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Chennai’s The Touch and Smell Garden

M S Swaminathan Foundation’s unique Touch and Smell Garden for the visually impaired was set up on the basic principle that it is not by sight alone that we perceive objects.From a distance it looks like an ornamental garden put there to break the monotony of the surrounding buildings. Swinging terracotta pots disgorge leafy vines, and lotus lined mini tanks glimmer in the afternoon sun. The narrow, neatly tiled pathways are embedded with smooth pebbles to show the three directions a walker may take. Every few feet a strip of red coir mat marks off the path. There is a central pergola with benches attached to its pillars. A picture-perfect piece of land set in the ordered, efficient beauty of the M S Swaminathan Research Centre in Chennai.

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