pageants and boat races on the Ooty Lake.
For all those who love the world of blooms, the 121-year-old flower show offers a mind-boggling variety of beautiful dahlias and roses together with over 650 varieties of flowers from across the world. Look out for the fossil tree that is believed to be 20 million years old. According to the Geological Survey of India, the tree has turned into rock now.
The Vegetable Show held at the Nehru Park, besides offering a range of vegetables, also has a must-see map of India made with red, yellow and green capsicums. The Spice Show held in Gudalur that opens up a world of spices, herbs and plants grown in Ooty will also have interesting decorations that add the ‘wow factor’ to the show.
The rose will be celebrated at the beautifully laid-out Botanical Gardens. Over 3,000 varieties of roses will be on display. Decorations made out of roses and rangolis (floor decorations) created out of its petals will dot the gardens.
High on the cute-quotient is the festival’s dog show that attracts a number of four-legged furry friends to participate. A hot-air balloon show, amateur photo competition and painting exhibition, eco-trekking programme, vintage car rally and a tour of heritage buildings – and Ooty has many, being a former British township – are also on the cards.