KERALA

Thenmala to feature more attractions

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Adventure water sports planned



More overnight

stay facilities

to come up

Interpretation centre to be

better-equipped



Thiruvananthapuram: Introduction of adventure water sports, a better-equipped interpretation centre and more overnight stay facilities are among the projects to be taken up at Thenmala, the country’s first planned eco-tourism destination.

Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society (TEPS), a State Government undertaking which manages the destination, has worked out plans to provide more facilities for the tourists.

Already, TEPS has started work on upgrading the well-conceived interpretation centre housed in the Tourist Facilitation Complex.

The TEPS is in receipt of a consultancy paper prepared by the State unit of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for upgrading the centre by including more aspects related to the animal and plant kingdoms as part of educating the tourists reaching the destination.

Film screenings

The existing centre will be augmented by adding the adjacent shop court to it. The centre will be air-conditioned. As many as 50 guests will be able to sit and watch short film screenings there.

The TEPS is trying to complete the augmentation of the interpretation centre before March next and to make it interactive, State Eco-tourism Director T.P. Narayanan Kutty told The Hindu.

To encourage night stay at Thenmala, TEPS authorities have set up dormitories behind the amphitheatre, housed next to the facilitation centre.

Mr. Narayanan Kutty said efforts were on to set up a dining facility as well. Additional bathrooms will also to be set up. As many as 42 beds have been made available, he added.

The TEPS has already asked the National Adventure Foundation of India (NFAI) to submit a consultancy paper to commence water adventure sports at the destination.

Already, the NFAI oversees river crossing, rappelling, mountain-biking and recreational rock climbing at the adventure zone set up inside the eco-tourism destination.

Air rifle shooting and valley crossing from near the elevated walkway has commenced. ‘Burma bridge’ and pedal boats in the lotus pond are also in place.

Geared cycles have been introduced and tented camping is being offered near the lotus pond.

According to the officials, tourist arrival at Thenmala crossed the one lakh mark for the first time with 1.10 lakh guests arriving at the destination during 2006-07.

Over 150 educational institutions organised excursions to Thenmala last year.

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