Staff Reporter

To promote eco-tourism; YHAI roped in to identify routes

Many of the routes are unknown to the public

Local trekking destinations to be promoted

MALAPPURAM: The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has begun to identify trekking routes in the Nilambur area as part of promoting eco-tourism in the district. The DTPC has sought the help of the Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) for the purpose.

Although there are over a dozen trekking routes through the forests of Nilambur and neighbouring areas, many of them remain unknown to the public and tourists alike.

DTPC secretary N. Dinesh said the revival of some of the lesser-known trekking routes would invite adventure-loving tourists to Malappuram district. “Nilambur has great potential for that,” he said.

The YHAI, which frequently conducts trekking tours to various destinations across the country, has agreed to help the DTPC identify a few safe routes originating from Nilambur.

The trekking route from Chokad, near Nilambur, to Mepadi via Munderi is known to many local people. But this sylvan route is little popular among adventure lovers outside Malappuram.

Similarly, the trekking route from Kalikavu to Neelgiri Hills is said to be worth spending time to revive.

This route, now hardly used, was reportedly an established path between Udhagamandalam and Malabar centuries ago. Lots of stories are doing the rounds about the origin of this route.

Another route likely to be promoted is the one through Chokad Colony to Mangorange in Tamil Nadu.

YHAI secretary Yousuf Thaikkadan said they would identify and suggest the routes after examining them.

DTPC authorities also have plans to promote local tourist destinations that would require a bit of trekking to reach. The Oli waterfalls, near Mampad, is one of them.

However, as the trekking routes pass through the forests, the cooperation of the Forest Department is needed for the projects to take off.