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History Archive > Observations on the Neilgherries (1834)

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Observations on the Neilgherries; including an account of their topography, climate, soil, & productions, and of the effects of the climate on the European constitution

Author(s):

Date: 1834

Topics:

Description

The Neilgherries or the Nilgiri Hills or Mountains are a range of mountains in southern India. The Nilgiri mountains span around 90 km in north-south direction and nearly 80 km from east to west. The area covered is about 3900 km2. Clearly distinguished from the surrounding lowlands in the west, south and east, the area is bounded by the Moyar River to the north lying Karnataka plateau and merges into the Wayanad plateau of Kerala at the north west.

Over 2,700 species of flowering plants, 160 species of fern and fern allies, countless types of flowerless plants, mosses, fungi, algae, and land lichens are found in the sholas of the Nilgiris. No other hill station has so many exotic species.

This work was authored by Robert Baikie who was the Superintending Medical Officer on the Neilgherries in India and edited by W.H. Smoult.

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In 1814, as part of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, a sub-assistant named Keys and an apprentice named McMahon ascended the hills by the Danaynkeucottah (Dannayakana Kote) Pass, penetrated into the remotest parts, made plans, and sent in reports of their discoveries.

As a result of these accounts, Messrs. Whish and Kindersley, two young Madras civilians, ventured up in pursuit of some criminals taking refuge in the mountains, and proceeded to observe the interior. They soon saw and felt enough favorable climate and terrain to excite their own curiosity, and that of others.

After the early 1820s, the hills were developed rapidly under the British Raj, because most of the land was already privately owned by British citizens. It was a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during the colonial days. In 1827, Ooty became the official sanatorium and the summer capital of the Madras Presidency. Many winding hill roads were built. In 1899, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway was completed by influential and enterprising British citizens, with venture capital from the Madras government.

11 lithographic plates (10 with hand-coloring, including 7 landscape views and 3 botanical drawings).

3 large folding hand-colored maps & plans, and 31 partly hand-colored route maps.

"A list of plants gathered in the Neilgherries, particularly in the environs of Ootacamund. By the Rev. Mr. Schmid" : p. 129-136

References:

Not in Abbey.

Burton, Richard Francis, (1851). "Nilgiri Hills (India), Description and travel; Nilgiri Hills (India), Social life and customs". Goa, and the Blue Mountains, or, Six months of sick leave. London: R. Bentley.

List of Images

1. Front Cover

2. Title Page

3. Ootacamund to the North of the Lake (Frontispiece)

4. Plan of the Compounds in the Cantonment of Ootacamund [1834]

5. St. Stephen's Church - Ootacamund.

6. Sir William Rumbold's House, now used as an Hotel

7. Map of the Neelgiries and the Different Approaches to Them [1834]

8. Dimhutty

9. Falls of the Cauvery in Mysore

10. Today Father and Son

11. A Today Family and Their Dwelling

12. Mission School, Ootacamund

13. Commelinea

14. Pedicularis

15. Anagallis

16. Back Cover

Publication Information

Publisher: Calcutta, Printed at the Baptist mission press

Language(s):

English

Pages: 252

Contributor(s):

Duke University

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-18

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