Nilgiri range lies in the western Ghats region in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Most of the mountains in this range are elevated at more than 2000 meters, the tallest one being the Doddabetta at 2637 meters. Nilgiri literally means “Blue Mountains”. It is known as the Queen of Hill Stations of the South, credited to the rich flora and fauna spread all across the area. Here is the list of rich flora and fauna...
They bloom once in every 12 years. They are blue in color, hence the range is named after them. It is a visual treat and personally I find those people lucky, who have visited the bloom season at least once. Other rare species of flower grow once every seven years.
Nilgiri Tea Plantation
The Nilgiris are famous for its produce of aromatic and refreshing tea. It is distinct from the rest of the parts of tea plantations in India, because of its high altitude. They mainly grow black and Oolong tea. The region’s popular tea estates that are a must visit on a tour of Nilgiris include Craigmore, Pascoes Woodlands, NonsuchDunsanadale, Parkside, Glendale, Tiger Hill, Colacumby and Corsley. Owing to the huge variety and abundance of tea in this part of India, every year a Tea and Tourism festival is organized here by the Government authorities.
It belongs to the specie of the Daisy family and is a flowering plant. It is the only native of the southern western ghats.It’s scientific name is Adenoon Indicum. It grows between the month of September to November. It’s leaves are 5-8 cms long and dark green above and pale beneath.
Shola forests are tropical montane forests found in the valleys separated by rolling grasslands only in the higher elevations. They are found only in South India in the Southern Western Ghats. The shola forests are patches of forests that occur only in the valleys where there is least reach of the fog and mist. Other parts of the mountains are covered in grasslands. The trees never grow on the mountain tops. This is such a unique landscape formation that is native only to the southern Western Ghats. The word Shola is derived from the Tamil language word “Sholai” meaning grove.
When you visit the Nilgiris, the chocolates and eucalyptus oils are a must buy. Eucalyptus was first grown in the Western Ghats to meet the fuel needs of the people. Although after an extensive research, scientists found out its commercial capabilities. Eucalyptus oil can be used as an antiseptic, for deodorizing, and in very small quantities in food supplements, especially sweets, cough drops, toothpaste and decongestants. Eucalyptus is the most common short fiber source for pulpwood to make pulp. The types most often used in papermaking. Likewise you can make honey out of the nectar of the plants, dyes, etc.
The Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri Tahr locally known as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex inhabits the open montane grasslands of the western Ghats known as the sholas. Their habitat is found at an elevation of 1,200 to 2,600 metres. Originally, they were found at every corner of the Nilgiris, but because of their poaching and hunting, in the 19th century, they reduced in number.
The Nilgiri Langur
The Nilgiri langur is a type of an Old World Monkey. It is also known as an Indian Hooded monkey. It is an attractive colobine monkey with a pale golden mane. The home range of the langurs are between two to six hectares, which can vary according to the availability of food. It is an endangered specie.
The Nilgiri Marten
The Nilgiri marten is the only marten species in southern India. It is an omnivorous animal which feeds on small mammals, birds, and various fruits. The Nilgiri marten is deep brown from head to rump, with the forequarters being almost reddish, with a bright throat ranging in color from yellow to orange.
Lion Tailed Macaque
The lion-tailed macaque, or the Wanderoo, is again an, Old World monkey. The hair of the macaque is black. The silver-white mane which surrounds the head from the cheeks down to its chin, which gives this monkey its German name Bartaffe - "beard ape". The hairless face is black in color. With a head-body length of 42 to 61 cm and a weight of 2 to 10 kg.
The Gaur also known as the Indian bison, is the largest wild cattle species, they are found in South and South East Asia. The gaur is a strong and massively built species with a high convex ridge on the forehead between the horns, which protrudes anteriorly, causing a deep hollow in the upper part of the head. There is a prominent ridge on the back. The ears are very large,and in old bulls the hair becomes very thin on the back.
Isn’t all this so fascinating? I just want to pack my backpack right away and head to the Nilgiri Mountains to see some of these beauties for myself… what about you?