Staff Reporter

Bangalore: The 30-year-old eco-tourism group, Jungle Lodges and Resorts, which has successfully established itself as the preferred destination for wildlife-enthusiasts in the Western Ghats, will be branching out into new territory.

New lodges will be developed at six new places in the State: Kamalapur (adjacent to the Dorarji Bear Sanctuary) near Hampi; an adventure tourism resort in Talakalale (near Jog Falls) in Shimoga; a “wellness and nature” resort in Pilikula Nisarga Dhama in Mangalore; and resorts at Vilaspur in Bidar; Bhimgarh in Belgaum and Yagachi in Hassan. Announcing these new projects here on Monday, N.D. Tiwari, Managing Director of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR), said that these lodges will be operational by June 2011. Each project will cost between Rs. 5 and Rs. 6 crore.

Trails for students

The company, which is a unit of the Karnataka Tourism Department, will be opening new vistas in adventure tourism, and will be introducing deep sea fishing, parasailing and, in Nethrani Island (soon to be declared a marine park), scuba diving, he said. To cater to students, JLR will be setting up “Jungle Camps and Trails” at 11 places in Karnataka, with lodging available at Rs. 500 to 600, said Mr. Tiwari. The H1N1 pandemic of 2009 was “disastrous” for tourism, and [it] had a grave impact on occupancy at the JLR resorts than the recession, he said.