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Government Botanical Garden, Ooty

The Government Botanical Garden in Ooty, spread over 55 acres, is a mesmerizing tourist site that has been attracting visitors for years. Situated about 2400 – 2500 mts above sea level, the botanical garden was established by Marquis of Tweedale in 1897 with William Graham McIvor as the architect.

The Ooty Government Botanical Garden has a lot to offer for Nature lovers with its 600 varieties of plant species cultivated and exhibited here. The verdant lawns and the exotic varieties of flora are pleasing to the eye because they are very well maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. The mighty Doddabetta peak can be viewed from the garden. 

Some of the enticing attractions here are the Cork tree, which is probably one of the very few of its kind in India, the paperbark tree, monkey puzzle tree, the majestic 20-million-year-old fossil tree trunk and the Toda mund or Toda hill. 

There is a garden built in Italian pool-style by the Italian prisoners of war from the First World War. It is remarkable for its many varieties of colourful annuals and the lily pond where aquatic plant species are grown. 

Flower lovers are sure to find their haven in the Conservatory where many varieties of flowering plants are nurtured. The nursery has a series of glass houses with a vast collection of exotic plants. The myriad hues of the flowering bushes and plants are a sight for sore eyes. 

Another highlight is the fern house which has around 127 fern species and orchids. 

An ideal occasion to watch these flowering plants in full bloom is the flower show held annually to showcase exhibits of rare plant species and flowers. 

Rose Garden

The New Garden which was developed fairly recently comprises the enticing Rose Garden which was established to commemorate the Centenary Flower Festival in 1995. This garden houses about three hundred varieties of hybrid tea roses, floribunda and polyantha roses.  

The Rose Garden is situated in the slopes of Elk Hill, and has a viewpoint called Nila Madam that offers a wholesome view of the entire park. The Park has natural floral carpets, natural ponds, about 20,000 plants from 2241 varieties and an alluring collection of roses. 

In 2006, the Rose Garden received the Award of Excellence for the best rose garden in South Asia from the International Rose Society.