Oh Mother


Seventh Death Anniversary (13-7-2018)

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…seven years ago.

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
Born September 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
Died July 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
Parents Rao Bahadue HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
Spouse B.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP 24-1-68

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhi Ari -2010]


Humble Thanks

Ari Gowder

On the solemn occasion of the 47th death anniversary of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder, the Government of Tamil Nadu accepted and acknowledged the selfless service to the society by the great Badaga leader and to honour him appropriately in future.

The Collector of the Nilgiris Ms.Divya Innocent garlanded the statue of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder at the NCMS complex, Ooty.

Badaga leaders like Prof.Kulla Gowder paid homage to Rao Bahadur Ari gowder.

The Nilgiri Cooperative Marketing Society was established by him in 1937 to help out the small farmers of the district from the clutches of middlemen and was considered the best in INDIA.  The 5.81 acres of land and buildings in Ooty donated to the society by Ari Gowder has to be a Rs.500 plus crores worth asset now.

On the occasion the family of Ari Gowder, his grand daughter Tara Jayaprakash and nephew Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash were honoured with shawls by the officials and staff of NCMS.

Manjai Mohan had taken great initiative and interest to make the solemn function a grand success.


As Ari Gowder family wishes to put on record, our deep gratitude and appreciation and thank all concerned.

Homage to H.B.Ari Gowder

We pay our humble and respectful homage to
Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder

Ari Gowder

The greatest leader of Badagas of the Blue Mountains !

See for more info -> https://badaga.co/all-about-ari-gowder/

Origin of Badagas

Badaga Origin

What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin.



Many mistakenly claim that Badaga Origin is nothing but Badaga migration from Mysore [now in Karnataka state] during Tipu’s time only because of the name Badaga (meaning northerner). It is very debatable. Unfortunately many Badagas have believed it in the absence of any convincing and conclusive evidence to the contrary. But the latest revelations and links about the language, especially from the epics and writings during the Tamil Sangam period tell a totally different story (see below).

I am firmly of the view that our history is much older- may be a thousand years or more older – and my initial ‘research’ confirms that. There is a lot written about the migration from Mysore theory by many anthropologists, researchers and others. For obvious reasons, most of them are/were ‘outsiders’ – like the early European missionaries and British. The one person who has done a lot to highlight about Badagas, in 1960s, Prof.Paul Hockings has chosen to go along with his predecessors in concluding that since Badaga means north[ner], they have migrated from southern Mysore during Tipu Sultan’s rule over Mysore to avoid being forcibly converted to Islam. Also sited in support of migration is the resemblance/similarity of Badaga (language) to Haleya [old] Kannada.

But, B.Balasubramaniam, a highly educated Badaga, who has done extensive research, before writing his book“ Paamé ” – The history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris feels that Badagas migrated from Southern Karnataka [then Mysore State] about 700 years back, much before Tipu’s time, around 1311 AD during the plundering raid of Malik Kafir.


Badaga Day 15th May 2018

Badaga Day 2018

[Thanks to the great initiative and efforts of Dharmalingam Venugopal]

Badaga Day will be celebrated in a grand manner at the

Young Badaga Association Hall

on Wenlock Road on May 15, 2018 (Tuesday), 

as part of the ongoing Nilgiri Summer Festival,

The celebrations will provide an opportunity for the tourists and the local people to learn about the unique 

 Badaga culture and history apart from enjoying the distinctive Badaga cuisine.

Badaga Food Festival will offer nearly 20 different healthy delicacies prepared in with traditional ingredients. According to writers, “Badaga cookery displays the widest range of techniques among the various ethnic groups of Nilgiris. Their method of food preparation include frying, roasting in a pot, roasting on fire and baking”.

The delicacies offered will include Tuppadittu, Soppu, Avare Udakka, Hachchiike, Sandege, Keerettu, Ubbittu, Gangi Koo, Haalu Koo, Mudthittu, Batha Koo, Gasu Bathal and Bella Koo.

There will be also an exhibition on Badaga history and culture showcasing photographs, books and traditional arte facts.

A painting exhibition by a leading Badaga artist will also be on display.

The Badaga Cultural Show which will follow the exhibitions will feature a wide variety of original songs and dances.

The celebration which will be open from 11-00am to 5-pm is open to all.

The Badagas are requested to attend in their traditional dress of ‘Thundu and Mundu’.

For Contact : Organsing Volunteers,YBA 9751435777

[for more info on ‘Badaga Day’ see —->  badaga.co/badaga-day-15th-may ]



A Shame and Challenge to Badagas

A Shame and Challenge to Badagas !

 This year is the 200th year of modern Nilgiris. The idea was proposed my  me (a Badaga). The administration has magnanimously accepted the idea and dedicated this Summer Festival to Bicentenary Celebrations.

A number of Committees have been formed to conduct the festival. The Badagas have been given due representation. I was also offered a membership but I had to excuse myself for some reasons.

Mr. T.Gundan (a Badaga) has been put in the Bicentenary Committee. It is indeed a due recognition of the contribution of  the  Badagas to the Nilgiris.

At the same time, I made a proposal to the YBA to conduct a 10-Day Badaga Summer Festival to showcase our history, culture, hospitality, products, talents and entertainments  in which thousands of our women, children and aged people could participate.

Because May is a lean month for marriages, the YBA Hall could be made easily available for the festival which can make every Badaga proud.

But the proposal has been rejected.  Mr. Gundan should be very much aware of this.

When we are so particular about our personal ego, publicity and name , should we not care a bit at least for the name and fame of our community and the happiness of our people?

How can these Badagas bask in the glory of  being  in the official committees and deny  our own people an opportunity to participate in the festival.

This is outright hypocrisy and betrayal of the Badagas.

Badagas have no shortage of  talent, goodwill and funds. It will be a permanent shame if the Badagas fail to make their presence felt during this Summer Festival.

How many Badaga  youth, men and women will take up this challenge? I offer my cooperation and good wishes.

Dharmalingam Venugopal (9444365360)

Kannerimukku Village

The Nilgiris District – 150 years old

 The Nilgiris District will be 150 years on August 18

Dharmalingam Venugopal  Nilgiri Documentation Centre

Amidst the excitement of the current summer season and the bicentenary celebrations of modern Nilgiris, a most significant milestone of the district has almost been forgotten. August 18th of this year will mark the 150th year of the birth of Nilgiris as a separate district.

Under Madras Act I of 1868, the Neilgherry Hills were separated from the district of Coimbatore on the 18th August 1868 and placed under a Commissioner.  The  Neilgherry Act received the assent of the Governor General on 6th June . The new district contained about 1000 square miles with a population of 88,142,  of whom 2616 were Europeans. The extent of land under plantations was 13,372 acres.

According to the reasons given for the creation of the  new district, “the arrangement, under which Neilgherry Hills were formerly treated for revenue and administrative purposes as a taluk or sub-division of the Collectorate of Coimbatore was found to work unsatisfactorily; that under this arrangement adequate provision was not made for the administrative requirements of the hills and that the Collector of Coimbatore had ample work on the lowlands of his district to occupy the whole of his time”.

At the same time, the duties of the Civil and Sessions Judge on the Neilgherries, which for judicial purposes formed a separate Zillah, were found to be extremely light.  The Act, therefore abolished the appointment of Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Assistant Collector and provided  for the creation of the office of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner , assigning to these officials the whole of the duties, administrative as well as judicial.

The first Commissioner was James Wilkinson Breeks.   Breeks who  was the author of ‘An Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments in the Nilagiris,’ entered the Madras Civil Service in 1849. He was appointed private secretary to Sir William Denison, governor of Madras, in 1861.  In  1864,  owing to ill-health, he left India and joined a mercantile firm in London, with the intention of retiring from the public service. But he returned to Madras in  1867, and was shortly afterwards appointed to the newly constituted office of commissioner of the Nilgiris.

Appeal to to the Collector of the Nilgiris


Dharmalingam Venugopal

Stone House, Ooty is next only in importance to Fort St George in Chennai in the Heritage buildings of Tamil Nadu.

Stone House was the first building of the British Empire in a hill station. How Sullivan managed to build it is a mystery and a miracle. That it has survived to this day more or less in the same form is yet another miracle.

Sir Thomas Munro, the Patron-Governor of South India stayed in Stone House for two nights in 1826.

Missionary scholars like Rev.G.U.Pope had taught in Stone House

For over 70 years half of India was administered for nine months from Stone House. Viceroys and Governors had sat in council in Stone House.

After independence, Stone House became a temple of learning , thanks to the efforts of the local leaders and blessings of state leaders like Kamaraj and Rajaji.

Government Arts College was opened on June 17, 1955 by the then Governor Sri Prakasa in the presence of Education cum Finance Minister C. Subramaniam.

5000 people from all over the district who took out a procession from Gandhi Maidan to the College attended the function.

H.B.Ari Gowder, M.L.A and President of the Nilgiri College Committee welcomed. He said that the only hope of raising the standard of living of the people in the hills to the level of that of the people in neighbouring districts lay in educating the maximum number of children up to the highest standard as possible.

Minister C.Subramaniam pointed out that the government policy was to encourage only technical colleges and leave the responsibility for arts colleges to private initiatives. But government made an exception for Nilgiris because of the great enthusiasm of the local people to go to college.

The real credit for the college must go to the great leader Kamaraj who overruled all objections and the grand old statesman Rajaji who fully supported the cause.

Kamaraj’s dream of educating generations of Nilgiri people has come true and those who benefited by the collages have risen to great heights as government officials, doctors, bankers, businesspersons, agriculturists, engineers, lawyers, accountants and every field.

There cannot be a more important heritage in Nilgiris than Stone House.

Stone House deserves to be celebrated, promoted and preserved in this Bicentenary Year of Modern Nilgiris.

The building and the environs of Stone House today is not what it should be. No point in blaming anyone. But if the public and old students of the college could come together a great deal can be done for the historical campus.

By myself I cannot take up this huge initiative. I appeal to the public and the old students to come forward and form a Committee of Volunteers.