Published on : Friday, December 1, 2017
The Tropical Gene Pool Garden near Nadugani in Gudalur will be developed into a tourist attraction and the forest department would allow trekking, bicycling and other activities for creating awareness among the public on the ecology of the Nilgiris.
The Forest Department, which has set up an eco-development committee (EDC), plans to develop the area to include spaces where people can stay overnight. It also plans to incorporate adventure tourism facility in the future.
The Gene Pool Garden, which used to be a repository for highly endangered species of flora, has been in a state of extreme neglect for the last few years. The facility that was run by the research wing of the forest department was then earmarked as a potential site with great scope for eco-tourism in the Nilgiris.
It is expected that the eco-tourism zone to be inaugurated in the coming weeks and set to be the only EDC operational in the Gudalur Forest Division will attract both casual tourists and visitors who have interest in the plant and wildlife species of the Nilgiris.
It is hoped that the EDC can capitalize on the interest of tourists visiting the Nilgiris every year, including seasonal visitors from Kerala and Karnataka.
With rich and diverse wildlife in the region, including tigers, elephants, deer and leopards, and panoramic views of the rolling hills and grasslands surrounding the Gudalur region that can be enjoyed from atop two viewpoints in the area, the Gene Pool Garden is expected to become one of the must-see tourist locations in the Nilgiris.
Forest department officials also expect the community of Paniya tribals in Kozhikolli village to be benefited from the EDC. District Forest Officer, Gudalur Division, P.K. Dileep, said that the EDC would go a long way in benefiting the tribal communities in the belt economically and also help in building relationships between the communities and the forest department.