|• Type||Second Grade Municipality|
|• Body||Gudalur Municipality|
|• Chairperson||Mrs. Rama Mani (ரமா)|
|Elevation||1,072 m (3,517 ft)|
|• Density||200/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||TN-43Z, TN43Y|
|Sex ratio||900/1000 ♂/♀|
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, 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 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. Gudalur is a selection grade III municipality.gudalur is our soul.
According to 2011 census, Gudalur had a population of 49,535 with a sex-ratio of 1,032 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 5,359 were under the age of six, constituting 2,719 males and 2,640 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 27.66% and 3.65% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the town was 79.48%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The town had a total of 12101 households. There were a total of 18,807 workers, comprising 551 cultivators, 1,759 main agricultural labourers, 206 in house hold industries, 14,488 other workers, 1,803 marginal workers, 90 marginal cultivators, 278 marginal agricultural labourers, 119 marginal workers in household industries and 1,316 other marginal workers. As per the religious census of 2011, Gudalur had 59.83% Hindus, 26.01% Muslims, 14.1% Christians, 0.01% Sikhs, 0.05% following other religions and 0.01% following no religion or did not indicate any religious preference.
- 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 where you can find Tigers, Cheetahs, Deers, Elephants, Bison, the Lion Tailed Macaque, and different types of snakes ranging from King Cobra, Python etc.,
- Mango Orange The scenic Mangorange village is 20 k.m. from Gudalur. The village has many undulating hills carpeted with green tea estates. The drive from Gudalur to Calicut is one of the most exciting one for nature fans.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pandalur : Capital of Pandalur Taluka. There are many tea plantations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 km away from Gudalur town towards O'Valley.
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.
The biggest advantage of the Gudalur is the location. It takes only 2 hours to reach Gudalur from Mysore on the NH 67. Mudumalai Game Sanctuary is on the way to Gudalur from Mysore. Theppakadu is a small town on the way to Gudalur from Mysore where elephant ride by trained elephants is offered by the Tamil Nadu forest department. Trains from various important cities are connected to Mysore by broad gauge line and most trains arrive early in the morning.
From Theppakadu, travel to Ooty by the most scenic route, known as Kallatti Ghat Road, is highly recommended. This is a 48 km winding route with many hair pin bends. Only well experienced drivers can drive through this route because of the steep and narrow curves. Spotting of wild animals on this route is common.
There is another railway station at Nilambur in Kerala which connects to Gudalur by road in less than 2 hours.
Gudalur gets closer to 120 inches of rain in a year. This area is blessed with South West and North East monsoon. So the predominant crops grown in this hill are coffee, tea, pepper, cardamom and many cash crops. Since the height is approximately 3500 feet above sea level, this area is ideal for paddy cultivation also.
Gudalur has its own state assembly constituency which is one of the three constituencies in the Nilgiris district. M. Thiravidamani is the sitting MLA from the constituency as on 2014. The Gudalur assembly constituency is part of Nilgiris (Lok Sabha constituency).
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Gudalur". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Population By Religious Community - Tamil Nadu" (XLS). Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
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