Getting from Bangalore to Ooty
Ooty is actually short from Ootacamund, a hill resort in Southern India. It is located in the in the Nilgiri mountain (Blue Mountain) range and was founded by the British (in the 19th century). Ooty is not a destination in its self, it’s more a center of the area and the start point for exploring the hilly region.
The only direct way to travel between Bangalore and Ooty is by bus. However, the cheapest way is to get from Bangalore to Mettupalayam by train and then take a bus to Ooty.
Flights from Bangalore (airport code: BLR) to Ooty
Bangalore is served by Bengaluru International Airport (BLR), located 40 km from the central business district. It handles both domestic and international traffic and is hub for the following airlines: Blue Dart Aviation, Deccan Aviation and Kingfisher Airlines.
Coimbatore Airport (CJB) is usually the gateway into the area. It is located about 3 ½ h by road from Ooty and receives direct flights from Bangalore operated by JetAirways, JetLite and Kingfisher Airlines. The flight time is about an hour. Regardless of when you fly between Bangalore and Coimbatore, expect to pay from Rs 2668 / US$50 for a one way flight on Jet Airways or JetLite.
From Coimbatore, catch the train (Nilagiri Exp) to Otty. It leaves daily at 5:15 a.m. from Coimbatore and the travel time is 1h. This route is very scenic.
There is also the possibility to catch one of the many buses operating on this route. Finding the timetable and fares online is quite impossible, though.
Taxis from Coimbatore airport to Ooty cost around Rs 2500 / US$47 and are good choices if you travel with a group of friends (and split the cost).
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Bangalore to Ooty by bus via Mysore
Another option is to travel between Bangalore and Mysore by train, bus or rental car and then take the bus to Ooty.
For the first leg of the journey, buses are the best option. KTSC runs the buses and the fares start around Rs 250 / US$5, but there are also cheaper bus options (from Rs 150/ US$3).
From Mysore to Ooty catch another bus operated by the same company. The fare is Rs 60 one way.
>>read more about Bus Travel in India
Trains from Bangalore to Ooty
The closest railway station to Ooty is Mettupalayam. From here you can catch a bus, a train or taxi to Ooty.
There are 15 trains per day from Bangalore to Mettupalayam but only four of them run every day of the week (at 6:15 a.m., 8 p.m., 9:40 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.). The travel time is between 7 and 8 h . The general fare is Rs 88 / US$1.70.
The train leaves Mettupalayam daily at 7:10 a.m. and takes about 5 hours to get to Ooty. The bus, which is available every 20 min from Mettupalayam costs only Rs 17 / US$0.50. Taxis charge Rs 1000 / US$19 to get you to Ooty.
>>read more about Train Travel in India
Buses from Bangalore to Ooty
There are direct buses from Bangalore to Ooty. There are three departures in the morning (6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) and 5 in the afternoon (between 12:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.).
Of course, it’s highly unlikely to be able to book them online; or you are offered just several options. Still, it’s a good way to figure out the costs. Fares range between Rs 287 / US$5.50 one way and Rs 750 / US$14 one way. Some of the buses are operated by KSRTC.
Driving from Bangalore to Ooty
A simpler option to travel between Bangalore and Ooty is to rent a car and drive the 270 km between the two places. Two of the possible routes (via State Highway 17 and NH 209) go via Mysore and take about 6 hours. Of course, you can plan to stop in Mysore to relax a bit and maybe walk around to explore the sights.