From a brigand's hideout to a tourist spot. That's “Gopinatham Mystery Trail Camp”, an eco-tourism spot 160 km from Chamarajanagar.
The native place of forest brigand Veerappan, the place now attracts tourists with its picturesque towering hills and a lake in the valley.
The reign of terror let loose by Veerappan had stalled the general development works in Gopinatham and Hogenakkal Falls areas for more than two decades.
After the killing of Veerappan, the Government took up the task of bringing the local people, especially youth, to the mainstream and provide employment opportunities to enhance their economic status.
The Department of Forest and Tourism decided to tap the huge potential for development of eco-tourism and community-based tourism by exploring the wilderness in and around M.M.Hills, Palar, Gopinatham and Hogenekkal Falls.
Cauvery wildlife sanctuary is situated where the Eastern and Western Ghats meet in the south-eastern corner of Karnataka along the 78 km patch of the Cauvery from Shimsha-Bheemeshwari to Palar Sangam on the Tamil Nadu border. Hogenekkal and Gopinatham in M.M.Hills wildlife range are places of tourist attraction.
Since the Cauvery wildlife sanctuary has undulating terrain with hills and valleys, the major activity of ecotourism is trekking in the jungle. Trekking is arranged along the 16-km. Erekyamhalla to Gopinatham route to see the flora and fauna. Tourists who come as part of Mysterytrails trekking programme can spot the local birds, wild animals and varieties of trees. Well-informed guides educate the trekkers regarding the flora and fauna.
The Gopinatham Mystery Trail Camp is situated in the midst of Cauvery wildlife sanctuary near Gopinatham village.
Eco-tourism has been promoted at the cost of Rs.1 crore with the creation of basic infrastructure. Creation of camping facilities (10 tented accommodations) in front of two towering hills (Nagmalai and Mymalai) and the lake, construction of a boating plat form and upgradation of the old forest rest house attracted the tourists.
A martyr's point was established at Erkeyamhalla in the memory of late DCF Srinivas who was beheaded by Veerappan and his gang at this point.
Construction of two pergolas in the camp allows the tourists to take rest and have a panoramic view of the surroundings.
Construction of landscaped gardens and a park allows the children to have additional fun.
The wall paintings about the flora and fauna is an added attraction in the park. The tourists are also allowed to ride on boats and coracles in the lake.
Bicycles are provided to tourists as part of trekking activities. The tourists can pedal up to Hogenekkal, which is 12 km away.
Welcome to the Gopinatham Mystery Trail Camp, an eco-tourism spot in M.M. Hills