Top Waterfalls in and around Ooty worth visiting

By Amandeep September 07 2022

Fondly named the "Queen of Hills," Ooty is a hillside retreat in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, famous for its inherently natural beautiful landscapes. 

Ooty enjoys a pleasantly cool climate throughout the year, attracting tourists who seek refuge from the blistering mainland heat. Shimmering lakes, flourishing tea plantations, misty peaks- sounds like the vacation of your dreams, right? Well, did you also know that this charming hill town has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country? If not, now you do!

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So, before you plan your next trip to Ooty, definitely make sure to check out the following list of eight famous waterfalls we recommend you to visit so you can make the best of your vacation.

1)The Kalhatti Falls, Ooty

Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ooty, this mesmerizing destination is  14 kilometers from the main town. Sliding from the verdant slopes of Nilgiri mountains from a height of 120 feet, the serene ambiance of water crashing against rocky plains and the familiar aroma of the misty greenery makes it an ideal destination for tourists who seek a quiet nature retreat.

Besides being a natural spectacle, the region around the falls is also known for its rich biodiversity. Dense forests surrounding Kalhatti are home to a large variety of wildlife, including black panthers, Sambar deer, wild buffaloes, and dogs. This region is also frequented by several bird species, thus making it an absolute delight place for bird watchers. The Kalhatti falls merge into Bellikal Lake, another popular tourist spot. This region is also known to shelter wild animals like bears, elephants, and monkeys, who frequently visit the lake for drinking water. Tourists can enjoy a long relaxing walk on the shore of the lake to relax. Other activities at the Kalhatti include hiking and trekking.

Location of the Kalhatti Falls - Sigur Ghat Road, Manchethevaru, Sholur, Ooty.

Distance from Ooty town: 14 kilometers.

2) The Katary Falls, Ooty

Katary Falls is the third largest waterfall in South India, situated 10 km from Coonoor, at Adikarratti. This majestic waterfall is a two-tiered cascade, the fall plunging from a majestic height of 590 feet. Tourists can witness the glorious beauty of the falls during monsoon, as the rainwater amplifies the water flow. The spectacular sight of the silver cascade draws tourists from different parts of India.

Due to the ferocity of the falls, this region is also home to India's first Hydroelectric Power Project, called the Katary Hydroelectric System. The high intensity of the falls ensures that the hydroelectric system generates over 1000 KW of energy. The silvery water gushes down to form a natural pool at the base, a popular picnic spot below the falls. The drizzling spray above the pool is enough to dazzle tourists with its beauty. Enjoy a pleasant day at the Katari Falls with your family and friends, having a picnic party or enjoying a swim in the pond. Adventure seekers can also enjoy a trek up to the waterfall. 

Location of the Katary Falls: Adikaratti, Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Ooty Town: 5 kilometers.

3) The Halashana Falls, Ooty

The second highest waterfall in Tamil Nadu, this beautiful waterfall is located in the Nilgiris, close to both the cities of Ooty and Coonoor. Pronounced locally as "Oteh Kodaaru '' in Tamil, the Halashana Falls plunge from a gushing height of 150 feet. The steep altitude of the hills and the volume of water have formed a deep water crate on the rocky ground below it, due to the water pressure. 

The breathtaking view of the surrounding rocks overlooking the waterfall, the beautiful serenity pool at the bottom, and the citrusy fresh smell of fresh water and nature sets the perfect atmosphere to lose yourself in the lap of nature.

However, besides the enjoyment, tourists are advised to be careful while sightseeing as the terrain is quite slippery and risky.

The Halashana Falls is close to famous tourist places in Ooty-Mukurthi National Park, Kalhatti falls, and Madumalai National Park, making this region one of the most popular places to visit. 

Also, tourists should note that the area around Halashana falls under Kollamuby Estate, which is private property. Thus, if you plan to visit here, alongside booking for Ooty Hotels, you should also look into taking advance permission from authorities before visiting the site.

Location of the Halashana falls - Dingul, Ooty.

Distance from Ooty town: 14 Kilometers.

4)The Catherine Falls, Ooty

One of the renowned tourist spots of Ooty, the popularity of Catherine Falls is not only restricted to Tamil Nadu but is famous across the whole country. Formerly known as Gaddhehaada falls, this beautiful fall located in Kotagiri earned its present name after the wife of  British coffee planter, M.D. Cockburn first introduced coffee plantations in the area.

Catherine Falls is one of the best locations nestled in the lap of nature, a paradise for visitors to soak in the ambiance of surrounding emerald forests, coffee plantations, and the picturesque backdrop of Nilgiri Hills. 

 The double cascading waterfall plunges from a steep height of 250 feet,  offering a scenic 1.5 Km trek to the base of the falls. 

If you travel to the Catherine Falls, we recommend tourists to surely visit the Dolphin Nose Viewpoint, where you can further appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the falls from the top. 

Location of the Catherine falls - Kotagiri, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Ooty town - 40 kilometers.

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5)The Pykara Falls, Ooty

The spectacular fall is situated only 20 Kilometers from the Heart of Ooty and is renowned for its enchanting natural beauty. The Pykara Falls are amidst surrounding Nilgiri Hills, water gushing on multiple layers of a rocky bed, adding a unique beauty to the stream. The falls originate from the descending Pykara River from the peak of Mukurthi Hills and cascade down in two separate sections of 55 meters and 61 meters.

The Pykara falls merge into a lake at the bottom, and the lush surroundings offer a landscape background for capturing memories with your family and friends on your trip to Ooty. Since Pykara falls is a river-fed fall, the best time to visit is in monsoon when you can witness the beauty of the water body in full bloom. The Pykara region is considered holy by Toda Tribe, inhabiting the neighboring area and declared a heritage site, thus making it a must tourist destination.

Besides being a beautiful picnic spot, tourists can also indulge in fun activities like river rafting, boating, horse riding, etc. Make the best of your trip by choosing the best hotel deals in Ooty. Visit to help you plan the trip of your dreams!

Location of the Pykara falls -  Pykara, Ooty Mysore Road, Sholur, Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Ooty town - 7 Kilometers.

6) The Laws Falls, Ooty

Situated on the Coonoor-Mettupalayam Route, Laws Falls is known as one of the most beautiful and famous waterfalls in Ooty. With silver gushing water cascading amidst the mountains of Nilgiri, plunging from a height of 180 feet, the lush greenery of Coonoor makes it a magnificent sight to behold.

The waterfall earned its name after Col.Law, the officer who commissioned the present Coonoor Ghat Road construction. This beautiful fall is in the Coonoor forest range, amidst dense forests and spellbinding natural beauty- An ideal picnic spot and a paradise for naturalists and photographers.

This destination is very frequented during monsoon, where tourists can witness the true grandeur of the falls. Tourists can trek to the nearby attraction of Dolphin's Nose Point to enjoy a panoramic view of the Law's falls. The region is well-connected via Coonoor Road to other neighboring tourist attractions, namely Droog Fort, Memorial Pillar for World War II, Lamb's Rock, and the Hidden Valley.

Location of the Law falls - Ooty-Mettupalayam Road, Coonoor, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Ooty town- 25 Kilometers.

7)The Elk Falls, Ooty

Elk Falls is another tourist site near Kotagiri, located in Kookal's Echoing Valley amid the forests of Uyilatti Village. This airy fall is an absolute visual treat for nature lovers, surrounded by lush tea estates, coffee plantations, and woodlands that ensure the best soothing experience for its visitors, thus making it one of the best places to visit in Ooty.

The most visited attraction near the falls is the European House which dates back to 1819. A British collector of colonial India built this place back in the colonial period, and the structure is preserved as a historic site to glorify the British architecture of that period. Tourists can also enjoy the air of the ancient period by spending time at the old British cottages of this village, specially developed for tourist accommodation.

You can make a trip to the falls all around the year, but the best time to witness Elk Falls in its full glory is during the monsoon. The Kookal Valley in this region is famous for its tasty oranges, and you should relish these delicious fruits on your next visit. Tourist activities at Elk Falls include Hiking, Trekking, picnic, sightseeing, etc. 

Location of the Elk falls - Mettupalayam Road, Kotagiri, Ooty.

Distance from Ooty Town - 40 Kilometers.

8) The Kolakambai Falls, Kolakambai

Kolakambai Falls is the highest waterfall in Nigiri and is definitely among the must-visit tourist attractions in Ooty. This magnificent waterfall is near Kolacamby and is also known as Kullakamby Falls. The falls descend as an uninterrupted stream of water from the northern Kolakambai Hill of the Nilgiri range, falling sharply from 400 feet. 

Located near Adikaratti, the way to this falls is very popular amongst adventure enthusiasts for its hiking, trekking, and biking facilities. Tourists often frequent the area to appreciate the rich flora and fauna and indulge in the pristine beauty of nature. Since Kolakambai Falls is close to Coimbatore, many tourists prefer landing in Coimbatore initially to start their journey from these falls. From Kolakambai, the other falls and natural wonders of Ooty are easily accessible.

The best time to visit the falls is from April to June, when you can enjoy the best of your trekking journey without constant downpours, and from September to December when you can enjoy the serene mountainous view as winter gradually sets in.

Location of the Kolakambai falls -  Adikaratti, Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Ooty town - 35 Kilometers.


So now that you know about the best waterfalls around Ooty, don't forget to list these names in your itinerary when you plan your next trip to the "Queen of Hills." It's not just the lush greenery and majestic mountains that attract the tourists, but the sparkling waterfalls of the region are a highlight of this quaint hill town. Located in isolation, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,  the natural ambiance and scents of the forest stimulate your mind in a calming way, better than any medication or music. Thus, on your next journey, you should pay a visit to these marvels of nature because only then you could experience the soulful beauty of these hills and waterfalls with your own eyes. Bon Voyage!

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