Pykara Lake, Ooty – All you need to know

Pykara Lake, Ooty

Nestled in the picturesque Nilgiris near Ooty, a popular destination in South India, Pykara Lake is a serene oasis that fascinates everyone with its clear blue water and lush green surroundings. Its unique “Y” shape created by merging two smaller lakes adds to its beauty. A historical site for rituals and boat races of the local Toda tribe during the British period, Pykara Lake offers a variety of activities like boating, trekking and wildlife spotting. With its serene beauty, it is a must-see destination for nature lovers and adventurers.


Welcome to Pykara Lake, a captivating destination that offers not only natural beauty but also a rich history and diverse recreational opportunities. Nestled in the lush green hills of Nilgiris in South India, Pykara Lake is a testament to nature’s elegance. Known for its serene atmosphere and breathtaking scenery, this freshwater lake has been enticing tourists for years. In this article, we will provide complete information about the beauty, history, activities and travel tips around the charming Pykara Lake.

Pykara Lake Overview

Nestled in the mesmerizing Nilgiris, Pykara Lake is a serene and enchanting place offering a perfect blend of scenic beauty and historical significance. This picturesque lake is famous for its crystal-clear water that reflects the greenery of the surrounding hills. What distinguishes Pykara Lake is its unique shape, which is formed by the merging of two smaller lakes, giving it a distinctive appearance.

Pykara Lake has cultural significance beyond its stunning visual appeal. It is considered a sacred site by the local Toda tribe, who hold spiritual practices near its shores. Additionally, during the British colonial period, the lake has been recognized for hosting fascinating boat races that reflect its charm and scenic appeal.

Visitors to Pykara Lake can indulge in a variety of activities that cater to a variety of interests. The lake offers tranquil boat rides that allow guests to immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings. Whether you opt for a paddleboat or a motorboat, the experience offers breathtaking views and a sense of tranquility.

For more adventure seekers, Pykara Lake offers several trekking trails that reveal hidden waterfalls and untouched landscapes. The trek to pykara Falls is popular, offering a sense of challenge and the reward of witnessing the beauty of nature up close. Wildlife lovers and bird watchers will delight in the wide variety of animals that live in the lake’s ecosystem. Various bird species can be seen and lucky visitors can even come across deer grazing in their natural habitat.

Going to Pykara Lake is an experience in itself. The journey includes a scenic drive through winding roads that offer breathtaking glimpses of the Nilgiris. Located around 20 kilometers from Ooty, Pykara is easily accessible by taxi, bus or private vehicles. As you explore the area, enjoy a taste of South India by savoring the local cuisine. From traditional dosas to aromatic filter coffee, nearby stalls offer a taste of the region’s authentic cuisine.

Capturing the beauty of Pykara Lake through photography is a rewarding experience. Every angle offers a picture-perfect frame, from serene lakes to mist-kissed hills and vibrant vegetation. Photography enthusiasts can document their travels through stunning images that capture the essence of the destination.

Responsible tourism is important in maintaining the scenic environment of Pykara Lake. Tourists are encouraged to follow eco-friendly practices, avoid littering and respect the local ecosystem to ensure the preservation of natural beauty for future generations.

Pykara Lake is undoubtedly the star attraction, while hidden gems can be found in the surrounding area as well. Exploring lesser-known watersheds, viewpoints, and cultural sites can provide a broader understanding of the region’s history and heritage. Pykara Lake is a destination offering a holistic experience, a blend of natural beauty, history and a variety of activities. Whether you are looking for adventure, tranquility or a deeper connection with nature, Pykara Lake promises a memorable and fulfilling trip.

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History of Pykara

The history of Pykara adds significance and charm to this already enchanting destination. The lake has a deep connection with both the local Toda tribe and the colonial era.

For the local Toda tribe, Pykara lake is not only a picturesque body of water but also a sacred place with spiritual significance. The Toads, indigenous to the Nilgiris, have revered this place for generations as a place of divine connection. They perform rituals and ceremonies near the shores of the lake honoring their cultural and spiritual heritage.

The historical significance of Pykara Lake dates back to the British colonial period. During this time, the lake gained recognition as a venue for attractive boat races. British colonists were enamored by the lake’s scenic beauty and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal location for holding boat races. The race was not only a competitive event but also an opportunity to showcase the natural charm of Pykara Lake to a wider audience.

The combination of spiritual reverence of the Toda tribe and British colonial fascination with the Paikara lake created a unique combination of historical significance. The lake served as a canvas on which various cultures and perspectives converged and left behind traces of their presence.

As visitors explore Pykara Lake today, they are not only witnessing a natural wonder but stepping into a space that has witnessed rituals, celebrations and cultural exchanges in the past. Pykara’s history adds depth to its beauty, making it a destination that resonates with the echoes of time.

Activities to do at Pykara Lake

Pykara Lake offers a range of activities that cater to a wide variety of interests, making it a versatile and exciting destination for visitors. Whether you are an adventure lover, a nature lover or someone looking for relaxation, Pykara Lake has something for everyone to enjoy.

Boating adventure:

One of the most popular activities in Pykara Lake is boating. Visitors can take a quiet boat ride through the pristine waters of the lake. Whether you choose a paddleboat or a motorboat, the experience offers a tranquil journey surrounded by breathtaking views of the mountains. A leisurely boat ride provides a unique perspective of the lake’s beauty, allowing you to immerse yourself in its serene atmosphere.

Wildlife Spotting:

The ecosystem of Pykara Lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife, making it a haven for nature lovers and bird watchers. As you explore the surroundings, keep an eye out for the various bird species that call the area home. The quiet environment also offers occasional glimpses of deer grazing in their natural habitat, making for a wonderful wildlife viewing opportunity.

Trekking Trails:

For those with an affinity for adventure and nature, Pykara Lake offers a variety of trekking trails. The trail leads to hidden waterfalls, pristine landscapes and panoramic views that offer a breathtaking view of the Nilgiris hills. A popular option is the Paikara Falls trek, which offers the thrill of trekking and the reward of witnessing the majestic falls.


Pykara lake is a paradise for photography lovers. From tranquil lakes to mist-kissed hills and vibrant vegetation, every angle offers a picture-perfect frame. Capture the serenity and natural beauty of the surroundings through your camera lens, creating lasting memories and stunning visuals that capture the essence of the trail.

Relaxation and Picnicking:

If you want to relax, the peaceful surroundings of Pykara Lake provide the perfect setting for a relaxing day by the water. Enjoy a trip with your loved ones, enjoy the serene atmosphere and enjoy the serene beauty of the lake. The lush greenery and cool breeze create an ideal environment for tranquility and reconnecting with nature.

Boat Race:

Based on the historical importance of Pykara Lake, you can participate in or even witness boat races that pay homage to its colonial heritage. These races allow you to experience the lake in a unique and fascinating way, as you become a part of the heritage that once fascinated the British colonial rulers.

Pykara Lake offers a range of activities that cater to a variety of preferences, making it an attractive destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers and those seeking relaxation. Whether you are boating in its pristine waters, watching wildlife, embarking on trekking adventures, capturing moments through photography, enjoying a leisurely picnic or participating in boat races, Pykara Lake offers a memorable and fulfilling experience to every visitor.

Places to Visit Near Pykara Lake

While Pykara Lake is an enchanting destination, there are plenty of attractions in the surrounding area that allow you to delve deeper into the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Nilgiris. Some of the attractions near Pykara Lake are given below:

Pykara Falls:

Paikara Falls is a breathtaking natural sight just a stone’s throw away from Paikara Lake. The waterfall cascades down the rocky terrain, creating a lush green landscape. The journey to the waterfall is part of the adventure, a winding path that takes you through the serene Nilgiri landscape. Pykara Falls provides a perfect backdrop for nature lovers and photographers to capture the beauty of nature in its raw form.

Pykara Dam:

A stone’s throw away from the lake, Paikara Dam is an engineering marvel that also has a serene environment. The calm water of the dam reflects the green hills, making it a place of tranquility and appreciation of the beauty of nature. The scenic charm of Pykara Dam invites visitors to take a leisurely walk around its perimeter enjoying the soothing atmosphere.


Famous for its sprawling tea plantations and lush green landscape, Glenmorgan is a paradise for nature lovers. The beautiful scenery of the tea plantations against the backdrop of the Nilgiri hills is a sight to behold. Apart from the visual treat, visitors can learn about the region’s tea plantation heritage and even enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea. The views from Glenmorgan offer panoramic views that capture the essence of the Eucalyptus.


A short drive from Pykara Lake, Ooty needs no introduction. The hill station is a famous place in India offering a blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions. The Botanical Gardens showcase exotic plants, while the Rose Garden delights with its vibrant flowers. Ooty Lake offers boating opportunities and the Nilgiris Mountain Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that allows you to travel through picturesque landscapes with old-world charm.

Doddabetta Peak:

For a breathtaking view of the Nilgiris, Doddabetta Peak is the place to be. It stands as the highest point in the region, offering a panoramic view that stretches as far as the eye can see. This viewpoint offers an unparalleled view of the surrounding hills, valleys and forests, making it a must-see for those who appreciate natural beauty.

Avalanche Lake:

Nestled in serenity, Avalanche Lake is a place famous for its untouched beauty. Surrounded by dense forests, the lake conveys a sense of calm and serenity. It is a perfect place for nature lovers who seek peace in the lap of nature. The peaceful atmosphere invites visitors to relax and immerse themselves in the beauty of the surroundings.

Emerald Lake:

Nestled in a picturesque landscape, Emerald Lake is a serene oasis that offers a variety of activities. Visitors can go boating in the calm waters, enjoying the reflections of the mountains on the surface. The serene atmosphere and lush green lawns make it an ideal place for a peaceful retreat and a relaxing picnic with loved ones.

Mukurti National Park:

A haven for wildlife lovers, Mukurthy National Park is home to a variety of flora and fauna. It is especially known for harboring the endangered Nilgiri tahr. The park offers opportunities for trekking and exploring the rich biodiversity of the region. A visit to Mukurti National Park offers an opportunity to connect with nature and witness the splendor of the Nilgiris desert.

Needle Rock Viewpoint:

The Needle Rock viewpoint offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Nilgiri hills and valleys. The viewpoint is named after a unique rock formation that looks like a needle. It is a popular place to capture stunning photographs that capture the vastness and beauty of the landscape. The viewpoint presents an awe-inspiring view that looks beautiful at sunrise and sunset.

Kalhatti Falls:

Accessible through a scenic trek, Kalhatti Falls is a rewarding destination for adventure seekers. A trek through the forest trails adds to the excitement of the experience. The waterfall itself, with its gurgling water and soothing sounds of nature, offers a refreshing respite from city life. Kalahatti Falls promises a rejuvenating escape in the heart of nature.

The attractions near Pykara Lake offer a variety of experiences that complement the beauty of the lake. From natural wonders like waterfalls and viewpoints to cultural landmarks like tea estates and hill stations, these places offer a deep insight into the charm and appeal of the Nilgiris. Exploring these nearby places will allow you to embark on a journey of discovery that will reveal the layers of history, culture and natural beauty that define the region.

Accommodation Options Near Pykara Lake

Finding the right place to stay near Pykara Lake enhances your overall experience by offering a comfortable haven in breathtaking natural surroundings. Whether you’re looking for luxury, tranquility or a budget-friendly option, there are accommodation options to suit every traveller’s tastes.

Lakeside Resorts:

For a truly immersive experience, consider staying at lakeside resorts that offer stunning views of Lake Pykara. These resorts offer a blend of luxury and nature, allowing you to enjoy views of calm waters and green hills. Lakeside resorts often offer premium amenities, including comfortable rooms, in-house dining options, and opportunities for water-based activities.

Boutique Cottages:

If you are looking for a relaxing and intimate atmosphere, the boutique cottages nestled in the natural beauty of the Nilgiris offer a charming stay. These cottages offer a home-away-from-home experience with personalized service, quirky interiors and an ambiance that complements the surrounding landscape.

Hillside Retreats:

The Nilgiris are famous for their hilltop charm and mountain retreats capture this essence perfectly. These accommodations have rooms with panoramic views of the hills and valleys, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty from the comfort of your room. Hillside retreats often provide a peaceful and serene environment that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation.

Luxury Resorts:

If you’re up for it, the luxury resorts near Pykara Lake offer lavish accommodations and world-class amenities. These resorts often have spa facilities, gourmet dining options, and lavish rooms with stunning views. Staying at a luxury resort elevates your experience, allowing you to relax amidst the beauty of nature.


For an authentic local experience, consider opting for a homestay. Staying with local families gives you a thorough insight into the culture, cuisine and traditions of the region. This is an opportunity to build relationships with the locals and gain an insight into their way of life.

Tent Accommodation:

For a unique and adventurous stay, some places near Pykara Lake offer tented accommodation. These tents provide a blend of comfort and the thrill of camping. Waking up to the sounds of nature and fresh mountain air adds excitement to your stay.

Accommodation options near Pykara Lake cater to a variety of preferences, ensuring that every traveler finds the right place to stay. Whether you’re looking for luxury, immersion in nature or a budget-friendly option, these accommodations enhance your overall experience and provide a comfortable base to explore the beauty of Pykara Lake and its surroundings.

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Best Time to Visit Pykara Lake

The timing of your visit to Pykara Lake can greatly influence your experience, as the weather and overall atmosphere play a significant role in enhancing your exploration of this enchanting destination. You can decide the best time to visit from the guide list below.

Ideal Months:

The best time to visit Pykara Lake is from October to February. These months are the post-monsoon and winter season, offering a pleasant climate that enhances your overall experience. The weather during this period is characterized by cool temperatures and clear skies, creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Pleasant Weather:

The post-monsoon and winter months offer relief from the intense summer heat and heavy monsoon rains. The cool weather is ideal for outdoor activities and exploration, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pykara Lake and its surroundings. The favorable weather during these months creates ideal conditions for photography. The soft, diffused light enhances the natural colors of the landscape, making it the perfect time to capture stunning images of Pykara Lake, the surrounding hills and diverse flora and fauna.

Clear skies and visibility:

Clear skies during these months provide excellent visibility, allowing you to fully appreciate the breathtaking landscapes surrounding Pykara Lake. Whether you are enjoying a boat ride on the lake or embarking on a trekking adventure, the clear skies enhance your overall experience with unobstructed views of the picturesque surroundings.

Wildlife sightings:

Post-monsoon and winter months are also favorable for wildlife viewing. As the climate is milder, the wildlife is often more active and you are more likely to see the various bird species and animals that inhabit the lake ecosystem. It will add an element of excitement and natural beauty to your visit.

Peak Tourist Season:

It is important to note that Pykara Lake has its peak tourist season between the months of October and February. As a result, these months tend to see more people around popular attractions and activities in the area. It is advisable to plan your visit and make necessary accommodation arrangements in advance to ensure a seamless experience.

The months of October to February offer the best time to visit Pykara Lake. The combination of pleasant weather, clear skies, increased wildlife activity and increased photography opportunities creates an unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation or a deeper connection with nature, a visit to Pykara Lake during this period ensures a memorable and fulfilling trip.

How to reach Pykara Lake

Reaching Paikara Lake involves traversing picturesque landscapes and charming trails that add to the adventure of your trip. Whether you arrive by plane, train or road, there are many options to choose from, each offering a unique experience. You can reach Pykara Lake using the guide given below.

By air:

The nearest airport to Pykara Lake is Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 88 kilometers away. From the airport, you can opt for a taxi or cab service to reach Pykara Lake. The journey takes you through scenic roads and makes you witness the transition from the urban landscape to the lush greenery of the Nilgiris.

By train:

The nearest railway station to Pykara Lake is Ooty Railway Station, which is about 23 kilometers from the lake. From the station, you can hire a taxi, take a bus or arrange other transport to reach Pykara Lake. The train journey to Ooty railway station offers breathtaking views, as the toy train moves through tea plantations and hills creating a memorable experience.

By road:

A road trip is a popular way to reach Pykara Lake, allowing you to enjoy the journey through winding roads and scenic views. If you are starting from Ooty, you can take the Ooty-Pykara Road, which leads directly to the lake. The road is well-maintained and offers views of the Nilgiri Hills at every turn, making the drive itself an integral part of your trip.

Local Transport:

On reaching Ooty or nearby areas, you can avail local transport options to reach Pykara Lake. Taxis, cabs and buses are readily available, providing convenient access to destinations. These local rides allow you to interact with the local people and get a taste of the culture of the region.

Reaching Pykara Lake is an adventure in itself, offering various transport options that allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Nilgiris. Whether you arrive by air, rail or road, a journey to Pykara Lake sets the tone for your exploration of this tranquil destination, promising a memorable and scenic drive to its natural splendor.


Amidst the Nilgiri Hills, Pykara Lake stands as a testament to the enticing charm of nature. Its pristine waters reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a canvas of tranquility that beckons travelers from far and wide. From boat rides that offer a peaceful escape to the lush landscape that hugs the lake, every moment spent here is a celebration of natural beauty. As you travel through the Nilgiris, the surrounding attractions add depth to your experience – be it waterfalls, panoramic views or tea plantations that pay homage to the region’s heritage.

Pykara Lake is not just a destination but an embodiment of tranquility and adventure. The calm waters invite you to introspection and quiet contemplation, while the numerous activities promise an adventure for every soul. Whether you are trekking through the hills capturing the ethereal landscape through your lens or immersing yourself in the local culture, Pykara Lake offers a symphony of experiences. The journey to Pykara Lake is as memorable as the destination – whether you’re walking along roads that unfold breathtaking views or taking a train ride through tea plantations. It is a journey where every step takes you closer to the heart of the Nilgiris, where the beauty of nature unfolds in all its glory.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I swim in Pykara Lake?

No, swimming is not allowed in Pykara Lake. The lake is mainly for boating and enjoying the natural beauty. Swimming is prohibited to ensure the safety of visitors and protection of the lake’s ecosystem.

Are there any boating restrictions?

Although boating is a popular activity in Pykara Lake, there are some safety guidelines and regulations. Visitors are required to wear life jackets while on the boat and the number of people on the boat may be limited. It is important to follow boat operators’ instructions and follow safety measures.

How can I reach Pykara from Ooty?

Pykara is about 20 km from Ooty. The most common way to reach Pykara from Ooty is by road. You can hire a taxi, take a local bus or drive your own vehicle. The journey offers scenic views of the Nilgiri hills and is very enjoyable.

Are there any accommodations available for larger groups?

Yes, Pykara offers a variety of accommodations suitable for larger groups. There are resorts and guesthouses that offer spacious rooms and facilities for groups. Advance reservations are advised, especially if you are traveling with a large group during the peak tourist season.

Is photography allowed on the lake?

Yes, photography is allowed at Pykara Lake. The picturesque landscape, clear waters and surrounding hills make it a perfect destination for photography enthusiasts. Feel free to capture the beauty of the lake, but remember to take care of your surroundings and follow any guidelines given by the authorities to maintain the cleanliness and integrity of the lake.

What is the best time for photography?

Dawn and dusk offer the best lighting for stunning photographs. The best time for photography at Pykara Lake is after the monsoons and during the winter months, October to February.

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