In an attempt to attract more tourists and promote eco-tourism, the Tourism Department, along with the District Administration and Forest Department, has taken up initiatives in Kolli Hills in Namakkal district.
The initiatives include creation of a botanical garden, improving a lake in Vasalurpatti and boating there, landscaping near Arapaleeswarar temple, providing of hand rails along the way to Akasa Ganga waterfalls, a trekking shed near the falls, and development of the approach road to Maasilla waterfalls, say forest officials. A total of Rs.4.3 crore was allocated by the Tourism Department for taking up the activities. Apart from this, the Forest Department is improving a seven-kilometre trekking path between Kolli Hills and Karavalli RF, which is slowly becoming a popular location in the small hill stations, the forest officials say.
Talking about the trekking route, Ashish Kumar Srivastava, District Forest Officer, Namakkal, says it was medium trekking which could be covered by in about three to four hours. Though not much wildlife is sighted in this part of the Eastern Ghats, one can still enjoy the trek, he says.
At present, a large number of college and school students and NSS volunteers show keen interest in the trekking programme. The Forest Department is planning one camp a month for which the number of participants will be restricted to 30, adds Mr. Srivastava.