Dodabetta ridge, near Coonoor; in foreground Indian figures, and cattle grazing
Artist: Bellasis, George Hutchins (1807-1862)
Water-colour painting of Dodabetta ridge, near Coonoor by George Hutchins Bellasis (1807-1862) in 1852. Inscribed on the front in ink is: '(8) 'Dodabet; (fm Coonoor). 1852'; in pencil': 'Highest point in India, southward of the Himalayah's.'
At 2,638 metres Dodabetta, or the ‘big mountain’, is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats, the mountainous range that runs from Gujarat in the north down the western coast of India to Tamil Nadu in the south. The mountain shelters the town of Coonoor from the southwest Monsoons and Udagamandalam (Ootacamund) from the northeast Monsoons in October and November. The climate in this region is very pleasant. The scenery, comprising rolling hills, waterfalls, green ferns and patches of woodland, is also very beautiful. Traditionally the area was home to the Toda people. In the nineteenth century it became a popular retreat for European people escaping the heat of Madras.