An extensive collection of preserved plant specimens and associated scientific data is available for reference. This includes flora of the semi-arid dry-deciduous forests from the districts of Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, and Virudhunagar. The native specimens and supporting flora were all systematically and scientifically collected from five different accessions in the neighboring reserve forests. These include the Sathuragiri Mahalingam Hills in Watrap, Shenbagathopu in Srivilliputhur and Ayyanar Falls in Rajapalayam.
Seed and Raw Drug Museum
The Seed and Raw Drug Museum houses seed samples of over 900 species of traditional medicinal plant and herb varieties. Along with the herbarium, the seed and raw drug museum will be vital tools to impart traditional knowledge about local ethnomedical species to the next generation. It is one of a kind and highlights the unique bio-resources of the region.
Manmade Forest Zones
The manmade forest is spread over three zones:
- In Zone 1 there are more than 400 local tree species representing the regional ecosystem of the semi-arid region. These are the dry deciduous forest species. They are encircled with live borders - a hedge in its front row covered with cactus and xerophytes.
- In Zone 2 there are trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers from the three forest areas of Western Ghats spread across the Virudhunagar district between Watrap, Srivilliputhur, and Rajapalayam. Grown in areas of 20x20 meter girth, exclusively ear-marked for the flora used by the regions’ 42 ethnic communities - 240 species along with its natural association of species.
- In Zone 3 are the thematic gardens, pictorially exhibiting plants association with planets, stars and sacred status as sthala viruksha, other groups of plants representing both human and bovine usage, third one is economic value of its different parts as flowers, seeds, barks, roots and trunk portions by Ayurveda, Siddha, Unnani, Tibetan and traditional medical practitioners (nattu vaidhiyars). Herbs with its substitute plants used in trade are also exhibited.
The Demonstration Garden has species organized in 12 themes according to their properties, changes in them on interaction with other aspects of nature, and according to how they are used by the local community. These include the water garden, pancha
bootha (5 elements) garden, rock garden, oil garden, thamboola garden, anchara-petti garden.
The facility includes a conference room for training purposes as well as 12 rooms for in-house trainees/guests. Cottages and Dormitories also made available for persons interested in long stay. Camping facilities also will be established for students and executives having an experiential living in the forest area
The nursery is an exclusive medicinal plants nursery. It will focus on supplying medicinal plant species in commercial demand. It seeks to supply farmers with backward integration, tie-ups with Corporate, forest tree species supply to Government Departments, Primary health care demand species, for households and indigenous ornamental plants to institutions for landscaping. The nursery will expand on the previously successful Kitchen Herbal Garden.