KARNATAKA

Bengaluru trails launch on Aug. 17

The treks are designed to be covered within a day, exceptin Savanadurga (in picture), where trekkers can be hosted inthe camp for the night.K. Murali Kumar

The treks are designed to be covered within a day, exceptin Savanadurga (in picture), where trekkers can be hosted inthe camp for the night.K. Murali Kumar  

Come August 17, and those yearning to leave the city for a breath of fresh air can plan forest treks at the click of a button.

Seven trails close to Bengaluru will be inaugurated on Thursday, and so will an online platform and app — myecotrip — which will allow citizens to book day-long treks to places such as Savanadurga, Thimmalapura forests, and hillocks around Nandi Hills. The treks are between 7 km and 14 km, and are designed to be covered within a day, except for Savandurga, where trekkers can be hosted in a camp for the night. “One guide will cover every booking, and a maximum of 40 people will be allowed in each trail. For now, seven trails will be launched, and more will be identified in the coming months,” Vinay Luthra, Chairman, Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board (KEDB), said.

Bookings will be thrown open after an inauguration function in the city, he added. Trekking remains a popular activity around Bengaluru, albeit often done illegally without permission. By introducing easier options to go trekking, the board hopes to curb illegal treks that have seen groups hitherto trespass into forests

Great Canara Trail

The controversial Great Canara Trail (covering nearly 100 km near the Kali Tiger Reserve) and the Canopy Walk, which features elevated platforms stretching 500 m allowing visitors to get a glimpse into the canopies of dense evergreen forests, have received the go-ahead from the Forest Department.

KEDB is expected to launch these trails sometime after the monsoons. The projects, however, were controversial particularly with environmentalists and conservationists claiming eco-tourism would endanger the health of the eco-senstitive areas.



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