OOTY: Enthralling colours of flowers, drop in temperature and increasing footfalls of visitors gave a perfect opening to the five-day-long 123rd edition of flower show at Government Botanical Garden in Ooty on Friday. With imported flowers like Tulip, and exotic orchids, calla lily, anthurium, rex begonia, tuberous begonia, along with native flower species, on display, the entire area was filled with vibrancy from the time it was open for public. And what more, not only from Tamil Nadu, people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra made their presence felt.
Of all the arrangements, the highlights were the floral replica of Indian Parliament created with 1.2 lakh coronation flowers and replica of a huge flower pot near the Glass House.
A resident of Marathahalli in Bengaluru, DP Reddy, said, “This is the first time we are attending the Ooty flower show and I’m happy to bring my family here. My kids are having the best time of their life.” Similarly, a government school teacher from Maharastra, Shashikant Gurav, said that this was his third visit to the flower show in a row. “After the first visit, we could not think of missing the event. It has become a routine task for us to visit here every summer holidays.”
56-year-old V Periasamy, from Vannarapettai in Chennai, brought 25 members of his family to the botanical garden. Commenting on its popularity, he said, “The flower show is a sought-after destination at every third week of May.”
Photographers rake in moolah
With increased footfall, the district administration-authorised photographers got the opportunity they patiently wait for the entire year. They made a point to carry colour printers for printing photographs within seconds, and charged Rs 100 for an 8x12 copy. President of Garden Photographers Association, B Wajeeth, said, “We only see a rise in our business during the summer season. After the school and college would reopen, there would be minimal crowd.”
Exorbitant hotel price
The hotel owners too ensured to make hay while the sun shines. According to the tourists, they increased the price exorbitantly.
A mechanical engineer from Kozhikode, K Santhosh, said that the hotel prices had gone up by 50 per cent and he had no other choice than shelling out a lot of money to book a room near the garden. Seconding Santhosh, a software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, M Kiran said, “I had to take a room far from the botanical garden due to higher fare.”
When contacted, The Nilgiris Collector Innocent Divya said that the tourists facing any issues could raise their grievance with the district administration. However, all the security arrangements were up to the mark and activities during the five-day event would be monitored by the police, she added.