Semmozhi Poonga, Chennai
Semmozhi Poonga or Semmozhi Park is a botanical garden in Chennai situated on the Mount Road junction. It was set up and maintained by the horticulture department of Govt. of Tamil Nadu. It was opened to the public in November 2010 by then chief minister Dr.M.Karunanidhi. It is the first botanical garden in the city. It was set up with millions of cost on importing exotic species of plants and the park currently has more than 500 species of plants. In fact, green thumbs can rejoice at the effort they’ve put in to cataloging each of the species and placing placards with their scientific names next to them.
There’s tall trees, small groves, lush vines, exotic flowers like orchids, green lawns. In the course of the construction, the garden has received nearly ₹ 800,000 worth plants from China. The arch near the entrance plaza is a vertical garden which is a unique feature of the botanical garden. The vertical garden, with an inbuilt irrigation and drain system for easy maintenance, is 22 feet long and 14 feet high intended to improve the scenic beauty of the park at the entrance.
A butterfly garden near the cascade fountains along the Anna flyover has been carved up into the shape of a butterfly, with flowering plants of more than 30 species completely fenced.
It is an ideal place for a family day out. which makes sense because the pretty walkways, chirping birds, and overall calm is inviting and there’s plenty of nice places to take photos. It is also great for a walk or a run in the morning, or for a post-work de-stressing stroll while sunset. Ticket prices are fairly nominal with an adult ticket costing INR 15. INR 25 fee for carrying a professional camera.
If a picnic is what you’re thinking, be advised that you’re not allowed to bring outside food/drink into the park. There is, however, a small food court inside the park that you can eat at or buy food from. Kids have their own playground with swings, slides, scaffolding to climb on and a sandpit to play in.
There is a small pond/tank, a fountain and a rock-garden (with water falling down some rocks). In the center of the garden, there’s a small open-air stadium/amphitheater to host social and cultural functions. It is a must-visit place if you’re willing to spend time with nature. It is a place to spend a lazy evening in a calm atmosphere and a decent crowd.