AT CLOSE QUARTERS
The Butterfly Safari Park, located behind the
musical fountain in the
cultural zone, offers the visitor the opportunity to see a wide variety
of butterflies at close quarters.
A half a kilometer long nature trail takes you through the habitat of
the butterflies, created artificially by the Entomology Department of
Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI).
The Park is said to house around 125 species of butterflies besides
birds such as hornbills.
It has been realised by planning a wide variety of shrubs and trees
that would attract butterflies— for feeding and breeding.
Clerodendrum, Mussaenda, Lantana and Cassia species produce the nectar
for them. Curry leaf, citrus, cinnamon, cherry and ficus plants,
besides Wattakaka volubilis, Thottea siliquosa, Tylophora indica,
Mussaenda uteola, and Aristolochia indica, serve as host
plants for larvae of specific butterflies.
Artificial streams, ponds and puddles maintain humidity and help the
butterflies in mud puddling (butterflies obtain salt and amino acids
Models of butterflies and display boards dot the garden that could be a
learning experience for students. The Park is touted as Asia's first
Butterfly Safari Park.
Karnataka has a smaller part at Bannerghatta Biological Park near
Bangalore. Butterfly gardens are being maintained in many countries
such as Malaysia, Singapore and United Kingdom. Canada has a major
facility near Niagara