Semmozhi Poonga (literally translated to “Classical Language Park”).
It is a botanical garden in Chennai set up by the horticulture department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The garden is located in the Cathedral Road – Anna Salai junction, opposite the American Consulate, on the erstwhile Drive-in Woodlands Hotel.
The garden was opened on 24 November 2010 by then chief Minister Dr.M. Karunanidhi and is the first botanical garden in the city.
The garden features 8 sub-gardens displaying flora of different varieties, such as a tree court, mural walk and bonsai, herbal and exotic gardens, in addition to an artificial duck pond.
Incorporating elements of an Indian-Buddhist garden, the garden has a wide variety of indigenous species across 22 exclusive areas.
That includes palm court, tree court, golden garden, water and rock garden, butterfly garden, fern garden, sunken garden and theme garden.
Twenty-five thematic gardens, including herbal, aromatic, maze and cascade adorn every corner of the park.
Flora and Fauna
More than 500 species of plants are being grown in the area, in addition to the 80 trees that was already in existence during the development of the park, some of them being more than 100 years old.
The garden houses some of the popular exotic flora and rare plant species, medicinal and aromatic herbs.
Located at the central business district of Chennai, the park attracts several visitor and film crews for filming in the location.
This has created maintenance problem, whereby there are complaints that the cinema shooting crews made a dent in the park’s salubrious environs by damaging tender plants.
There is an open auditorium available within the garden which can be hired to organise functions.
The garden has a parking lot that can accommodate around 100 cars and more than 500 two-wheelers.
An entry fee of 15 is collected. For the early morning walk, the entry is permitted only for monthly pass holders, for which 150 is charged.
The garden remains open for morning walkers from 6 am to 8 am. For visitors, the park remains open from 10 am through 8 pm on all days except Tuesdays.