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From Pagoda Point, Shevaroy Hills

From Pagoda Point, Shevaroy Hills

Photographer: Nicholas and Company

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 472/1(38)

Item number: 472/1(38)

Genre: Photograph

Photograph taken by Nicholas & Co. in the 1870s, looking across a landscape of cultivated fields surrounded by the Shevaroy Hills, with a small village of circular thatched houses in the foreground. This is presumably the print listed in the Nicholas & Co. catalogue as ''Valley below Pagoda Point showing a Malayalie village''. The Shevaroy Hills in Tamil Nadu are part of the Eastern Ghats, and attain an average height of about 5000 ft. The British, attracted by the mild climate, developed a hill-resort called Yercaud here (from the Tamil 'Erikadu' or Lake Forest), and established coffee estates on the slopes. Before the British 'discovered' the Shevaroys in the early 19th century, the original settlers were the hill tribes known as Malayalis. The highest peak has a natural cave which is used as a temple in which the deities Servarayan and Kaveri are worshipped (perhaps rooted in ancient tribal gods), and which attracts huge numbers of devotees for its annual festival in May. Pagoda Point is so-called after its pagoda-shaped stone structures, and is a popular viewing point from which one can survey a sweep of paddy fields and villages.

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