Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Ecotheology Issue 7 July 1999

Dodabetta Mountain and the Medicinal Plants Development Area

Mary Grey
Issued Date: 4 Mar 2007


Mettapulayam station in Tamil Nadu, India, at 6 am, after a hot night in trains fighting mosquitoes, presents a startling vista: the rugged peaks of the blue-green Nilgiri Hills rise out of the morning mists. The Nilgiris, famous for tea-growing, are a precious water source and a protected nature area for South India. Everywhere are notices asking people to ‘Save the Nilgiris’ (from what?). Here, before independence, the British—in flight from the unbearable heat of summer—sought the cool of the hill-stations. As our car wound its way up the steep, tortuous bends towards Ootacamund, the richness of the landscape was overwhelming. In India previously I had only known the semi-desert of Rajasthan. Here I saw cascading waterfalls, banana plantations, forests of coconut palms, firs. Tea plantations were every-where and have, of course, altered the ancient patterns of making a living; and, yes, there were eucalyptus trees (of which more later). Hundreds of monkeys swarmed over the roads, and we heard that many black panthers lurked in the forests.

DOI: 10.1558/ecotheology.v4i1.1792


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