Ooty is a beautiful hill resort and the capital of the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu. This serene place offers several landscaped vistas and picturesque views of the blue mountains of Nilgiri. History of this place is much intriguing as it once used to be the summer capital of the Madras Province – administrative sub-headquarters of the British India in colonial days. Several Britishers resided in the area in those days and were also responsible for constructing some magnificent edifices over here. Post-independence, they left the hill station, but left behind the glimpse of Victorian era that attracts a lot of tourists to this place. Travelers from all over the world come on Ooty tour to explore the splendours of this region.
St Stephen Church
This cathedral is considered to be one of the oldest in the town. It is situated on the pathway to Mysore and its origin dates back to the 19th century when Stephen Rumbold Lushington, the then Governor of Madras, decided to make a church for his fellow people. Foundation of the building was laid on 23rd April, 1829 by him while John James Underwood was designated as the in-charge of its architecture. This cathedral was consecrated on 5th November, 1830 by the Bishop of Calcutta, John Matthias Turner. The auspicious day of Easter Sunday on 3rd April, 1831 was chosen to make the building open for public.
The church is constructed using timber and is considered an architecture marvel of the region. Legends suggest that the wood used in the building arrived from the mansion of Tipu Sultan, who was the ruler of Mysore Kingdom in the 18th century. Structure of this building flaunts impeccable design on the outside and has an impressive interior. Murals of Jesus along with his disciples and painting of the Last Supper adorn the walls and mirrors inside. Other sketches depict Mother Mary holding infant Jesus and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This quaint cathedral is regularly visited by locals and specially on festivities when it is decorated with flowers and incandescents.
Another architectural landmark of the Victorian epoch in this hill station is Stone House, which is supposed to be the first mansion built here. The building is also called Kal Bangala and its construction was initiated in 1822 by John Sullivan. At present, Stone House serves as the residence of the Principal of Government College in Ooty. The area on which this complex stands is surrounded by lush greenery along with a grove of pine trees. A prominent attraction of this structure is an oak tree, known as Sullivan Oak, which was planted over 150 years ago.
A number of such finely-laid buildings along with other breathtaking sites can be witnessed at this hill resort, which makes it among the most sought-after destinations of holidays packages in India. This place is serene and offers numerous exciting activities for tourists to indulge in, including trekking on the hills, strolling in the local markets and relishing mouth-watering cuisine of the area. Photo enthusiasts can capture the panoramic view of this hill resort from several spots, which are ideal to behold the beauty of this destination.