ORCHID RESEARCH CENTRE, TIPI
The centre is located at Tipi in West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, about 65 km away from Tezpur ( Assam) towards Bomdila (the district headquarter of West Kameng). It is situated on the west bank of Kameng river (also known as Jia Bharoli in Assam) surrounded by high hills covered with semi ever green tropical rain forest vegetation. It stretches over an area of 10 hectares of flat land comprising of office buildings, orchidaria, tissue culture lab., Museum, herbarium and garden.
One of the main attractions of the center is the orchid glass house. This is made up of fiberglass roof, desplay gallery around and a central pond with fountain. It was inaugurated by Shri B.K. Nehru on 26.12.1972. The house accommodates about 1000 exotic orchids displayed in pots, hanging baskets etc. Curious and attractive blooms of the species and hybrids of Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, Cattleya and Vanda groups are a feast to the eyes of visiting tourists.
There are about four species houses provided with netlon shade and evergreen climber shade within the campus. About 10,000 orchid plants of belonging to various genera and species are under cultivation in these houses ensuring ex-situ conservation. These orchids include new species like Biermannia jainiana, Cheirostylis gunnarii, Eria connata, Cleisostoma tricallosum, Sarcoglyphis arunachalensis, Oberonia kamlangensis etc.; Rare and endangered orchids like Vanda ceorulea, Renanthera imschootiana, Dendrobium densiflorum, Vanda bicolor, Paphiopedilum venustum, Paphiopedilumfairienum, Acanthephippium sylhettense etc. ; new distributional record like Oberonia anthrophophora,Collabium chinesis, Miscobulbon wryanum, Eria tomentosa, etc.
There are two natural orchidaria created within the orchid centre under the shade of erythyrina and teak plantations. Large number of native orchid species which are being wasted in the timber coupes and landslide areas have been rescued and rehabilitated in this orchidaria as a part of ex-situ conservation. All these orchids are introduced in Genera – wise sections to facilitate the student visitors from various schools and universities in the country.
The orchid centre has very well equipped laboratory for micropropagation of orchid species through seed and tissue culture. About 20,000 to 40,000 number of orchid seedlings of various rare, endangered and ornamental species and hybrids are produced annually from this laboratory to distribute to farmers, commercial people and also rehabilitation in natural habitat.
The herbarium specializes on orchids and about 2770 specimen of orchids representing about 380 species of 100 genera of orchids distributed in Arunachal Pradesh have been preserved in it. All the type specimen of new species of orchids (about 30) discovered from orchid centre Tipi are deposited in this Herbarium. Besides native orchids, there are also the herbarium specimens representing the orchids of other states of our country
The museum at Tipi depicts the orchid wealth of Arunachal Pradesh in maps, colour and black & white photographs, blow-ups, charts and specimen preserved in jars and tubes. Activities and achievements of the center have also been displayed in the museum.
The hardening unit is provided with controlled light, temperature, relative humidity and periodic water spray system to harden (acclimatize) the orchid plantlets produced in the lab. The plantlets deflasked in the laboratory are kept in this hardening unit for 3-6 months for hardening before their release to the field for cultivation.
The centre has a facility of conducting six-day capsule course on orchid propagation and commercial farming to the interested persons from various states of the country in batches. The course includes orchid identification, vegetative multiplication, seed and tissue culture, cultivation techniques, pest & disease control measures, post-harvest technology, CITES rules & regulations etc. including practical demonstrations.