"The Archies" is a live-action musical based on the popular comic book series of the same name. The film unfolds against Ooty’s scenic beauty - from verdant green tea gardens to rolling hills, it has created an all-new buzz around the top places to visit in Ooty. The movie is all set to dazzle viewers with the sceneries and a whole new list of what to see, shop and do in Ooty. Join us on a virtual tour of the breathtaking locales that brought ‘Riverdale’ to life in this charming little hill station.
The film includes newcomers Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Yuvraj Menda, and Aditi Dot in the main roles. After impressing the audience with blockbuster films like "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" and "Gully Boy," Zoya Akhtar has attempted an entirely new genre with "The Archies." The movie was released on December 7, 2023, on Netflix.
The film was shot in Ooty, with the beloved hill station being the backdrop of the movie as "Riverdale," the mythical town where the gang navigates life, school, romance, and fall-outs. This cinematic showcase has significantly bolstered tourism, drawing praise from government representatives who note a substantial increase in footfall since the film's release.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railways, affectionately known as the ‘Toy Train’, offers one of the most scenic train rides in the country. This British-era metre gauge railway utilising both steam and diesel locomotives, represents India's exclusive rack railway. As it winds through Traversing hills, forests, bridges, and tunnels across a 46-km route at a leisurely pace, it allows passengers to savour the breathtaking vistas that slowly unfold.
As the sole rack railway, it is a unique railway system utilising a toothed rack and gear mechanism for traction on steep slopes. It is indeed the jewel on the crown of the Mountain Railways of India. Here’s an interesting tidbit: it is one of the only three railways in India recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Entry fees: Ticket prices vary based on classes.
First Class: INR 205
Second Class: INR 30
Unreserved: INR 15.
The railway station in Ooty is well-connected by road. The train journey begins at Mettupalayam, and one can reach Mettupalayam by road or train from Coimbatore.
Ooty Lake sets the stage for the iconic poster picnic scenes in the "The Archies." Fringed by Eucalyptus trees, this man-made lake, constructed in 1824, exudes an aura of tranquillity, offering ample sunlit and shady spots to appreciate its beauty. You can also enjoy a boat ride on the lake, with rowing and paddle boating being the most popular options.
Originally designed for irrigation purposes, the lake has now transformed into a recreational hub, providing various water activities. Adjacent to the lake lies Deer Park, offering a chance to glimpse the graceful woodland wanderer, making the lakeside an ideal location for spending a couple of hours.
Entrance Fees: INR 13 for Indians
Boat Charges (30 minutes):
Pedal Boat: INR 240 for 2-seater, INR 260 for 4-seater
Row Boat: INR 250 for a 4-seater, INR 290 for a 6-seater
Timings: 9:00 AM– 6:00 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Ooty Lake is centrally located, accessible from the bus stop and railway station, both within 2 km. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available.
The Government Botanical Gardens, spanning 55 acres, is certainly one of the most popular tourist destinations not just in Ooty, but across Tamil Nadu. This wide region, which is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticultural Department, is a must-see tourist attraction in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, the famed Doddabetta mountain serves as a stunning background.
The Marquis of Tweedale built this horticultural park In 1897, which is currently under the administration of the state government. Its 55-acre property is split into several horticultural parts, intermingled with many well-kept grassy lawns and artificial ponds. More than 600 plant species are grown and preserved here. These varieties include many angiosperms, fern plants, bonsai, and medicinal herbs. Interestingly, it has a terrace-style landscape.
With its riot of colourful seasonal flowers, aesthetic standalone green pods, and a vast collection of tropical and subtropical plants, this location is truly multi-faceted. Notably, movies such as Maine Pyar Kiya, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, and Deewana, among others, have also been shot here.
The Botanical Gardens of Ooty are home to rare flora, including a paperbark tree and the monkey puzzle tree. It also houses a fossilised tree trunk that is approximately 20 million years old.
Entry fees: Adult: Rs. 20
Children: Rs. 10
Timings: 08:00 AM - 06:30 PM
The Government Botanical Gardens is about 2.5 km away from Ooty railway station and can be reached via private or public transport.
Spread over four sprawling hectares, The Government Rose Garden, situated at 2200 meters altitude, was established to honour the Centenary Flower Show in May 1995. This garden is divided into five terraces meticulously maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. Resembling the iconic Greepark show in The Archies, this rose garden sits on the slopes of Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram, Ooty with the breathtaking backdrop of the Dodabetta mountains.
One of the largest rose gardens in India, the Government Rose Garden in Ooty provides a perfect and romantic setting for a movie. Home to more than 2000 varieties of roses, flower enthusiasts will find rare and exotic varieties, from miniature roses, hybrid tea roses, and black roses to fluorescent green ones, and from Floribunda rose bushes to huge Ramblers.
The garden gives one a tranquil environment with tunnels covered with roses, manicured lawns, comfortable benches, pergolas, and fountains, creating a cherishable experience for visitors.
Entry fees: 30 for adults, 15 for children
Timings: 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. May close during specific seasons or events.
Ooty Rose Garden is easily reached by road via public transport like buses, auto-rickshaws, or taxis, and for those driving, take the Coimbatore-Ooty-Gundelpet Highway and Church Hill Road.
Could a movie be shot in Ooty and omit the ubiquitous tea estates? Probably not. All of Ooty is set comfortably amidst lush, fragrant tea estates, giving it the appearance of resting on a green carpet against the backdrop of the Nilgiris.
The scenes featuring Khushi Kapoor’s character “Betty” cycling through the greenery were likely shot across multiple tea estates, and that's why they're an integral part of The Archies’ shooting locations. When you visit some of these estates, be sure to go on a guided tour that not only takes you through the verdant tea gardens but also tells you about the tea-making process. Some tea estates even sell their brands of various tea leaves, including speciality blends.
Entry Fees: The entry fee for the factory is ₹10 per person, with an additional ₹10 for the museum.
Timings: Open all day, with favourable visiting hours from 6 a.m.. to 6 p.m.
Tea Factory and Tea Museum: Open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Located approximately 5 km from Ooty's city centre, access Tea Estate View Point by hiring taxis or using public buses from the Ooty bus stand. Ooty has regular bus services from Bangalore, Chennai, and Coimbatore. If coming by train, Travel to Mettupalayam from cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, and Mysore.
Once the residence of the Maharaja of Mysore, the Fernhill Royal Palace exudes regal elegance. Suzanne Caplan Merwanji's production team skillfully combined Ooty's English and Gothic architectural styles with 1960s influences from hill stations across India.
The film showcases Fernhills Palace, once the Maharaja of Mysore's summer residence, presented in a light blue hue. With a design reminiscent of a Swiss Chalet, this opulent estate served as an ideal setting for the affluent homestead scenes in the film The Archies.
Tariff: Starting from INR 9,500
You can take a taxi or a rickshaw here from Wellington Railway station.
At the summit of the Nilgiris, the Doddabetta Peak, stands tall as the highest vantage point in the Nilgiris, treating visitors to sweeping panoramas of the surrounding peaks and undulating hills. The winding roads leading here traverse scenic hillsides, unique biodiversity, grassy meadows and thick forests.
For trekking enthusiasts, this is the perfect opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ooty. The site also has an observatory with two telescopes, allowing you to enjoy glimpses of the distant mountains.
Take public transport from Ooty Bus Stand, buses and private vehicles will drop you 2 km from the peak from where you can hire an auto or walk. Alternatively, you can hire a private taxi from the main town of Ooty or avail the shuttle jeep service from Ooty City Centre which is located 9 km from Doddabetta.
The nearest airport to Ooty is in Coimbatore, located nearly 88 km away from the city.
For those wondering how to reach Ooty by train, the closest railway station is in Mettupalyam. From Mettupalyam, one can either take a cab or a bus to reach the Ooty city centre. The rail journey to Ooty is an extremely picturesque one, with verdant hills and small waterfalls keeping one company.
Roadways buses, private buses and taxis are the best bet. Buses are available from nearby destinations such as Chennai and Bangalore, as well as from far-off destinations such as Mumbai. An Ooty tourist bus can be the best option for getting around in the city.
While the weather in Ooty is lovely virtually all year, the months of March to June are considered the finest months to visit this hill town.