The earliest reference to the political history of the Nilgiris relates to the Ganga Dynasty of Mysore. Immediately after the Nilgiris was ceded to the British in the year 1789, it became a part of Coimbatore district. In the month of August 1868, the district of Nilgiris was separated from the Coimbatore district. James Wilkinson Breeks took over the administration of the Nilgiris as its Commissioner. In the month of February 1882, the Nilgiris was made a district and a Collector was appointed in the place of the Commissioner. On the 1st of February 1882, Richard Wellesley Barlow, who was the then Commissioner, became the First Collector of Nilgiris.
The district of Nilgiris is a very famous tourist destination in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and people from different parts of the country and also from outside the country visits this district throughout the year. Udhagamandalam, the headquarters of the Nilgiris district, is the largest and most important hill station in south India. This principle station on the Nilgiris is at an elevation of two thousand two hundred and eighty six meters and located at the centre of the district. It is an extensive valley enclosed on all sides but the west by a lofty range of hills. The name `Ooty` or `Ootacamand` was first mentioned in about 1821 in the Madras Gazette which was then spelt as `Wotokymund` by an anonymous correspondent. Ooty is also fondly called the Queen of Hill Stations. The major attractions of Ooty are Government Botanical Garden, Centenary Rose Park, Ooty Lake, Doddabetta Peak, The Ootacamand Club, Raj Bhavan, Adam`s Fountain, Honey and Bee Museum, The Ooty Radio Telescope, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, Glenmorgan, Avalanche, Pykara Lake, etc.