Ooty

OOTY

Udhagamandalam (sometimes Ootacamund, sometimes abbreviated Udhagai and better known as Ooty (is a town, a municipality, and the district capital of the Nilgiris district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore. It is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Todas, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. Today, the town's economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected to the rest of India by road and rail, and its historic sites and natural beauty attract tourists.[4] As of 2011, the town had a population of 88,430.


Etymology
The origin of the name Udhagamandalam is obscure. The first mention of the place occurs in a letter of March 1821 to the Madras Gazette from an unknown correspondent as Wotokymund.[5] In early times it was called OttaikalMandu. "Mund" is the Tamil word for a Toda village, and the first part of the name is probably a corruption of the local name for the central region of the Nilgiri Plateau.[6] Another likely origin of the stem of the name (Ootaca) comes from the local language in which Otha-Cal literally meansSingle Stone. This is perhaps a reference to a sacred stone revered by the local Toda people. The name probably changed under British rule from Udhagamandalam to Ootacamund, and later was shortened to Ooty.


History
Ooty is situated deep within the Nilagiri hills (which can be literally translated as The Blue Mountains). It is unknown whether this name arises from the blue smoky haze given off by the eucalyptus trees that cover the area or from the kurunji flower, which blooms every twelve years giving the slopes a bluish tinge.[5] Nilgiris in general was ruled by Ganga kings and later byHoysala kings, particularly Vishnuvardhana who captured Wynad and Nilgiri area during the 11th century.[8] Tippu Sultan was the first to extend his border by constructing a hideout cave like structure.


Climate
Ooty features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) under Köppen climate classification.[19] Despite its location in the tropics, in stark contrast with most of South India, Ooty generally features pleasantly mild conditions throughout the year. However, nighttime in the months of January and February is typically cold. Generally, the town appears to be eternally stuck in the spring season.


Economy
Contrary to the thought that much of the local economy is now dominated by tourism, Ooty is still a supply base and market town for the surrounding area which is still largely dependent on agriculture, notably the cultivation of "English Vegetables" and "English Fruits" grown locally.


Tourist and historical landmarks
Located in the Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats, Ooty draws a large number of tourists every year. Lofty mountains, great lakes, dense forests, sprawling grasslands, miles of tea gardens and eucalyptus trees greet the visitors in route to Ooty.