To accommodate more tourists in Nilgiris during the summer season, special trips will be in operation on the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) between Mettupalayam and Ooty. The summer special mountain railway trip is likely to commence from April 14 and continue at least for two months, according to Deepak Krishan, General Manager, Southern Railways.
The Kurumbas, who live in the mid-ranges of the Nilgiris or blue-mountains, entertain a confusing and mysterious identity. Several factors add to the popularity of these tribal people. Like the mountain ranges, the word kurumba is found in the adjoining states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. The tribes themselves are sometimes called Kuruba and sometimes confused with other tribes of similar names like Kuruman.
The Kurumbas are generally believed to be the descendants of the Pallavas whose rule was at its grandest in the 7th century. Losing power to the Kongus and the Chalukyas, the Pallavas were finally driven out and dispersed by the Chola king Adondai. They settled in scattered settlements in the Nilgiris and Wynad, in Coorg and Mysore. It is the Kurumbas of the Nilgiris whom we refer to when we say Kurumba. The tribe is divided into several groups. In the many ethnographic accounts on the tribe the numbers vary from as few as three to as many as seven. The various groups are the jen (or shola nayakkars), mullu, urali, beta and alu or palu. The most populous of who are the Alu Kurumbas.