Yelagiri Hills botanical garden to come up on 90 acres

Construction of a compound wall for the proposed botanical garden at Yelagiri Hills is likely to begin in a week. Coming up on an area of 90 acres, this will be the “largest botanical garden in the State,” according to officials.

“Funds to the tune of Rs. 1.3 crore have been sanctioned for the construction of the compound wall and the work order has been issued,” an official from the district administration said.

The garden is coming up at Palakaniyur, which is located near Nilavoor and is expected to be a major tourist attraction, officials said.

“The entire project cost is Rs. 20 crore. Area wise, this will be the State's largest botanical garden, when compared to other gardens in Tamil Nadu, including the one at Udhagamandalam,” he said. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, and Horticulture Department of Vellore had inspected the site to decide upon various aspects, including type of plants. The soil condition was examined and soil test performed, the official noted.

“The proposal for the design tender has been sent to the government. The government has to take a decision on whether the design and execution of the garden should be undertaken combined or separate. The design is yet to be approved,” the official said.

Though the design is yet to be finalised, the garden would have plants, ponds, amusement facilities, landscaping, children play areas and walking paths, he added.

Tourism officials said that Yelagiri was receiving around 6,000 tourists a month and the inflow was more during weekends and holidays. There were several enquiries from tourists in Chennai on how to reach Yelagiri, accommodation and other facilities available.

This showed that Yelagiri was steadily gaining popularity among tourists, another official said.