Coonoor: The Katteri Park, currently in magnificent bloom and covered in green after the recent spell of rains in the hills, does not receive as many visitors as it deserves to.
Nestling about 6 km away from Coonoor on the Katteri slopes, between the government horticulture farm and Runnymede railway station, the park is a small one, but unique in nature, whose charms have to be sold in a concerted manner.
It was established a couple of years ago over 2 acres of land on the Katteri slopes along the Nilgiri mountain railway track on the Coonoor-Mettupalayam sector of the Ooty-NH.
Its location is in a landscape that enables one to enjoy a view of not only the park and its colours, but also the majestic mountains, reserve forests, tea gardens, the Katteri river and the railway track at the foothills of the slopes.
Nature’s wonders that are on offer here are a combination of delight, including greenery, blooms of flowers in a variety of colours, water, valleys, hills and mists, which would turn any nature lover into a poet.
One has to walk a little down the slopes to enjoy this beautiful park as it is not easily visible from the highway. Its somewhat regressed location could be a reason for the current low tourist inflow.
The tourism department has yet to give the park’s many attractions adequate publicity that will help draw tourists to it in larger numbers.
Stating that the park needed to be marketed well to woo tourists, S. Ananthakrishnan, member of the Coonoor Citizens’ Forum, said the park was established by the horticulture department in the picturesque location to attract nature lovers and to tap the tourism potential in that part of the hills.
But the tourism department had failed to chip in, which was indicated by the poor tourist turnout, he said.
“This is a park of unique beauty where visitors can learn about nature and birds. It is a perfect picnic spot to visit with one’s family. A good parking facility with a good canteen are essential to make motorists stop for a while, enter the park and allow themselves to be charmed so that they can take the message about it to the outside world,” he added.