Andhra Pradesh

Araku to be a major adventure sports hub

Creation of sports zones such as para-sailing, rock climbing, and hot air ballooning is part of the project.

Creation of sports zones such as para-sailing, rock climbing, and hot air ballooning is part of the project.   | Photo Credit: Nivedita Ganguly

ACAP plans training institute aimed at providing role for local youth round the year

In what could give a major fillip to Araku and the concept of sustainable tourism in the Eastern Ghats, the Adventure Club of Andhra Pradesh (ACAP) is planning to set up a training institute for adventure tourism to train tribal youth of the valley. The project is aimed at providing employment to the local youth who would cater to the needs of adventure tourists and conduct regular adventure tourism events in and around Araku Valley.

First phase

“In the first phase, a 40-member batch of tribal youths will be given training for a certificate course in adventure sports. The ITDA, Paderu, will sponsor 40 youth for the 10-day certificate course in water rappelling, rock-climbing, trekking and camping,” I. K. Ranga Rao of the ACAP told The Hindu. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed between the ACAP and the State government at the CII Partnership Summit with an estimated project cost of ₹6.16 crore, including the cost of setting up the training institute and creating sports zones like parasailing, para-gliding, rock climbing, water rappelling and hot air ballooning zones. The ACAP holds 26 world records in rappelling from 400 feet from the Katika (also known as Katiki) waterfalls. The records include rappelling by maximum number of people, the fastest by a man and a woman besides rappels by the heaviest man and the youngest person and six records for rappelling blindfolded.

Technical expertise

“Araku region is a heaven for adventure sports. We have the technical expertise to conduct such activities. But unless we involve the local youth in this, the place cannot be turned into a sustainable adventure tourism spot to draw tourists all round the year. The training institute will serve as a platform to impart the right skill sets, including expertise in safety parameters which will provide the youth at least 200 days of employment,” Mr. Ranga Rao said.

The ACAP has identified one acre at Dondapadu to establish the training institute with facilities like artificial rock-climbing walls, Burma bridge and commando nets. “We are in the process of getting clearance for the land from the government,” he said. Till then, the training process will be held in temporary establishments.

During a recent field visit, the ACAP identified Kasipatnam for trek, camping, rock-climbing, rappelling and outbound training. “This apart, places like Shivalingapuram, Pedda Bidda, Itammavalsa, Damuku, Tyda, Anantagiri, Katika Hill, Galikonda and Sunkarametta are quite suitable for conducting adventure sports,” Mr Rao adds.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:33:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/araku-to-be-a-major-adventure-sports-hub/article23437895.ece

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