A biodiversity knowledge centre named Neelakkurinji will be opened on Saturday at Adimaly, the entry point of the Munnar hill station. The centre has been set up by the State Haritha Keralam Mission, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Idukki district panchayat.
The knowledge centre, housed at Government High School, Adimaly, has 3D models of evergreen forests. The houses and household items of the Muthuvan tribal community are another attraction. A 3D map provides a clear picture of the biodiversity hotspots in Munnar, highlighting the plants, animals, birds, fish, and reptiles of the area. Twenty-five display panels inside the centre give information of various places in Idukki.
There are two touchscreen kiosks by which visitors can access over 50 short videos and games.
T.N. Seema, Nava Kerala Mission coordinator, told The Hindu that the knowledge park has been set up exclusively to describe the rich biodiversity and cultural life of Idukki district. “It is the first such initiative in the State,” said Ms. Seema.
“Those who visit the park will be made aware of Idukki’s richness and the knowledge will usher in a responsible tourism model in the district. The project was launched as a UNDP eco-restoration project. When the project ended last year, it was decided to change it to a knowledge centre,” she added.
Abraham Koshi, assistant coordinator, Haritha Keralam Mission, said, “Every day thousands of tourists visit various parts of Idukki. The details provided at the centre will help tourists choose from the wide range of biodiversity hotspots, including the Eravikulam National Park, where Neelakkurinji blooms,” he said.
Time and fee
Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine will inaugurate the centre at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Idukki MP Dean Kuriakose will preside over the meeting.
The centre is open to public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Mondays. The entry fee is fixed at ₹20 for adults and ₹10 for children.