Long, long before the freedom movement was born, Sullivan in 1831 spoke in the UK parliament to allow Indians to govern themselves. It took another hundred years for the idea to become the Home Rule movement. Sullivan’s writings were used by freedom fighters like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dr.AmbedkarRead More →

(Foreign Coins have been found in the pre-historic graves in the Nilgiris. Sullivan while building his Fairlawns (now Smyrna Home) found Roman coins underneath. Badagas have been using gold and other coins from time immemorial for ritual purposes. Recently a German scholar  has documented the rituals under the interest title,Read More →

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, probablyRead More →

(That Charing cross of Ooty was modeled on its name sake in London is another enduring myth. According to the Historian David Sullivan (a direct descendant of Sullivan) cross–roads leading to Westminster at a place called Charing became Charing Cross in London.  Similarly, the flat land where the four mainRead More →

Pierre Jules César Janssen (1824-1907) also known as Jules Janssen, was a French astronomer who, along with English scientist Joseph Norman Lockyer, is credited with discovering the gaseous nature of the solar chromosphere, and with some justification,  the element helium. The Nilgiris has been a coveted site for observing totalRead More →

Annie Besant (1847-1933) was a British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator, educationist, and philanthropist. Regarded as a champion of human freedom, she was an ardent supporter of both Irish and Indian self-rule. She was kept in house arrest in Ooty during the Home Rule movement. The call forRead More →

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence (1806-1857) was a British military officer, surveyor, administrator and statesman in British India. He was the founder of Lawrence School, Lovedale.  Lawrence was born in Matura (in Sri Lanka) to a poor Irish soldier of fortune. After joining the East India Company in 1823 he studiedRead More →

Josiah John Goodwin ( 1870-1898) was a British stenographer and a disciple of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda. Goodwin is known for recording Vivekananda’s speeches, and it is thought that without his efforts most of Vivekananda’s works would have been lost. Goodwin joined Swami in Jammu and Lahore in 1897. AdvisedRead More →

Sir Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain (1856 – 1944) was an officer in the British Indian Army. He is credited with having invented the game of snooker. The internationally popular game of snooker was invented Sir Chamberlain and his army friends in Ootacamund Club  sometime between   in December 1881 and June 1882.  The friends,Read More →

George Uglow Pope  (1820 –1908), was a Canada born  Anglican Christian missionary and Tamil scholar who spent 40 years in Tamil Nadu and translated many Tamil texts into English. His popular translations included those of the Tirukkural and Thiruvasagam. He is read and revered by Tamils all over the world till date. A statue on the Chennai beach recognizes him forRead More →

John Browne (1863-1902) was one of the first British entrepreneurs of Ooty. He built a fortune in ‘Tonga’ service. The first mode of transport for Europeans to the Nilgiris was palanquin carried by native bearers. Then came the bullock cart after the foot paths were widened to make them cartRead More →

Carl Roman Abt (1850-1933) was a Swiss mechanical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He made groundbreaking innovations in rack-and-pinion railways, giving his name to one of the most widely used systems developed for mountain railways, the Abt rack system. Dr. Abt worked under the renowned German railway engineer Niklaus Riggenbach, the founder ofRead More →

Murray Barnson Emeneau (1904 –  2005) was a Canadian professor of linguistics who specialized in Dravidian languages. Emeneau’s greatest achievement in Dravidian studies was  the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary (in two volumes), written with Thomas Burrow and first published in 1961. Revised in a 1984, the  second edition, remains the indispensable guide, tool, andRead More →

Robert Fellowes Chisholm (1840 – 1915) was a British architect who pioneered the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture (a welcome mix of the Western and Eastern styles) mainly  in the Madras Presidency. Chisholm was born in London  on 11 January 1840  and had his early education in the UK practicing as a talented landscape painter inRead More →