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Udhagamandalam: The orchidarium at Avalanchi, near here has been given a facelift to enhance the awareness about the unique shoal-grassland ecosystem of the Nilgiris, said Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), Rajiv K. Srivastava.
Described by many as a botanists' delight, the Blue Mountains (the Nilgiris) are reputed to be among the most important centres of plant speciation south of the Vindhyas and knowledgeable persons believe that there are a large number of plant species available in this district.
Not many are aware that the Nilgiris is the native place of many rare and endemic orchids. With the objective of drawing the attention of the people in various parts of India and elsewhere to the orchids the wildlife wing of the forest department has embarked on an ambitious programme.
He said it was proposed to be converted into an eco-awareness centre. An orchidarium nursery is also being developed at Mukurthi National Park. In about two to three months they will take shape. On the anvil is a plan to develop an orchid track extending over about 1.5 km near Mukurthi. By the Summer of 2011 various facilities would be provided.
Dr. Srivastava added that along with orchids efforts would be made to showcase the Nilgiri Balsams.
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