Ooty Knowledge Guide
Udagamandalam was originally a tribal land occupied by the Toda and Badagas along with other hill tribes who coexisted through specialisation and trade. The major tribes of Nilgiris area are the Toda, Kota, Irula and Kurumba. The Baduga language is the most spoken language and resembles Kannada, but it is not a dialect of Kannada. 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 Badaga 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.
Snooker originated on the billiard tables of the Ootacamund Club, invented by an army officer Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain. There was also a cricket ground with regular matches played between teams from the Army, the Indian Civil Service and the business sector. Visiting teams would come from various parts of India as well as from the island of Ceylon. There were riding stables and kennels at Ooty and the Ootacamund Hounds hunted across the surrounding countryside and the open grasslands of the Wenlock Downs, named after Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock. Horse races are held at Ooty Racecourse.Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was filmed in Ooty. The diverse landscape of Ooty offers an opportunity to explore a number of adventure sports and recreational activities, including hang gliding. Located around 20 km from Ooty, Kalhatty in the mountain ranges of Nilgiris is a site for hang gliding. Kalhatty has a launch area that can be reached by jeep. Ooty Golf Course is located in Ooty town. The golf course is at an altitude of 7600 feet. It is owned by the Gymkhana club in Ooty. The course extends over 193.56 acres and comprises 18 holes. The England cricket captain Colin Cowdrey was born in Ooty.