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The Stone House and the Oak Tree: John Sullivan's Legacy
John Sullivan, the man who designed Ooty, built this picture-perfect bungalow for himself. This charming building, about 150 years old, also has an oak tree of the same age for its companion.
John Sullivan is the architect of Ooty, as the world knows it today. It is said that Sullivan got to know about this enchanted land from his fellow colleagues and decided to trek up the hills to satisfy his curiosity. Undoubtedly, he was mesmerized by its surreal beauty. The rest is history.
He initiated construction of the ghat road, created Ooty Lake and built extensive irrigation systems. Sullivan believed that the entire Nilgiri plateau belonged to the tribal communities and they deserved compensation for their land. He also felt that they had the right to self-governance. He paid the Todas for the land on which he built his cottage, the Stone House. The locals refer to the bungalow as 'Kall Bangla', meaning 'Stone House' in Tamil. It was the first European house built in Ooty. It indeed looks like a page out of a storybook. Sullivan also planted an oak tree in front of his stone house.
Over the years, the status of the Stone House kept changing. It began as the private residence of John Sullivan. Later, the house became a part of the Secretariat. Today, the Secretariat has become the Government Arts College, and the Stone House is the Principal’s residence.
For those who look at buildings as voices from the past, Stone House is an interesting conversation.
Good to know :
Location: 3 km from the Sterling Ooty - Elk Hill resort, 4 km from the Sterling Ooty - Fern Hill resort
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Closed on Sundays)
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