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DODDABETTA

Doddabetta (Tamil: தொட்டபெட்டா, Badaga: தொ:ட்ட: பெ:ட்டா:, Kannada: ದೊಡ್ಡ ಬೆಟ್ಟ, Malayalam:ഡൊഡ്ഡബെട്ട) is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills, at 2637 metres (8650 feet). There is a reserved forest area around the peak. It is 9 km from Ooty,on the Ooty-Kotagiri Road in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is a popular tourist attraction with road access to the summit. The Chamundi Hills can be viewed from the peak.

 

Etymology

The name "Doddabetta" traces its roots from the Badaga/Kannada language translating into 'Big Mountain'.

 

Characteristics

 

The peaks Hecuba (2375 m), Kattadadu (2418 m) and Kulkudi (2439 m) are the three closely linked summits in the west of the Doddabetta range near to Udagamandalam. In the Nilgiris plateau, Doddabetta is highest peak, remarkable for the flattened curve of its summit.

The peak has a prominence of 2,256m with its key saddle located just east of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu along the Kaveri - Bharathappuzha water divide.

 

Flora

The area surrounding Doddabetta is mostly forested. Sholas cover the hollows of its slopes. Slightly stunted, rhododendron trees, in the midst of thick coarse grass, flowering sub-elphine shrubs and herbs are common, even very near the peak.,[2][3]

 

Telescope House

There is an observatory at the top of Doddabetta with two telescopes available for the public to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the whole district. It opened on June 18, 1983 and is run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). The average number of viewers in 2001-2002 was 3500 per day in season and 700 per day in the off season.[4] See panoramic photograph taken from the Telescope House.

 

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