Eucalyptus Trees On Gudalur Road Ooty, 1920 Postcard
A 1920 postcard of eucalyptus trees on Gudalur Road in Ooty. It shows huge eucalyptus trees on the road to Gudalur from Ooty or Ootacamund (now Udhagamandalam). Also shown is a vintage car of the period perhaps a Rolls Royce soft-top car. Since mostly the upper echelons of the British era administration frequented this hill station regularly.
Ooty was under the Madras Presidency during the British era, now it is in the state of Tamil Nadu. The Europeans headed to Ooty apparently to cool off from the oppressive heat of the plains. The Eucalyptus was first introduced in the 1850s in and around the Nilgiris. Originally from Australia where it grew extensively in some regions of the land.
But by the 1980s, this invasive species was thought to be a nuisance in India. Seemingly because of the water crisis that gripped the Nilgiris in 1988. However, this indeed was proved in a two-decade-long study that some of these invasive trees disrupted the natural properties of water retention and flow in the Nilgiris.
To know more go to Not so tall: A brief history of eucalyptus in the Nilgiris. See post Vintage Postcard Wellington Barracks Nilgiris 1905.
Did you know- eucalyptus has a long history in India. It was first planted around 1790 by Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, in his palace garden on Nandi hills near Bangalore. According to one version he received seed from Australia and introduced about 16 species.