Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri
district, is popularly known as the "Queen of hill
stations' among the tourist circuits. It is situated
at a distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. The
height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies
between 2280 and 2290 metres, the highest peak being
Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres.
History Of This Beautiful Hill Resort
It is believed that the name Nila, has been in use
for over 800 years since, the
King of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana, who ruled from
1104 to 1141 AD seized the Nilgiris Plateau. His
general Ponisia recorded this fact in 1117 AD with
mention of Todas. The name Nilgiri was due to the
blue haze, which envelops the range with most
distant hills of considerable size.
This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the
East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held
by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of Srirangapatnam in
1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was the first
European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released
his notes about the place and people of Nilgiris. In
1812 surveyor William Keys and Macmohan visited the
top of the plateau.
In 1818, Wishand Kindersley, Assistant and Second
Assistant to Collector of Coimbatore visited this
spot and submitted their experience report to the
Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan.
Settlement in Udhagamandalam began in 1822 with the
construction of the Stone House by John Sullivan,
the then Collector of Coimbatore. The bungalow,
which is locally called "Kal Bangla", is one of the
landmarks of Udhagamandalam and is now the Chamber
of the Principal of the Government Arts College.
The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty
famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling
grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet
the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and
Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers.
Visit Ooty during this festival, when tea lovers
from all over the world converge. An occasion not to
Botanical Gardens: Botanical gardens are a major
tourist attraction for those who visit Ooty, one of
the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl
over 50-acre and lie on the lower slopes of
Doddabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty.
Marquis of Tweeddale established these gardens in
the year 1848.
The gardens are formally laid out with lily ponds,
and there are clipped bushes in the form of
elephants, with raised trunks. One can find a
thousand different species of plants including some
thirty types of eucalyptus in these gardens. There
is also a fossilised tree trunk, which is said to be
20 million years old. Towards the eastern part of
the garden there is a wooden house made of logs
known as "Toda Mund", which provides an excellent
Rose Garden is situated about 3 to 4-km away from
Charring Cross. They are spread over an area of 10
acres of land with 2000 variety of roses. Rose
Gardens lie on the way to the boathouse.
Mini garden is also situated on the way to the
boathouse where the children amusement park is
housed. A snack bar is also available. Tamil Nadu
Tourism Development Corporation Limited maintains
About 1-km distance there is an artificial lake with
a charming look, which was formed in 1824 by Mr.
John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore.
St Stephens Church Situated in the hilly area on
Club Road, St Stephens Church is said to be the
oldest in the Nilgiris. The church was built in 1829
and consecrated in 1830. The beam of the church was
taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan at
Srirangapatnam. The cemetery close by houses the
grave of John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty.
Doddabetta is the highest peak (2623 meters) in the
Nilgiris, which is about 10-km from Ooty. It is a
beautiful place lying between the junction of the
Western and Eastern Ghats and offers a beautiful
view of the Nilgiri hill ranges. It is surrounded by