About KotagiriA spellbinding hill station, Kotagiri is a small town located in the Nilgiris district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Situated at a whopping altitude of 5,883 ft (1,793 m) above sea level, Kotagiri is regarded as one of the three most frequented hill stations of Tamil Nadu. The strikingly expressive hill station is delimited by lush tea estates and extends a a lot of adventurous trekking options to the visitors. It is considered that Kotagiri hill station basks one of the glorious climatic conditions in all of South India, throughout the year.
The amazingly impressive Kotagiri hill station presents a lot of sloped hills that are encircled by exuberant green tea estates with silver oak trees (Grevillela parallela - native to the east coast of Australia, but is found growing in abundance in Kotagiri) and of greenish exquisitely indented leaves with pinnate lobes and evolved around with multitudinous small natural hills and valleys. The astonishing destination features excellent connectivity options and could be easily reached by boulevard road. The hill station can also be reached by long trekking trails from several nearby villages and towns. Regular bus transportation services are operated from Coimbatore, Mysuru, Udhagamandalam, Coonoor and Mettupalayam.
Etymology of Kotagiri
The picturesque hill station of Kotagiri, though have no scripted or known account of the pre-British period of time, has been in existence for years. The exquisite region just beneath Coonoor (the second most prominent hill station in the Nilgiri hills) and the inclines of the Nilgiri hills has been the traditional domicile of the 'kota' tribal people. The word ‘Kota-giri’ can be translated as the ‘mountain of the kota tribes’. Kotagiri was acknowledged in the past times as 'Kota-Keri' or 'Kota-gherry' which means 'the street of Kotas'.
It was accounted that two public officials who were an integral part of the civil service of the Madras Government, that is to say, N.W. Kindersley and J.C. Whish, travelled to the hills during the year 1819. The actual reason for their travel to the hills remains unidentified, but it perhaps could have been in chase of contrabandists. They went across the Denad village (Kil Kotagiri), and as reported back to their higher officials, had “came across a plateau featuring European climatic conditions”. The two civil servants called the plateau as ‘Kotercherry’.
Kotagiri: Past and Present
After the two civil servants, N.W. Kindersley and J.C. Whish discovered the plateau and called it as ‘Kotercherry’, the Collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan (grandson of Lawrence Sullivan, Director of the East India Company, and son of Stephen Sullivan) traveled into the hills and constructed himself an abode in the Kotagiri hill station. As a matter of fact, John Sullivan was the first European occupant of the Nilgiri hills.
The Collector of Coimbatore was traveled along by other people who include Marquis of Dalhousie and many other elites. By 1830s, the small town had some twenty cottages constructed around. The British got the best out of the town, being in Madras during the wintertime and transferring to the Kotagiri hill station during the tyrannous summer times.
The present day Kotagiri was primarily populated by tribal population of the 'Kota' tribes. Major developments in the region, in terms of infrastructure were actually initiated by the British Government, which was governing the region those days. Kotagiri continued to be the most preferred destination for Englishmen who were longing to return home. The small town enjoyed a salubrious climatic condition of neither extreme different than Ooty, which was more dampish and more frigid.
Today, Kotagiri is a small and quiet town and is an unsung hill station in the Nilgiri hills. Nevertheless, the hill station has numerous credits to its name.
- Kotagiri lives with pride for being the first region in the Nilgiris district to be discovered and colonized by the British
- Kotagiri was the most preferred address for a lot of Madras Government officials who used the hill station as a 'summer escape'
- Kotagiri is the first spot where coffee, tea and many other spices were cultivated and traded through markets - the first coffee estate was planted by M.D. Cockburn in 1843
- Kotagiri is the home of the headquarters of the Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA)
- Kotagiri basks a status of climatically superior over Udhagamandalam as it is guarded by the Doddabetta range of mountains (the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 8,650 feet) from the onrush of the southwest monsoon
Administration in Kotagiri
The territorial dominion of the Nilgiris has been separated into two revenue divisions, having central offices at Coonoor and Gudalur. The small town of Kotagiri come under the jurisdiction of the Coonoor revenue division. Furthermore, Kotagiri is subdivided into 21 administrative wards, each headed by a ward councillor who plays a significant role in the local government. The district collector of the Nilgiris, Dr. P. Sankar, I.A.S is the head of local administration, and is assisted by various other collectorate staffs and officials.
Tourism in Kotagiri
Though the tea-territory went down into anonymity when the other two hill stations of the Nilgiris (Udhagamandalam and Coonoor) usurped in popularity, Kotagiri is the home of some of the delicately elegant and beautiful places of interest that receives visitors from all over the world. Furthermore, the small town is well equipped with various accommodation options and restaurant choices to serve the needs and demands of the holiday makers.
This bewitching hill station is the home of several popular places of interest which include Kodanad View Point, John Sullivan's Bungalow (also known as Pethakal Bungalow), Longwood forest, Nehru park, St.Catherine waterfalls (also known as Geddhehaada Halla), Uyilatty falls (also known as Elk falls), Rangaswamy Pillar, Thengumarahada, Rangasamy Peak, Longwood Shola, CSI Wesley Church and so on.
Quick Facts:State: Tamil Nadu
District: The Nilgiris
Geographic Coordinates: 11.43°N 76.88°E
Elevation: 5,883 ft above sea level
Languages Spoken: Tamil, Badaga and Kannada
Demographic Information of Kotagiri:
Population (Census 2011): 28,207
Male Population: 13,607
Female Population: 14,600
Population of Children with age of 0-6: 2,340 (8.30 % of total population of Kotagiri)
Sex Ration: 1,073 males for every 1,000 females
Literacy Rate: 86.79 % (higher than state average of 80.09 %)
Male Literacy Rate: 93.55 %
Female Literacy Rate: 80.57 %
Transportation in Kotagiri:
Regular buses are operated to Kotagiri from Mettupalayam (near Coimbatore), Ooty and Coonoor
Nearest Bus Station: Kotagiri Bus Stand
Nearest Railway Station: Coonoor Railway Station (Station Code: ONR)
Nearest Airport: Coimbatore International Airport (IATA: CJB, ICAO: VOCB) - 65 km
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