Ooty, also called Udhagamandalam, whose anglicized name then came to be recognized as Ootacamund. It was first referred to as the Queen of hill stations by the British, given its charming beauty and beautiful valleys. Standing amidst the Nilgiri mountain ranges, Ooty has scenery marked by tea and coffee gardens, eucalyptus trees and dense vegetation. Ooty is also famous for Kurunji flower, and this flower blooms once in every 12 years gives the slopes of the Nilgiri mountains a bluish tinge.
The Nilgiri mountain range is separated by Moyar River to the north and Anaimalai Hills to the south. The Nilgiris district lies within these region and it has an area of 2,479 Square Kilometers (957 Sq.mi). Mukurthi National Park, which is in Nilgiris, is under consideration by the UNESCO world heritage committee for selection as a world heritage site. Nilgiris Biosphere reserve is the first Biosphere reserve in India and it part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
The History if Nilgiris dates back to eleventh Century. The Nilgiris was first mentioned in Silapathikaram and it was part of the kingdoms who ruled South India. In the modern period, The Nilgiris was part of the Vijayanagar kingdom and later it was occupied Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan between 1760 to 1799. The Nilgiris was ceded to the East India Company in 1799 by a treaty of Srirangapattanam and this beautiful region was unknown to British until 1818.
It was John Sullivan, an Englishman and Collector of Coimbatore, who was destined to have greater cultural impact on the Nilgiris hills. He had a very strong love of Nature and propensity for Agriculture and Gardening. He was the first European official to build a house and settle there. He has introduced a number of old varieties of plants from Europe and South Africa which form part of the Nilgiris flora today. He is responsible for developing the Nilgiris and Udhagamandalam in particular.