John Sullivan M.C.S

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 John Sullivan

John Sullivan M.C.S

 

Born in  London on 15th June , 1788, John Sullivan was the Englishmen destined to have greater cultural impact on the Nilgiris Hills than any other single person. From a humble  position as writer in East India Company at Madras , He rose to the very high position of the District Collector in 1814. In 1815 He became the collector of coimbatore.  In 1819 , He visited the eastern plateau for three weeks accompanied by a noted French naturalist Jean Baptiste Louis . It was probably on February 22, 1821  that John Sullivan first visited  WOTKYMUND  with a badaga guide. He acquired the   stone house hill, and started building the first house of Udhgamandalam,  the stone house in which the government arts colleges is housed now.  

John Sullivan M.C.S had a strong love for  nature and prosperity for agriculture .His love   for gardening was so strong that he lost no time in actively engaging himself in the development of the area in general and Udhgamandalam in particular. His contribution towards the early growth of Nilgiris is remarkable. The European flowers , vegetables and fruit trees  were introduced only by him. A number of old varieties of  plants  of  Europe  and South Africa form part of the Nilgiris flora today, thanks to Sullivan. He imported improved seeds of barley and popularized them in the Hills; for the Badagas of lower plateau , barley is the staple grain and they call it SULLIVAN GANGI. The first road to the Nilgiris from sirumugai was formed in 1820 due to his initiative. He planned and executed  formation of the famous lake at Udhgamandalam by damming up  the streams in the surrounding area. The first improved track originated  with his  request of March 1819 and this was the Kotagiri Ghat.  In 1826  he improved another pass up to the southern side of the hills, which was later known as Sullivan’s Ghat. His interests were  thus very broadly concerned with the development of the district.

Sullivan retired to England in 1841, a tragic man who  had lost and buried his young wife and  two children  in St.Stephen’s Church graveyard, Udhgamandalam. He left behind him a great mark in the form of a flourishing new town , Udhagamandalam, India’s first Hill Station.