Who is stronger ? Bengali or Madarasi Soldier ? A June Ooty bet in 1835 !!!
In June 1835 Governor General William Bentinck was in Ooty recuperating. Sir Frederick Adam, the Governor or Madras and Lord Macaulay were with him. Bentinck was staying in the present Ooty Club. Once, probably when the monsoon rains were battering town, an argument arose between Bentinck and Sir Frederick as to the ‘muscular superiority of the armies of the three presidencies. Bentinck, who was Governor of Bengal for a long time, argued that Bengalis had the superior physical strength. Sir Frederick, disputed the claim of the Governor General saying that the muscular force of the Madras and Bombay armies were superior. Of course, they do not seem to have gone to the extent of laying a bet on the issue. But an order did originate in Bengal soon after for weighing and measuring the men of the Bengal army.
Now we have an idea what the Governor Generals and Governors did, at least sometimes, to while away their time in Ooty, especially during the nasty monsoon weather.
Nilgiri Documentation Centre