Ooty Religious Places
The beautiful hill station of Ooty is situated at a distance of 105km from Coimbatore and is called the 'Queen of Hill Stations' due to its pristine and scenic beauty and splendor. But there is more to Ooty then simply its scenic splendor, as this place also boasts a number of significant temples, churches and mosques. The religious places are quite many considering the different cultural influences that Ooty was impacted with. Ooty has a mix of religions and therefore one can find a delightful array of temples, churches and mosques. There may be not many in number but even the few have great significance and are visited by large number of people especially during the different festivals.
The Mariamman Temple is situated near the market in Ooty and the local deity of the temple is Mariamman, who is considered to be the Hindu goddess of rain. This temple is known for the Ooty Mariamman Temple Festival that is celebrated each year in the month of April. This mother goddess is also regarded to be a form of Kaali and is known as Seethala Gowri too. The festival at this temple is extremely popular and people from far and wide come to attend this festival where devotees display their faith through walking barefoot on a bed of burning coal.
Another religious place that is of great significance is also Elk Hill Murugan Temple, which is situated on Elk Hill and this is regarded as one of the most picturesque hills in Ooty. Dedicated to Lord Murugan, this temple is particularly known for its Thaipusam festival held in the months of January and February. During this festival, devotees take with them brass vessels containing milk and offer it to the lord. Some devotees even carry with them palanquins, which are beautifully decorated with brass bells, peacock feathers and flowers.
Since Ooty also enjoyed colonial influence for many years, hence it is not surprising that this place quite a few important churches. One of them is St. Stephen's Church and this is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris district. This church lies on the Mysore Ooty road and dates back to the 19th century. The highlight of the church is the stained glass paintings that depict Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms as well as crucifixion of Christ. This is a beautiful church and deserves a visit to revel in the serenity and the calmness this place offers.
Holy Trinity Church is yet another important religious site, which is also regarded as one of the oldest landmarks in Ooty. This small building was initially used as a school during weekdays and on Sundays it was used as a place of worship. It became a completely dedicated church from 1858 onwards. One of the well known mosques in Ooty is the Big Mosque or also known as Wallajah Mosque situated in Lower Bazaar. This mosque attracts a large number of devotees especially during the festivals of Ramzan and Bakrid.