Tourism is an act of travelling for recreation to a tourism important place which in turn helps in transferring social, cultural, political values among the folks.
Tourism which nurtures knowledge on a specific subject in an experiential learning mode may be described as Educative Tourism or Edutainment. Agri-Tourism, Eco-Tourism are parts of this concept and a new term namely Seri-Tourism has joined this list in the recent past.
Sericulture is the art and science of cultivation of silkworm host plants and rearing of silkworms for the production of Silk. There are four major known and exploited silk varieties in the world namely Mulberry, Eri, Tasar and Muga which are produced by the silkworm types namely Mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori), Eri silkworm (Samia ricini/S.cynthia), Tasar silkworm (Antheraea mylitta) and Muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis) respectively. Muga silk which is known as ‘Golden silk’ is peculiar to Assam State and thus, India possesses the unique feature of producing all the four types of silk.
Tamil Nadu is a traditional Sericulture State where sericulture was initially practiced in parts of Hosur and Talavady regions and later spread to major part of the State. Mulberry Sericulture alone is extensively practiced in Tamil Nadu and the State is a pioneer in adopting latest technologies in Mulberry cultivation and Silkworm rearing.
Seri-Tourism Centre – Silk World @ Yercaud
The Department of Sericulture, Government of Tamil Nadu is the overall authority of all Sericulture related activities of the State. The Department involves in transfer of technologies through effective extension, providing technical and financial assistance, marketing facilities and ensuring fair prices to the farmers and entrepreneurs for their produces.
Also, the department owns units for offering various services to its stakeholders. One among the unit is the Government Seed Farm, Yercaud which is located adjacent to the Rose garden of the Horticulture department.
The growing demand for Agri-Tourism and the opportunity for earning remuneration have pushed the Department to convert the Farm as a tourism spot with the primary objectives of creating widespread awareness about Sericulture – Silk making and its prospects as a profitable profession.
The Centre has been established under the State Innovation Fund – Tamil Nadu Innovative Initiatives of State Planning Commission at a cost of Rs.350 crore.
Highlights of the Silk world
The Centre showcases the entire activity of Mulberry Sericulture under one roof starting right from Soil to Silk. It is throughout the year permanent exhibition with live specimens and working miniature models. Unlike the regular exhibitions/museums, visitors here are allowed to touch and feel the specimens and are allowed to operate the miniature models for a lively experience.
Mulberry cuttings, Saplings, Model Mulberry Plot, all stages silkworm larva, cocoons, silk reeling devices, weaving devices, silk fibers are available to offer the best experience.
In addition, models of non-mulberry sericulture (Eri,Tasar and Muga), silk fabrics and handicrafts made from non-mulberry silk are displayed. Fabrics of non-mulberry silks are peculiar and they are the products of the indigenous people from the forests of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand etc.,
To make the visitors to know things other than Sericulture, scientific play equipment explaining the basic science concepts of our daily life are also kept. Newton’s cradle, Head on a plate, Gravity well, Snake Pendulum, Optical illusion images, World time globe, Parabolic dishes etc.are kept for recreational learning.
A Malayali hut is kept to showcase the habitat of indigenous people from forests.
Mural Paintings, Tricky arts (3D paintings – Silk Moth offering Gift, Women fetching water from pond, Seri-Chair) are portrayed for the visitors to capture (photographs) memories along with them on leaving the spot.
Growing science concepts like virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are offered through short animation videos to the visitors. Visitors can go round the deep sea and Mount Everest right from the place they stand.
Children Play Area with swings, see-saw, moon walk, monkey bars and lawns and food courts offer the fullest recreational experience to the visitors.
Knowledge acquiring and recreation is best assured at Silk World.
Timings 10 am to 5 pm
Entry Ticket Fees:
- Children – Rs. 15
- Adult – Rs. 30
- Virtual Reality Centre – Rs. 20
- Augmented Reality Centre – Rs. 25
Entry fee for Students
- Upto 10th standard – Rs. 7.50
- From 11th to College – Rs. 15
Can be reached through
Facebook and Instagram @seritourismsilkworld
By S. Karthi, Assistant Inspector of Sericulture, Tamil Nadu Government.