|At Ooty, Tamil Nadu.Ferrnhills RoyalPalace, www.fernhillspalace.co.in|
|Ferrnhills RoyalPalace, www.goibibo.com|
Udangamandalam or Ooty is an important and famous hill (altitude above 7500 feet) station in India. It is in the Nilgiri hills that form the Western Ghat Mountain chain. Attracted by majestic peaks, charm and grandeur with lush green, tall trees and flowers, every year more than a million people visit this paradise on earth. John Sullivan, the then collector of East India company stationed at Coimbatore was the founder of Nilgiri hills. Ooty and and the surrounding places still retain the colonial legacy and flavor. With the arrival of Europeans, tea plantation gained popularity and gave job opportunities to the locals. There are buildings that were constructed during the British rule. Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary school, St Stephen's church, the Nilgiri Library are worthy of mention.
Fernhills Palace in Ooty, Nigiri District of Tamil Nadu was once the erstwhile summer residence of the Maharajah of Mysore kingdom. The young prince (just 12 years old) in 1873 bought Fernhills properties comprising 40 acres of land for Rs.10,000.00. His Highness Chamarajendra Wadiyar was the first Indian Royal to have bought an English holding in Ooty. At that point of time, tea estates and small properties in the Nilgiri hills were mostly owned by British citizens, rest were tribal lands. First built in 1844 by Capt. F. Cotton as a private residence in mid 1860s, it changed hand and served as one of Ooty's earliest country club. Almost very much similar to a Swiss Chalet, its architecture, carved wooden barge boards and ornamental cast iron works enhance its appearance. The palace has a remarkable alpine look of the place with its well landscaped and manicured gardens, firs and cedars surrounding the bungalow. Another interesting feature is the indoor badminton court in the palace. Mysore Royal family still owns the Bungalow and the properties.
The Palace ground is now spread out over 50 acres (200,000 m2) of green lawns, landscaped gardens and dense woods, offering a stunning view of terraced tea gardens and lush green valleys. Once you are on the hills, you will never want leave the cool place; perhaps, you may be craving to stay there for good