Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder


Rao Bahadur H J Bellie Gowder

[ A Historic Hero of the Nilgiris]



Rao Bahadur H J Bellie Gowder


Society grows due to education, a human being remains  human due to education. The pioneer who helped the Badaga Community (of Nilgiri Hills, South India) in the field of education,  was Rao Bahadur H.J.Bellie Gowder, a great leader and the leading light of Badagas during his time.

He started a school for Badaga students in Hubbathalai Village on July 01, 1930. It was (initially) known as Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder (free) High School.

Hubbathalai Village

Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder Board High School, Hubbathalai

It is at the same Hubbathalai Village where he often used to invite the  'Seeme Gowdas' ( Badaga leaders of other areas of the Nilgiris, each area being called   a   'Seeme' or a small 'kingdom') to discuss the situations and problems prevalent at that time and give his advice. People from  "Naaku Betta " (  from all over the Nilgiris - spread on all the four[naaku] sides by mountains  called 'bettas' in Badaga language) always kept coming to see him, seek his advise and settle their difficulties. In fact, it is said that the kitchen fire in the house of Bellie Gowder was never extinguished (to feed the people who came to see him).

Like the proverbial seven philanthrophists (Kadai Ezhu Vallalgal) described in Tamil literature, he too was a great philanthrophist. He gave lot of importance to education and established the Hubbathalai High School to help the poor to be literate.

He passed away on April 10, 1935

The fame of this historic hero, Rao Bahadur  Bellie Gowder, will remain forever ! 

This article was  originally written in Tamil by A.Kari Gowder

General Secretary, Porangadu Seeme Nala Sangam and published (May,2006) in the form of a booklet by

"PORANGADU SEEME NALA  SANGAM" [N.G.O Regd No. 153 / 2002],

C-10  Hope Park, Kotagiri Post, Nilgiri Dist - 643 217, Tamil Nadu (India)

Translated  by Wg.Cdr.Bellie Jayaprakash



Nanji Ammal, Wife of RB Bellie Gowder, with the wife of then Governor of Madras State (Early 1900s) .

The British Governor visited Hubbathalai Village on Bellie Gowder's personal invitation


Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder, illustrious son of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder

(Probably the only case where both father and son were conferred with the Rao Bahadur title by the British)


Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder with his grandsons H A Bhojraj & H B Devraj (1929)


Photos :- Courtesy Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder Family -  Digitised by Wg.Cdr.B.Jayaprakash





Proud to be a Badaga, Proud to be an Indian