Address : Niligiris
City/District : Niligiris
State : Tamil Nadu
Ooty (short for Udhagamandalam) is a resort town in the Western Ghats mountains, in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. Founded as a British Raj summer resort, it retains a working steam railway line. Other reminders of its colonial past include Stone House, a 19th-century residence, and the circa-1829 St. Stephen’s Church. Its 55-acre Government Botanical Garden lies on the slopes of Doddabetta Peak.
Udagamandalam was originally a tribal land occupied by the Toda along with other hill tribes who coexisted through specialisation and trade. The major tribes of Nilgiris area are the Toda, Kota, Irula, Kurumba and the Badaga .
The Toda in the Nilgiris are first referenced in a record belonging to Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana and his general Punisa, dated 1117 CE. The Toda people were known for raising water buffalo. The people known for farming activities. Nilgiris was ruled by various dynasties like Satavahanas, Gangas, Kadambas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara empire and the Rajas of Ummattur (on behalf of Wodeyars of Mysuru). Tipu Sultan captured Nilgiris in the eighteenth century and extended the border by constructing a hideout cave-like structure. The Nilgiris came into possession of British East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of Srirangapatnam in 1799.
In 1818, J. C. Whish and N. W. Kindersley, assistants to John Sullivan, then Collector of Coimbatore, visited Ooty and submitted a report to him. Sullivan camped at Dimbhatti, north of Kotagiri in January 1819 and was enthralled by the beauty of the place. He wrote to Thomas Munro, " ... it resembles Switzerland, more than any country of Europe... the hills beautifully wooded and fine strong spring with running water in every valley." The Toda ceded that part of the town to Sullivan and in May 1819, he began to build his bungalow at Dimbhatti. He also started work on a road from Sirumugai to Dimbhatti that year. The road was completed in May 1823, and extended up to Coonoor by 1830–32.
Aranmore Palace in Ooty, served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency; it was visited by British officials during the colonial days as a popular summer resort. Soldiers were sent to nearby Wellington to recuperate. Wellington is the home of the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army. After Independence, it developed into a popular hill resort.
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