Ketti is a small town nestled in a large valley of the same name. It is located in the The Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu State, Southern India and is a Revenue Village of Coonoor Taluk. Upper Ketti is another village called Yellanahalli, and is located on the main Coonoor to Ooty road.
This is the location of Needle Industries India the manufacturers of the internationally branded ‘Pony Needles’.
The Ketti Valley is sometimes referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Southern India’ due to the year-round climatic conditions which do not fall into any extremes, during summer and winter
The town itself is not much more than a village. It has a rough estimated population of a few thousand. the people here are extremely friendly and welcoming, like elsewhere in the rural areas of the Nilgiris.
Most of the people living here are manual labourers. Agriculture, rearing livestock, masonry constitute the majority of the work done by the individuals in this place. In addition to this, they also take up jobs in the surrounding industrial establishments, such as the Needle Industries, the mushroom factory, Ambica tea factory, Mini flower garden near Palada bus stop and the various educational institutions (these include the CSI College of Engineering, the Laidlaw Memorial School/ Georges Home and the CSI Middle School).
The valley is the last major valley en route to Ooty along the Ooty-Coonoor highway. It is very scenic and sports a variety of flora. However, due to the extensive development of the valley in the recent years, the fauna present here has dwindled to a select few. There have been sightings of boars, highly rare instances of tigers and elephants, though.
The people present here are mostly Badaga with certain immigrants from other parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The chief language spoken here is Badaga, although many people understand Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. Religion practised here is mostly hinduism. However, strong influences remain of the christian missionaries who lived here during the early 1900s. Religious influences though, however strong, do not hinder the relationships fostered between the members of different backgrounds. People generally get along well with one another. To put it simply, it is a rustic society, steeped in tradition and ancient times. Development and modernization is a far cry for this valley, much like most of rural India.
Ketti is accessible by rail or road. The toy train (an extension of the Chennai-Coimbatore Nilagiri Express, recently declared as a national heritage) can be taken from the Mettupalayam station (at the foothills of the Nilgiris) to the Ketti railway station. This is a long, yet scenic journey. To reach Ketti by bus, one just has to board a bus from Mettupalayam to Ooty and alight at the ‘Ketti’ stop past Coonoor.
An alternative to this is to alight from the bus at ‘Yellanahalli’ on the Coonoor-Ooty National highway and then to catch one of the local mini-buses which ply down into the valley. Incidentally, the train journey from Mettupalayam takes about four hours, while the bus journey takes just three hours. However, people on vacation generally prefer to take the train for the experience alone.
Ketti has its own police station, probably the only one in the entire Ketti valley. It services all the towns, villages and hattis in the entire valley. The nearby town of Santhoor(located at the lowest point in the valley) has a post office. The State Bank of India operates a Ketti valley branch, which is situated near the CSI College of Engineering. Public pay phones abound in this region, due to the requirement of the students of the neighboring institutions, most of whom are hostellers. A number of private mini-bus services ply through the various settlements in the valley, giving access to otherwise inaccessible regions. The entire region is almost completely devoid of internet connectivity, save the institutions and few home connections.
There is a government Hospital is located near the CSI College of Engineering. Railway station is located in the entry of Ketti town.