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Sunday, June 2, 2019

attractive flowers ~ @ Kodaikanal flower show 2019

Mercury is hotting up and the residents of Chennai and other parts of Tamilnadu are sweltering under the hot Sun.  lack of summer rains is adding to the woes !

Of the famous retreats in Tamil Nadu -  popular hill stations are Ooty and Kodai. There is one famous retreat – in Tamil Nadu popular hill stations are Ooty and Kodai.  Kodaikanal is known for its greenery surrounded with rocks, woods, serene lakes and fresh air. Kodaikanal is known as "The Princess of hill stations". The word Kodaikanal can be split into two words 'kodai' and 'kanal' which in Tamil language means 'gift'and'forest' rendering kodaikanal as 'Gift of the forest'. There are more possible interpretations in Tamil language regarding the meaning of its name.

The earliest residents of Kodaikanal were the Palaiyar tribal people. The earliest specific references to Kodaikanal and the Palani Hills are found in Tamil Sangam literature of the early Common era.  In the 20th century a few elite Indians came to realise the value of this enchanting hill station and started relocating here.  Now it is a famous tourist place and tourism is the main generator of revenue besides agriculture.  The town of Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palani Hills at 2,133 metres (6,998 ft), between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys. These hills form the eastward spur of the Western Ghats on the western side of South India.

Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu; established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism. In 1863, Kodaikanal Lake was created by Sir Vere Hendry Levinge, who was then the Collector of Madurai District, by damming three streams flowing into a valley. He stocked the lake with local fish and brought Kodai's first boat from Tuticorin. The economy of Kodaikanal predominantly depends on tourism. The number of tourists here is ever increasing.    Major roads are converted into one-way lanes to regulate the constant inflow of traffic and special police are brought in for the safety of the tourists and protection of local businesses. Plums, pears, chile peppers, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic and onions are cultivated by terrace farmers in surrounding villages. Most are trucked to other parts of India and some are sold in the local market.

Of the many attractions here at Kodai, is the 10-day-long Kodai Vizha (summer festival) ~ this year 2019’s fete  began at the famous Bryant Park in Kodaikanal  on 30.5.2019.  The festival would go on till June 8. Inaugurating the festival, Forests Minister Dindigul C. Srinivasan said the State government would build a yatri nivas at the hill station at an estimated cost of 6.5 crore. Administrative sanction had been accorded to the proposal. The building would come up at KRR Kalai Arangam complex, which had become defunct.

Every year, the number of tourists visiting Kodaikanal was increasing. The government, working in close coordination with Tourism, Revenue, Agriculture, Horticulture, Forest and other departments had turned the hill station into the most preferred destination, especially during the summer season. Data available with the government indicated that a total of 65 lakh tourists visited Kodaikanal in 2016, 68 lakh in 2017 and 75 lakh in 2018. Every year, the number of visitors was increasing.

At Bryant Park, visitors began to arrive from morning even as the staff were giving final touches to the decoration. The flower arrangements, which included a variety of roses and vegetable carvings, were the cynosure of all eyes. People, particularly, youngsters, took selfie in groups, while newly wedded couples were also seen taking photographs.

Here are some photos taken at the flower show and the most endearing one of Sri Ranganathar in reclining posture, made of flowers and vegetables

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd June 2019.

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