February 26, 2024

At the Ootea festival

I had never heard of the Ootea festival before – and from the looks of it, neither had many of the participants. We were walking out of the railway station after inquiring about the timings of the heritage train when we spotted these costumed kids waiting in long lines, restless as only kids can be. Turned out they had no idea what was happening – “some rally”, one of them finally ventured.

The Ootea festival is an annual affair that celebrates Tea and Tourism in the Nilgiris. We stood by the road watching the pageant – school children, Tibetan women, folk dancers and musicians, music bands, a miniature heritage train, and a flower garden, among other things.

What about you? Do you know anything more about this festival? I hope the Tourism Department makes a louder noise about it from now – and make it an event people want to attend, rather than discover by chance.

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