April in Nilgiris History

April has been an eventful month in the history of Nilgiris.

The first ever written record of Nilgiris by Father Finicio, an Italian pastor who came from Calicut to investigate the possible Christian  links to the Todas, was dated April 1, 1603.

St. Stephen’s church, the oldest landmark of Ooty, next only to the Stone House, opened for service on April 3.

Ooty got its telegraph connection on April 1, 1855 long before most parts of India were connected. The line was installed from Bangalore to enable Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India who was convalescing on the  hills for nearly nine months, to administer the Indian sub-continent.

On April 10, 1871, St.Thomas Church opened for service.

The present version of the game of snooker was developed at Ooty, sometime in April 1882 at the Ooty Club, by  Sir Neville Chamberlain,   Lieutenant-Colonel George Tindal  and Captain John Gordon of  Royal Irish Fusiliers. The game is now ruled by Ronnie O’Sullivan, a clansman of John Sullivan, the builder of Ooty.

On April 26, 1887 Governor of Madras Lord Connemara arrived in Ooty. Later a road beyond Talakundha and the present premises of the government museum at Ooty were named after him.

On April 5, 1896, Wenlock Downs were put under a committee for the recreation of the European population for hunt, polo and golf.

In April 1920, Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah holidayed in Ooty with his wife.

The first major hydroelectric project in the Nilgiris, the Pykara scheme, built by engineers Howard  was inaugurated on April 5, 1933.

The premier institution of the Nilgiris, the Defense Services Staff College came into being on April 5, 1948.

The first ever session of the Madras Legislative Assembly, outside Fort St George opened at Aranmore Palace (now Thamilagam), Ooty on April 20, 1959.

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