Thousands of tourists from various parts of the country thronged the Sim’s Park in Coonoor on Saturday, the opening day of the two-day 55th Annual Fruit Show organised by the Department of Horticulture and the district administration.

With a fruit bedecked welcome arch ushering them in, the visitors were greeted by a huge butterfly made with a variety of fruits, including apples, pineapples, pomegranates, grapes and sweet lime. The exhibit which was 24 feet high and 34 feet wide weighed 3,500 kg and occupied a prime spot.

Consequently, it provided a fine backdrop for videos and photographs.

The show was declared open by the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik. Among those present were the Project Director, Hill Area Development Programme Srinivas R. Reddy, Joint Director of Horticulture G. Mohan and the Governing Committee Member, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University K.R. Arjunan.

Despite the flowers blooming early and the season being at its fag end, the venue wore a colourful look.

Of the 15 stalls put up at the venue, one showcased the horticultural wealth of the Nilgiris while those of Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Tirupur, Dindigul, Theni, Vellore and Tirunelveli displayed a number of intricate fruit carvings. Among them were a penguin, a dragon, an elephant, a dinosaur, a rooster and a swan. There was also a map of India created with fruits. The Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation has put up a stall to promote its products.

A cultural programme marked the occasion.

Visitors and officials interviewed by The Hindu said that many of the exhibits particularly in the competition section were of a high quality.

Special buses

For the convenience of tourists, special buses were run to Coonoor from various places.

An appropriate security plan was put in place and traffic streamlined.

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