The Nilgiris

Popularly known as the Queen of Hill Stations in South India, The Nilgiris has a history that dates back to centuries. It is believed that the name Nila, has been in use for over 800 years since the Hoysala King Vishnu Vardhana, from one of India’s then prominent dynasty, seized the Nilgiris Plateau.

The territory came into possession of the East India Company 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 Nilgiris, quite literally meaning Blue Mountains, got its name due to the blue haze that envelops the range. One of the most spectacular ranges in the Western Ghats of India, it is perched at an altitude of 6500 feet above the sea level. The average heights of the ranges vary between 2,280 and 2,290 meters.

This region gets both the South – West and the North- east monsoon that impart distinct flavor in different months. Although most parts of the Nilgiris get only 100 cm to 120 cm of rainfall per annum, it is generally well distributed, allowing for good crops round the year.