The whole Nelliyampathy hills is known to be originally belonged to Vengunad Kovilakam of Kollengode (a small principality of Malabar) and State of Cochin when you take left and right from Kaikatty, Nelliyampathy. The history of plantations here dates back to the 19th century when some title deeds were granted by the State of Cochin to establish plantations. It was mainly the British who owned the estates and they started coffee plantations. However, during the first half of the 20th century, Nelliyampathy was known, not for coffee but for oranges. The oranges cultivated in the orange plantations here were so popular with the British that some used to be sent even to the queen.In 1943, the State of Cochin started a farm here to feed the British troops and thus to overcome the food crisis. Soon, many private entrepreneurs started acquiring coffee and tea plantations.
Arthur Halls, perhaps the best known of the early planters in the Nellies, always held that there were others before them in these hills where only tribals roamed before the land was opened up by the planters. By the time Arthur Hall arrived in the Nellies in 1877, there appeared to have been coffee planted without shade in what were later known as Shernelly, halfway up the ghat, and Nelikolam Estates, the latter on the plateau. Arthur Hall started planting at Cotengady, near Padagiri, and was the father of planting in the Nellie. Similarly vast tracts of virgin forest in the Nelliyampathy hills were leased out in the year 1889 to two Britishers by name Mr. Holmes and Mr. Macanzey. By the 1890s, there were over a hundred European planters in the district, mostly from the coffee districts of Mysore. Nelliyampathy was also known to have one of the six liqueur dispensary in Kerala due to the excess British settlements.
The plantations leased out by the State of Cochin was auctioned after the by Kerala government and the plantations of Vengunad Kovilakam of Kollengode which was leased out to Arthur Hall was sold to Amalgamated coffee estates Ltd after the british left India.
Name and geographical details
Nelliyampathy is believed to have derived its name from the gooseberriy (nelli in Malayalam) trees that are found abundantly in the area. Another version is that the place owes its name to the Kadar tribes who lived in a hamlet (pathy) near Nellikolam. Nelliyampathy is well renowned for its tea gardens, coffee and cardamom plantations, orange orchards, sparkling silver waterfalls and dense forests. Nelliyampathy starts at Poothundy lake, where a large dam exists, mainly used for irrigation purposes ,nested in the High Ranges of the Western Ghats, it offers dashing views of the plains, cliffs, valleys, rivers and the forests around. Its breathtaking natural opulence and salubrious climate draws hoards of visitors to enjoy this hill station.
The Seethakundu view point ,a large bio-farm, the jeep drive to the highest point Karashuri ,orchards around the landscape and fascinating jungles make Nellyampathy an ideal spot for enjoying a quite vacation in the midst of natures abounding glory. For adventure lovers, Nellyampathy is an ideal spot for trekking wit the huge array of wildlife around. Since it is non-commercialised tourist desinations it is nick named as poor man's Ooty. It is an ideal spot of peace and tranquility for reading and relaxation. The hill ranges vary from a height of 467 meters to 1578. Owing to its beautiful misty mountains Nellyampathy is also known as the ‘Queen of the Palakkad hills’ or `The poor man Ooty'. These hills comprise a chain of ridges that are interspersed with valleys of orange plantations and evergreen forests. The journey to Nellyampathy itself gifts one with an unforgettable experience,a dozen hair pin bends bordered with numerous waterfalls by the roadside and the lush green evergreen forest .
Air : The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 100 km. from Nellyampathy.
Rail : There are two railway stations here. The main one is the Palakkad junction situated 5 km. from the city and other at the town. Palakkad is connected by good motorable roads connecting major centers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Only 56 Km to Nellyampathy.
Road : Buses from different areas have services to Nellyampathy.