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Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Tamil Nadu  /  The Nilgiris District

The Nilgiris District

Gardens · Bodies of Water · Mountains
The Nilgiris District is in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Nilgiri (Blue Mountains) is the name given to a range of mountains spread across the borders among the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The Nilgiri Hills are part of a larger mountain chain known as the Western Ghats. Their highest point is the mountain of Doddabetta, height 2,637 m. The small district is contained mainly within this mountain range; the administrative headquarters is located at Ooty (Ootacamund or Udhagamandalam).Nilgiris District ranked first in a comprehensive Economic Environment index ranking districts in Tamil Nadu (not including Chennai) prepared by the Institute for Financial Management and Research in August 2009. Tea and coffee plantations have been important to its economy. As of 2011, the Nilgiris district had a population of 735,394, with a sex-ratio of 1,042 females for every 1,000 males.HistoryThe history of peoples settled in the Nilgiri hills has been recorded for several centuries. The Blue Mountains were likely named for the widespread blue Strobilanthes flower or the smoky haze enveloping the area.This area was long occupied by the indigenous tribal peoples of the Toda, Kota, Kurumba and Irula. The lower Wynaad plateau in the west of the district had a different tribal population. The Todas and Kota, who are similar in culture, language and genetic ancestry, were settled across much of the Nilgiri plateau. In addition, the Badaga, though officially recognised by the British in their Gazetteer as primitive tribes (for reasons unknown) are a major non-tribal group, and the largest indigenous group in the Nilgiris District. The Badagas were the agriculturists in the district, cultivating traditional crops such as samai, batha, ragi. Under British influence they cultivated English vegetables and later moved on to tea.
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