Nandi Hills to come alive with a variety of events

Tourism Dept. plans nature walks, rock climbing, cyclothon, birdwatching

July 01, 2017 01:36 am | Updated 01:36 am IST - Bengaluru

The Department of Tourism wants to promote Nandi Hills as a prime eco-tourism destination.

The Department of Tourism wants to promote Nandi Hills as a prime eco-tourism destination.

After Hampi, Nandi Hills, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, is also going to have its own festival. If all goes according to plan, the Karnataka Department of Tourism is likely to host the Nandi Hills Utsav in mid-August or early September.

A haven for nature lovers, Nandi Hills draws walkers, cyclists and heritage enthusiasts. The department wants to tap this area to showcase the hills as an eco-tourism destination.

“We want to promote all aspects of Nandi Hills, which still remains an unexplored destination and, therefore, the utsav,” said Naveen Raj Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism.

Though the department is yet to finalise the date of the event, the first meeting in this regard has been held.

“We have to take into consideration multiple factors such as tourist inflow and rains before finalising the date. We want to hold it as soon as possible,” he said

Priyank Kharge, Minister of State for Tourism, said while Hampi Utsav is more about cultural experiences, the Nandi Hills Utsav will focus on a unique mix of experiences ranging from heritage, nature, adventure, culture, and religion.

Nature walks, rock climbing, marathon and cyclothon, bird watching, heritage trails, and cultural events at the foothills are being planned as part of the festival.

“We want to spread awareness about Nandi Hills. The utsav will be a one-day event and may be extended depending on the programmes we are able to curate,” said Mr. Kharge.

The department is working with the Horticulture, the Archaeology and the Forest Departments, and walking and cycling groups towards the festival.

Hop on your bike

This weekend will see cyclists, trekkers and joggers enjoying the scenic beauty of Nandi Hills, a popular tourism destination, without vehicular disturbance.

Vehicles will not be allowed to enter or exit Nandi Hills from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on July 1 and 2 as part of the attempt to promote eco-freindly tourism here. The initiative have been taken up by K. Sudhakar, Chickballapur MLA.

“We are organising this event as a trial. Based on the response, we would replicate it in the coming days,” said Mr. Sudhakar.

Many cyclists have been expressing their desire to cycle around Nandi Hills without having to vie with vehicles.

“We expect around 500 cyclists to participate on both days,” he said. Arrangements in terms of refreshments and water for participants have been made.

“An ambulance will also be stationed to take care of any emergencies. Also, parking arrangements have been made at the foothills for visitors,” Mr. Sudhakar added.

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