|• Chairman||Selvi. T. Annabhuvaneshwari|
|Elevation||1,072 m (3,517 ft)|
|• Density||200/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||880/1000 ♂/♀|
Gudalur is a picturesque green valley on the way from Mysore to Ooty with a population of 32,605 (1991 census). It is a gateway to three states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka lying equidistant from both Kerala and Karnataka. Though the history of the name has been lost, it is the place where all of the three states' boundaries meet. Some even say the name originated as 'Koodal'(Joining)in Tamil and 'Ooru'(Village),and Goodal+uru as a mysterious place. As the town is located 50 km from any other nearby bigger towns, Ooty, Sulthan Bathery an Gundalpet& Nilambur it can very well be called as the Joining-Place or Point.
Tea plantations dot the whole region, and the regional economy is heavily dependent on the tea industry. However, this is a place rich in flora and fauna with a variety of hill crops, though lower altitude crops such as paddy and coconut also flourish here. This area was an offspring to the exploration done by the British during the pre-independence period to cultivate tea. Various large companies own tea estates in the region. From the 1960s onwards, the region saw pioneering settlers moving in from neighbouring Kerala. Later, towards the end of the 1970s, the Tamil Nadu Government also granted refuge to a large number of Sri Lankan repatriates. This considerably changed the demography of the region. Gudalur is a place where one can see people from the two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala live together cordially.
Once upon a time, it was a paradise for newly wedded couples who married without the consent of their parents and had eloped from their homes, to find a living. In olden times it was said,Criminals also found this place a hideout from the law of the land; the history of Gudalur says that it is a land of hard workers. People from different part of India migrated to Gudalur and fought with the wild animals and with malaria and thereby reaped gold from the land. This 'pioneering' spirit however, had a considerable cost — the original inhabitants of the region (indigenous people) have been reduced to a state of abject poverty and subjugation on account of the outsiders.
Gudalur is the only Taluk to have an Act enacted by the Tamil Nadu State Government and is placed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India (entry 80) which is exclusively made for the Gudalur region. That Act is Gudalur Janmam Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1969 (Act 24/69).
Later Gudalur Taluk was divided into two talukas: Gudalur and Pandalur. Pandalur Taluka consists of the major portion of Nelliyalam Villages and Cherangode village. It was the seat of the erstwhile Nelliyalam Ratti. Nelliyalam is a small village where you can find the remains of the fort of Nelliyalam Ratti.
Today Gudalur is a selection grade III municipality.
Present Mudumalai Tiger Reserve lies adjacent to the Gudalur. However, since Gudalur is a very old meeting place, with the majority population of the region being settlers from Kerala and from Sri Lanka apart from other parts, there is a very 'local pride' in the region. The people are farmers and very hard workers.
Devala, a place which is just 20 km away from Gudalur, receives the highest rainfall in Tamil Nadu. It is next to Chirapunji, where the highest rainfall receives in India.
As of the census of India 2001, Gudalur had a population of 43,096 comprising 21,398 males and 21,698 females, making the sex ratio (number of females per thousand males) of the town to 1,014. A total of 6,052 people were under six years of age and the child sex ratio (number of females per thousand males under six years of age) stood at 1,007. The town had an average literacy of 83.92%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. A total of 11,189 comprising 30.2% of the population belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC) and 1,489 comprising 4.02% of the population belonged to Scheduled tribes (ST). There were are total of 9,508 households in the town. As of 2001, Gudalur had a total of 12,620 main workers: 265 cultivators, 705 agricultural labourers, 109 in house hold industries and 11,541 other workers. There was a total of 3,449 marginal workers: 30 marginal cultivators, 1,067 marginal agricultural labourers, 31 marginal workers in household industries and 2,321 other marginal workers.
- Needle Rock View Point : (Ooshi Malai/Soochi Malai): It is 7 km on the way to Ooty. From here one can see almost every part of Gudalur and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Gudalur town, Bandipur and parts of Mysore. On the other side, you can see parts of Kerala. You can also see a mountain popularly known as Sleeping Beauty (also called Aanakkallu) which is exactly in the shape of a sleeping woman.
- Frog Hill View Point: The hill is in the shape of a huge frog. Frog hill view point is 9 km. from Gudalur on the way to Ooty. This hill can be seen as a gigantic frog sitting when seen from a distance. At the same time a good place to get the full view of Gudalur. The Sleeping Beauty range of mountain (from Devershola to Devala)can also be viewed from this view point.
- Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary : It starts 5 km from gudalur town a Tiger Reserve when you can find Tigers, Cheetahs, Deers, Elephants, Bison, the Lion Tailed Macaque, and different types of snakes ranging from King Cobra, Python etc.,
- Numbalakottai Vimalagiri : 4 km. from Gudalur. A shrine of Vettakarappan (Lord of the hunts) with sub-shrine built in Kerala style is here. Wynad scenery is visible from here. The temple was a property of Nilambur Kovilagam and the festival is conducted once in a year by the Kovilagam trust under the guidance of the Kovilagam. The way to Nambalakottai is via Kalampuzha.
- Kalampuzha : This is a small place located near Gudalur Bus Stand. Kalampuzha is sweet place where people live in peace and harmony. There are two NGO's NAVA(Adivasi Trust) and PALM2 located in this place. NAVA concentrates only in the welfare of the first peoples of Gudalur(Adivasis). PALM2 NGO is headed by Ms.Natascha Sennema from The Netherlands who dedicated herself for the PALM 2. This NGO trains people to indulge in several agricultural and Income generation activities. This NGO is different from other NGOs in its participatory and holistic approach. The NGO has 2 umbrella organisation (PLF), 20 people's community-based organisations (CBO) and 350 self-help groups. Several group members were trained in cottage industries, tailoring, banana chips making, bakery and Indian savories. Ciji Varghese working in PALM2 has a great idea in aquaculture, ornamental fishery and edible water fish.
- Manvayal/Bospara : This is a small satellite town 8 km from Gudalur, and is adjacent to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The people here are mainly small tea growers and are mainly engaged in agricultural activities. The ancestors of this village migrated from Thiruvithamkur and other parts of Kerala some 50 years ago. Ironically, the original name Manvayal was that of a small Kattunayakan Tribal village. "Seva Bharathi" (NGO) is indulged more than 'two hundred' seva works in this area.
- Nelliyalam : 20 km from Gudalur. A few ruins of historical Ummatur dynasty can be seen here. There are ruins of a fort which was the seat of the erstwhile Nelliyalam Rani.
- Ponneni : There is a Vishnu Temple where Utsavam takes place only once in 12 years. It was under the control of the Nilambur Kovilakam but it is not maintained properly after the 'Gudalur Janmam Estates Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari Act, 1969' was passed by the Tamil Nadu State government.
- Pandalur : Capital of Pandalur Taluka. There are many tea plantations.
- Vimalagiri : The capital of Mothavayal panchayat. It is a fully literate village.
- Singara and Moyar : Underground Power houses under the control of Tamil Nadu State Electricity Board.
- Cherangode : There is a shrine dedicated to Velankanni Matha. This is a pilgrims' centre.
- Cherambady : 35 km. from Gudalur. It is extreme western corner which has plantations and mica mines. Sultan battery is very near.
- Kunnalady : Kunnalady is a pilgrim centre of Malayalees as well as Tamils. It is a centre of Tea Leaves business. Bekky is nearby. The people here are mainly tea planters and life depends on the rise and fall of tea leaf value. There is a church in Kunnalady and another in Bekky. Bekky Matha Church is ancient and very famous for its feast called 'perunnal'and the land for this church is provided by Jacob Padinjaremuriyil primarily to the Tellicherry Diocese and thereafter transferred to Mananthavadi Diocese. Bekky church was first under Mysore Diocese in the year 1950, thereafter became part of Ooty diocese from 3rd July 1955, and thereafter under Thalassery Diocese in late 1950-s and finally became part of Mananthavady Diocese in 1973. The Bekky Matha Church was found in the leadership of late Rev. Fr. Thaddaeus O.C.D. There is a temple Anchmbalam in Kunnalady and its 'Utsavam' is very famous. Ammankavu is nearby. Ancient "Ammankavu temple" is of Wayanadan Chetty Community which is more than 200 years old. Amman Kavu Utsavam is a time for the tribals to meet in a year. Pepper, Coffee, ginger and all types of spices and fruits grows here.
- Nellakotta : It is 15 km from Gudalur. A dilapidated fort is there. This fort was the godown for rice and paddy storage for centuries under various dynasties.
- Hanging Bridges : Located on the way to Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. It is 7 km from Gudalur.
- Genepool Garden : It is located at 10 km from Gudalur in a place called Nadugani. It has a variety of species from all over the world.
- Kariyasholai : A village encircled with forest where one half cultivated tea plantation, vanilla, coffee, cardamom etc., The queen of hills has her daughter NEEDLE ROCK placed to the east top of the village which really makes the village a heavenly jorn.
- Devala : A small town on the way to Pandalur from Gudalur at 18th km has the second highest rainfall in India. Dilapidated gold mine tunnels can be seen here.
- Valat Mahavishnu Temple : Its at Ambalamoola, known from the ancient and traditional palm leaf testimonials and learned astrologists who conducted "Ashtta Mangalya Deva Prasnam" in the temple that the Valat MahaVishnu Temple(Narasimhavatar) was established during the reign of Chera Kings about 1500 years ago. The Chera Administrators known as Nayakans entrusted an ancient family named Valat Tharavad to execute and carry out daily pooja and related rites without any hindrance and for which total expenditure were also met by the Nayakas. Accordingly the Valat family maintained the temple till 1975 and expressed their inconvenience to continue their execution there after for want of means and ways.
- Cherangode Swami Malai : A tourist hill, lake, located in Pandalur-Kolappally-Ayyankolly road.
- Velleri River : Located in Silver Jubilee road near, Ambalamoola.
- Kusumagiri Murugan Temple : An old temple which has been reconstructed devoted to Lord Murugan
- Sandanamalai Murugan Temple: Located at 21 kms away from Gudalur town towards O'Valley.
- PADANTHORAI :it is a small beautiful village mostly agriculture..but in gudalur the most and powerfull foot ball team is padanthorai,mainly known as PASC (padanthorai arts and sports club.
Gudalur is linked by road to Ooty through NH 67 and this is one of the Nilgiri Ghat Roads. In the other direction, the same road continues on towards Gundlupet (and on to Mysore) in Karnataka State. Another road links it to Nilambur and Sulthan Bathery in Kerala State. Gudalur is therefore on the access route to other towns in the district for goods and passengers from the state of Karnataka and some from the state of Kerala.
- "Primary census abstract 2001". Directorate of Census Operations – Tamil Nadu. 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies". Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
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