Topslip, one of the forest areas in the State rich in bio-diversity, has thrown open its serene wooded interiors to students and tourists for a trekking experience.

H. Basavaraju, Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, said that for the first time an organised trekking programme had been launched. Four places in the Ulandy range in Topslip and two trekking routes each in Valparai and Manomboly ranges had been identified for the programme.

In Ulandy Range a trek to Kariyansolai was a soft one, meant for school students. Another route to Kozhumanmalai was also relatively an easy route. The other two, Pandaravarai and Vengolimalai in the range, were meant for serious trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Similarly, the trekking routes in Manomboly and Valparai Ranges were tough — between Akkamalai and Konalar; Manomboly and Mandhirimattam; Sheikalmudi and Manomboly; and 36th Hairpin Bend and Kadambarai.

The duration of the soft treks would be two hours and would be organised only when there was a minimum of five persons in a group.

Dr. Basavaraju said a nominal fee would collected.

The authorities had appointed five trained tribal youths, who were familiar with the terrain take the visitors inside.

A salient feature of the programmes was that tourists would get to see elephants, Indian bison, tigers and panthers and a good number of birds besides the rare flora.

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