Gudalur is a picturesque green valley on the way from Mysore to Ooty with a population of 32,605 (1991 census). It is a gateway to three states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka lying equidistant from both Kerala and Karnataka. Though the history of the name has been lost, it is the place where all of the three states' boundaries meet. Some even say the name originated as 'Koodal'(Joining)in Tamil and 'Ooru'(Village),and Goodal+uru as a mysterious place. As the town is located 50 km from any other nearby bigger towns, Ooty, Sulthan Bathery an Gundalpet it can very well be called as the Joining-Place or Point.
Tea plantations dot the whole region, and the regional economy is heavily dependent on the tea industry. However, this is a place rich in flora and fauna with a variety of hill crops, though lower altitude crops such as paddy and coconut also flourish here. This area was an offspring to the exploration done by the British during the pre-independence period to cultivate tea. Various large companies own tea estates in the region. From the 1960s onwards, the region saw pioneering settlers moving in from neighbouring Kerala. Later, towards the end of the 1970s, the Tamil Nadu Government also granted refuge to a large number of Sri Lankan repatriates. This considerably changed the demography of the region. Gudalur is a place where one can see people from the two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala live together cordially.
Tourist attractions 
Needle Rock View Point (Ooshi Malai/Soochi Malai): (Needle point rock view) It is 12 km. on the way to Udhagamandalam - Gudalur. From here one can see almost every part of Gudalur and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary, Gudalur town, bandipur and parts of Mysore. On the other side you can see part of Kerala. You can also see a mountain popularly known as 'Sleeping Beauty'(also called Aanakkallu) which is exactly in the shape of a sleeping woman. 
Frog Hill View: The hill is in the shape of a huge frog. Frog hill view point is 14 km. from Gudalur on the way to Udhagamandalam-/ Gudalur road. From here one can see gigantic Frog shape of a hill view. 
Mudumalai Wild Life Sanctuary is in Gudalur. 
Numbalakottai Vimalagiri : 4 km. from Gudalur. A shrine of Vettakarappan with sub-shrine built in Kerala style is here. Wynad scenes is visible from here.The temple was a property of Nilambur Kovilagam and festival is conducted once in the year by the kovilagam trust .
Manvayal: 8 km from gudalur lies the heaven in this world.The people here are mainly small tea growers and are mainly engaged in agricultural activities.
Nambalakkotta : 8 km. from Gudalur. A shrine of Battarayaswamy (Lord of the hunts) with sub-shrine built in Kerala style is here. Wynad scenes is visible from here. 
Nelliyalam: 20 km. from Gudalur. A few ruins of historical Ummatur dynasty can be seen here. There are ruins of a Fort which were the seat of the erstwhile Nelliyalam Rani. 
Ponneni: There is a Vishnu Temple where 'Utsavam' were taking place once in 12 years. It was under the control of Nilambur kovilakam and it is not maintained properly after the 'Gudalur Janmam abolishment and Conversion Act, 1969' passed by the Tamilnadu State government. 
Pandalur: Capital of Pandalur Taluka. There are many tea plantations. 
Gudalur: Capital of Gudalur Taluka. There is one Government Arts College in Gudalur. Higher Educational facilities are very poor. 
Vimalagiri:The capital of Mothavayal panchayat.Its a full literacy village.A small percent of people here belongs to late system headed by Abin Sebastian P K 
ingara and Moyar: Power houses under the control of Tamilnadu State Electricity Board. Power house is under the ground. This is the specialty here. Water flows through tunnels. 
Cherangode: There is a shrine dedicated to Velankanni Mata. This is a pilgrims' centre. 
Cherambady 35 km. from Gudalur. It is extreme western corner which has plantations and mica mines. Sultan battery is very near
Cherambady is a place of hardworking people, near Kerala-Tamilnadu border, majority of people residing here are Malayalees. . 
Kunnalady: Kunnalady is a centre of Malayalees as well as Tamils. It is a centre of Tea Leaves business. Bekky is near by. The people here are mainly tea planters and life depends on the rise and fall of tea leaf value. There is a church in Kunnalady and another in Bekky. Bekky Matha Church is ancient and very famous for its feast called'perunnal'.This is a pilgrim centre. There is a temple 'Anchmbalam' in kunnalady and its 'Utsavam' is very famous. People from various places visit here during that time. Ammankavu is near by. Amman kavu utsavam is a time for the tribals to meet in a year.
Nellakotta: It is 15 km from Gudalur. A dilapidated fort is there. 
Hanging Bridges : Located on the way to Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. It is 14 km from Gudalur. 
Genepool Garden: It is located at 15 km from Gudalur in a place called Nadugani. It has a variety of species from all over the world. 
Kariyasholai: A beautiful village encircled with forest where one half cultivated tea plantation, vanilla, coffee, cardamom etc,. The queen of hills has her daughter NEEDLE ROCK placed to the east top of the village which really makes the village a heavenly jorn. Chelakkunnu just one km away is a beautiful forest-cum-village of thodas, kurumaas, paniyaas etc. One can often see elephants wandering, deer rover, beautiful wild life on a stream walk at the location. 
Devala: A small town on the way to Pandalur from Gudalur at 18th km has the second highest rainfall in India.

3 comments: