Navigating Ooty’s Flower Show: Essential E-Passes and Travel Guidelines

In response to recent directives from the Chennai High Court, visitors planning to explore the picturesque locales of Ooty and Kodaikanal are required to obtain an e-pass prior to entering the checkpoints of Nilgiris and Dindigul districts, respectively. This mandate aims to assess the impact on local roads and ecosystems, as well as to mitigate the overwhelming influx of tourists in these regions. The timing of this regulation coincides with the upcoming summer flower festival, a highly anticipated tourism event scheduled to commence in Ooty on May 10th.

To streamline the process of obtaining e-passes, the Tamil Nadu government has launched an exclusive portal dedicated to facilitating visitors’ access to vehicle passes. Interested individuals can easily procure their e-passes through this website, which also provides a widely circulated QR code for added convenience. Notably, there is no additional fee associated with acquiring an e-pass, as tourists are only required to pay the standard entry pass fee for accessing the Nilgiris district.

Despite the anticipation surrounding the flower festival, popular tourist spots in Ooty, such as the botanical garden and boat house, experienced a noticeable decline in visitor numbers in the preceding week. This decline can be attributed to the implementation of new travel restrictions effective from May 1st, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion within the town. As per the new regulations, only light and medium vehicles are permitted entry into Ooty. Additionally, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Buses’ alternative services have been deemed inefficient, further exacerbating transportation challenges for tourists.

Furthermore, specific guidelines dictate the entry routes for vehicles traveling to and from Ooty. Vehicles originating from Mettupalayam are directed to enter Ooty exclusively via Coonoor Road, while vehicles departing from Ooty towards Mettupalayam are routed through Kotagiri Road. Moreover, medium and large vehicles, including tempo travelers and mini-buses, are prohibited from entering the town between 6 am and 8 pm. To alleviate parking constraints, designated parking areas have been identified along HPF Road, Golf Club Road at Finger Post, and Coonoor Road near the Aavin Milk Dairy, allowing tourists to utilize Tamil Nadu Government Transport Corporation buses or hire taxis to navigate within the town.

Meanwhile, preparations for the highly anticipated flower festival are well underway at the Government Botanical Garden (GBG) in Ooty. Spanning across 54 acres, the GBG, established in 1847 during the colonial era, serves as the idyllic venue for this annual extravaganza. In support of the festival, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin sanctioned Rs 3 crore to enhance facilities and ensure the smooth execution of the event. Recent visitor statistics reflect the garden’s enduring popularity, with over 5.1 lakh visitors recorded in the past two months, generating revenue amounting to Rs 2.48 crore for the state.

For those eager to partake in the flower show festivities, tickets can be booked through the horticulture department’s website or directly at the venue. With meticulous planning and stringent measures in place, authorities are poised to offer visitors a memorable and seamless experience at Ooty’s much-anticipated summer flower festival.

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