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Butterfly conservatory is emerging as a tourism centre

Number of visitors to the 25-acre reserve forest area in the Upper Anicut exceeds five lakh

The sprawling lush green Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam is fast emerging as a major tourism centre with visitors’ arrival steadily increasing ever since it was thrown open to the public in November 2015.
Sandwiched between the Cauvery and the Coleroon river, the conservatory where several species of butterflies have been recorded has attracted over five lakh visitors in the last two years.
The conservatory established on a 25-acre reserve forest area in the Upper Anicut sees a large number of tourists during weekends as well as on holidays, say Forest Department officials.

SRIRANGAM, TAMIL NADU, 17/11/2017: Butterflies at Tropical Butterfly Conservatory campus at Srirangam in Tiruchi on November 17, 2017.   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

Amusement equipment have been created inside the conservatory including a pleasure boat ride to attract children. Forest Department officials said the total number of children who had visited the conservatory, where survey of butterfly species at periodic intervals are being done to record new species, was one lakh in the last two years.

No govt. bus service

Majority of the visitors use their own vehicle or hired ones to come to the conservatory, established in a serene surrounding about six kilometres from Srirangam, in the absence of government bus service.
A privately operated mini bus does shuttle service from Srirangam to the conservatory at specified timings.
Forest officials say the visitors’ arrival to the conservatory has been on the rise steadily with revenue generated from entry ticket amounting to ₹66 lakh up to now.
The poor condition of the road leading to the conservatory especially from Melur village doesn’t seem to have deterred visitors given the steady rise in their arrivals.

An inner view of the lush green Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

Forest Department officials feel that if the State Transport Corporation which operates a bus service up to Melur village a few kilometres away from the conservatory every day were to extend it up to the conservatory at least on weekends when footfalls exceeds 1,000, it would augur well for the visitors.
Officials say new species continue to be recorded at the conservatory during surveys that is being conducted at periodic intervals.
As of now 93 butterfly species have been recorded, said the officials.
The last survey was done at the conservatory by the Forest Department on November 16.
The half-day orientation course on butterflies being conducted for students and butterfly enthusiasts since July has infused interest among many.
Around 385 college students from Tiruchi, Madurai and Chidambaram had taken part in the orientation courses during which the participants are taken on a butterfly walk inside the conservatory and explained about butterfly, importance of its conservation, its behaviour, classification and its crucial role in maintaining ecological balance.
The courses for which certificates are given to the students are being conducted twice a month since July.
Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/butterfly-conservatory-is-emerging-as-a-tourism-centre/article20559661.ece

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