GENE POOL TAXI FARE FROM OOTY Rs. 3000 for sedan
The Gudalur forest division in the Nilgiris has opened the Gene Pool area in Nadugani, Pandalur to tourism with a view to providing livelihood to the tribal communities living in the area. Various facilities that form a gene pool tropical garden are expected to draw tourists.
The Gene Pool Eco-Development Committee (EDC), which comprises members from the Paniya tribal community, as well as others, aims at providing livelihood to ten persons in the initial phase after its inception.
Forest department officials said tourists could learn about the varieties of natural flora in the Nilgiris from a fern garden, an orchid centre, an interpretation centre and a medicinal plant garden that were being set up.
There were also plans by the forest department to renovate existing structures to allow tourists to stay in the area. “Based on the response of tourists, we plan to expand the facilities, including setting up an eco-shop, while work is being completed on a restaurant,” a forest department official said.
The Tropical Gene Pool Garden in Nadugani, which used to be run by the research wing of the Forest Department, was used for the conservation of highly endangered species of plants. But, it was in a state of neglect over the last few years, leading to the crumbling of a large portion of the structure.
Over the last 18 months, officials from the Gudalur forest division had been working on renovating various structures to draw tourists so that the department and the local tribal communities could benefit.
Officials said tourists would be charged and entrance fee ₹30 to visit the gene pool tropical garden. There were hopes that the large number of tourists from Kerala who enter the Nilgiris through Gudalur would visit it.