Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Badaga connection

Do you know that there are two Badagas who were very closely involved in the construction and maintenance of the unique Nilgiri Mountain Railways from Mettupalayam to Ooty – Rao Bahadur Hubbathalai J.Bellie Gowder and his son Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder?

In the picture below,Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder with British Engineers and workers at Bridge No.33 between Coonoor & Mettupalayam. Bellie Gowder was involved in laying the Nilgiri Mountain Raiway, now WORLD HERITAGE, a hundred years ago. He was conferred with the title RAO BAHADUR for carrying out the excellent but challenging contract work of building this unique railway system in inhospitable forest area that also involved in cutting tunnels through rocky hills as well as building many bridges with sheer guts. He employed human power to lift the racks & rails and remove the rocks and boulders. Many of his workers were BADAGAS who addressed Bellie Gowder as BELLIE MAISTRY.

Ari Gowder was also  honoured with the title Rao Bahadur and was given the railway contracts after his father, from 1935 till his death in1971.


This short video is a tribute to them.





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