Nilgiris opens for tourists after four months

Tourists thronged the Government Botanical Garden and the Ooty Lake and Boat House on Monday.  

More than a thousand people visited the Nilgiris’ most popular tourist spot, the Government Botanical Garden (GBG) in Udhagamandalam as the district opened to tourists for the first time in four months.

The district closed to tourists on April 20, during the peak of the second wave, and only travellers to the district visiting on essential work were being allowed. E-passes and negative RT-PCR tests were also made mandatory for visitors from neighbouring states.

The Government Botanical Garden, the Rose Garden, Sims Park in Coonoor, as well as tourism spots being run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), such as the Ooty Boat House and the Pykara Boat House were opened to the public on Monday.

Officials from the district administration said that E-passes and negative RTPCR tests were still mandatory for visitors to the Nilgiris from Kerala, but that visitors from Karnataka, which also borders the district, would not need any documents to enter the Nilgiris.

Visitors were allowed into the parks and gardens run by the horticulture department with strict guidelines in place to minimise the chance of COVID-19 infections. Hand sanitisers were placed at the entrance, while workers at the gates were told to prevent over-crowding and to ensure the use of masks and that people maintained personal distancing norms.

Horticulture department officials said that around a 1,000 people had visited the GBG since Monday morning, but that visitor numbers tailed off as the day progressed due to heavy rain in Udhagamandalam town.

The tourism-based Eco-Development Committee’s run by the forest department have still not been opened to the public.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 12:06:23 AM |

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