The Nilgiri Biosphere has a large number of indigenous communities, most of them forest dwellers and hunter gatherers. These distinct ethnic groups have small populations and live in geographical concentrations. It forms home to several adivasi communities, including the only surviving hunter gatherers of the Indian Sub-continent – the Cholanaikans in the New Amarambalam area. Apart from the Todas – a well known pastoral group in the upper Nilgiris, other groups include the Paniyas, Irulas, Kurumbas, Kuruchiyans, Mullukurumbas, Adiyans and Alyars. Its richness in terms of people is incomparable – history goes back a long way!. Their unique cultural and social characteristics sets them apart.

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