Ooty In The Nilgiris British Era, 1880 Photo

An 1880 photo of Ooty in the Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains. It shows a verdant and unique landscape of a 19th-century Ooty. Discovered in 1819 by John Sullivan, then collector of Coimbatore. He found to his amazement the Todas, Kotas, and other ethnic communities, already settled in the Nilgiris for centuries.

After getting permission from East India Company, he quickly set to work to make Ooty a habitable hill station. Colonial-era Europeans would frequent the hill station as often as possible, escaping the oppressive heat of Madras or other parts of South India. Elevated at a height of 7400 feet. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is one of the steepest railways in Asia.

Because of the steepness the railway operate with the rack and pinion system. The NMR connects Mettupalayam (near Coimbatore) to Ooty by a steam locomotive driven toy train. The steam locomotive is replaced with diesel locomotive in Coonoor before the toy train proceeds to Ooty. It has a huge artificial lake that was commissioned by the British discoverer John Sullivan.

Read more-  Ooty, and Wellington Of Yesteryears. See posts- Ooty or Ootacamund Lake – Old Print 1920s.

Did you know- opened in 1898 the Nilgiri Mountain Railway is the steepest railways in Asia and runs on the rack and pinion system. 

More from the collection-Page From Rare 1713 Latin Book on Calicut., The City Market In Bengaluru – Old Postcard 1935., Fort At Coylan – Antique Map / Plan 1764.,  Antique Painting of Madras Fort St George.

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

10 x 8 inches

Photographer -

Samuel Bourne