Covering an area of over seven acres, the Semmozhi Poonga is like an oasis. Numerous exotic plants and herbs, bonsai and aromatic plants, make this park a great place to visit.

Already envied by many cities because of the multitude of parks, Chennai is in the news for yet another. This time though it ain't just another park complete with swings and walkers' path, but a 'world class botanical garden' — the Semmozhi Poonga near Gemini flyover.

Covering an area of 7.92 acres and with a budget of 7.96 crores, the park was bound to be the talk of the town since the time work began in November 2009.

Almost a year later, Semmozhi Poonga was inaugurated on November 24, 2010 by the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi.

Right from the entrance plaza, you are enveloped in greenery, quite literally. Make sure you check out the walls which are decorated with 35 varieties of tissue culture plants forming a vertical garden. Once inside, the fountains are a sight to behold and if you visit after nightfall, the colours in the fountain are very attractive.

The park also boasts of various types of gardens such as a bonsai garden, that is sure to awe you, a herbal garden, rock garden and aroma garden.

The rock garden is a hit with all children because of the water cascade and the ducks that swim along blissfully in the man-made stream. The pond garden is surrounded by orange lilies, day lilies, football lily and other varieties. You can also find Victoria cruziana, specially brought from Thailand.

The major attractions for children is the play area complete with swings and slides, the amphitheatre and of course, the fountains. It is indeed unfortunate that not many come to the park to take in the botanical wonder with around 500 plant species, some even exotic, but treat it as just another park that is pretty to look and has a play area.

When you do visit Semmozhi Poonga, make sure that apart from playing and running around the vast area of the park, you also learn of the different varieties of plants and take in the effort and expanse of knowledge. And most importantly, keep it litter-free.

Semmozhi Poongha : Open

from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Entry fee : Rs. 5 and free

entry for children below 10

years of age or less than 130 cms height.

Monthly walkers pass available at the rate of Rs. 150.

My favourite would be the play area. I also like to watch the fountains and the ducks. If there is one thing I would like the officials to add to the park, it would be train ride within.

MISCHEL CAPRIATIE, II, Rosary Matriculation School

I love the play area. I just wish there were monkey bars too. The fountains are nice too. I want to come here often. PRANAV, L.K.G., P.S.B.B., K.K. Nagar

Our friends who visited the park told us that it is very nice and that's why we came to see it. We really like it. The bonsai garden, especially, is very interesting. We just wish there were more signs and food stalls too. Otherwise, it's a beautiful park. (Siblings) MAHESH (VIII), DEEPIKA (IX) and AARTHI (VI), Lalchand Milapchand Dadha Senior Secondary School, Choolaimedu

The park is very beautiful. I have come here to play in the play area and look at all the plants. SAGUNA, III, National Public School

Keywords: Semmozhi Poonga