(Last Updated on : 17/10/2014)
The Nilgiri hills, a range of mountains
with at least 24 peaks, bestow glory and magnificence to the southern part of Indian subcontinent. The Nilgiri hills also known as the 'Blue Mountain' rise to a height of 6,000-8000 ft. The highest peak in the hills is Doddabetta
which is about 8,652 feet. The hills provide an arena for trekking
, and other adventurous holiday options which can wonderfully satiate one's quest for leisure.
Location of Nilgiri Hills
These hills are located near the Western ghats. The Nilgiris extend from the North East region of Kerala
into Tamil Nadu
. The latitudinal and longitudinal dimensions of the hills are 130 km by 185 km. The Nilgiri hills constitute the Nilgiri district
Brief History of Nilgiri Hills
According to historians, the Toda
, Irula and kurumbas were the original inhabitants of the Nilgiri hills. In the earlier period, the Nilgiri hills were part of Chera Empire
. Later, the area came under the patronage of the Western Ganga Dynasty
, and then Hoysala Empire
in the 12th century. They then became part of the Kingdom of Mysore
of Tipu Sultan
. Eventually, Tipu Sultan surrendered them to the British in the 18th century.
List of Some of the Peaks in the Nilgiri Hills
Some of the peaks in Nilgiri hills are Anginda peak
, Chinna Doddabetta, Coonoor Betta, Derbetta, Devashola, Dimhatti hill, Doddabetta Peak, Glulur hill, Gulkal Malai, Hadiabetta hill, Hecuba, Hullikal Durg, Kattadadu, Kolaribetta, Kolibetta, Konabetta, Koodal Betta, Kulkudi, Kundah Betta, Kundah Mugi, Nadugani Peak, Nilgiri
Peak, and Tamrabetta.
Rainfall in Nilgiri Hills
The annual rainfall in these hills ranges from 125-700 cm which is fairly distributed all through the year. Summers in the Nilgiri hills have 25 degree to 10degree c, and winters 21degree -5 degree C.
Flora and Fauna of Nilgiri Hills
Nilgiri is home to over 2700 species of flowering plants, 160 species of fern and fern allies, and countless types of flowerless plants.
In the various wildlife sanctuaries, tiger, elephant
, gaur, spotted deer
, sambar, barking deer, flying squirrel
, wild boar
, four-horned antelope etc are found. Apart from the wide range of animals
, the sanctuary houses avian species like the peacock
, owls, vultures, buzzards, grey jungle fowl etc.
Attractions of Nilgiri Hills
The Nilgiri hills are surrounded by beautiful hill stations, lakes
and falls along with the wide variety of wildlife. Among most sought after tourist destinations are Ooty
, Coonoor, Botanical gardens, Ooty lake, Doddabetta, Dolphin's nose, Pykara, Mukkurthi Peak and National Park, Kodanad viewpoint and Laws Falls. These places are just a few kilometres apart.
The beautiful tea
gardens of Nilgiri hills also grab the attention of the tourists. The Nilgiri hills have immense spread of tea plantations. The soils are basically of the laterite origin which is red and yellow loam. Tea plucking is an ongoing process being carried on all through the year due to the abundant growth of it. The tea gardens are placed amongst the eucalyptus, cypresses, waterfalls and rivers
covering an area of 23,000 hectares.