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Tipi Tourism and Travel Guide

History of The City

Tipi A 180 km long, five-hour drive from Guwahati brings one to Tezpur. Tezpur leads to Bhalukpung 60 km ahead on the border of Arunachal Pradesh. A few kilometers further into Arunachal Pradesh from here, brings one to Tipi, where Asia's third largest orchidarium has been set up.

A board at the entrance to the orchidarium and research center declares it to be a temple of orchids. Facing the gates of this unusual orchid center, one finds a warning painted in large letters along the rock face skirting the road-'beware of elephants'.

Orchids have flowers with unusual shapes, beautiful colors and a very delicate fragrance. The blooms usually have one petal larger than the rest. Because of their rarity, they are highly prized and sought after, and cultivating them is almost a cult among some of its aficionados. In addition, the setting up of projects like orchidaria or arborate are necessary for the preservation of species of flora that may be too delicate to be able to survive the onslaught of today's environmental encroachments and consequent pollution.

Inaugurated in 1972, this orchid-cum-research center at Tipi is spread over 112.8 acres and boasts over 50,600 orchids under cultivation, or which 315 are classified as exotic. The plants are grown, preserved and nurtured in tiers upon tiers of pots, in enclosed hot houses. Arunachal Pradesh is home to over 425 species of orchids, and the orchidarium has identified and listed 20 varieties as endangered.

One of the orchid varieties found in these parts is known as the Lost Indian lady's slipper-lost because it was first discovered in the 1850s and was lost for a while before being rediscovered some five decades later; and lady's slipper because of the shape of the flower. Another rare, red variety is known as dancing girls because the shape of the blooms resembles dancing figures.

The variety known Rhynchostylis consists of a dense, elongated bunch, known as kopou; this grows profusely and is often used in bridal decorations in the Assam region. Because of its long, bushy shape, it is also known as foxtail orchid.

The magnificent Vanda species is another speciality of this northeastern region. This variety is one of those that have been declared to be suitable for commercial propagation.

Tipi The aims of the orchidarium project are the conservation of orchids, research and the promotion of an orchid industry. With this center at Tipi as headquarters, the project has sub-centers at places like Itanagar, Tezu and Dirang.

The orchidarium complex is divided into a natural forest area and a reserved area. These are neatly labeled with maps at the entrance to guide the visitor. There is also a museum of orchids, where again, labels and charts give the lay visitor a variety of information regarding different species of orchids. For those who have seen endangered species of fauna in mesh enclosures in zoos and sanctuaries, it is a very novel experience to see flora preserved and protected in the same way.

Besides the orchidarium, the Tipi center also has a beautifully maintained large garden with a variety of visually enchanting trees, shrubs and flowers. A relaxed stroll through the grounds can soothe and invigorate, as only pristine nature untouched by urban trappings can.

How to Reach
By Air: One can take the Guwahati-Tezpur-Bhalukpung-Tipi route. Guwahati is around 250 km away and Tezpur a little over 60 km away. The nearest airport is at Guwahati from where Vayudoot services are available.

By Rail: Since there are no railway connections the only other option is the road network. Buses are easily available.

Hotels in Tipi

Hotel Daguerre
Abotel Hibiscus
Renaissance Paris Vendome