Locked gates dissapoint tourists at Hanumangundi

Locked gates dissapoint tourists at Hanumangundi

Soothanabbi waterfall, popularly known as Hanumangundi falls, which was one of the famous tourist attractions for those traveling to Hornad, Sringeri and Dharmasthala (from Chikmagalur), and for those travelling to Kudremukh and Sringeri (from Mangalore) has remained closed for visitors since two months. Tourists who arrive at Hanumangundi in a large number, with an anticipation of relaxing amidst nature, are left disappointed to see the locked gates.

According to sources, the forest department has closed the entry to the falls, citing the reason of environment damage. 

Hundreds of tourists used to visit this tourism spot, where Thunga river that flows on the border area of Mudigere-Sringeri taluks, falls from 70 ft height, offering a visual treat to the nature lovers. The number of tourists used to double during the weekends. Some of the tourists even used to engage in activities that would harm nature. 

The forest department is said to have closed the entry to waterfall owing to the objection of the environmentalists, who had repeatedly warned that the river water was getting polluted due to tourist activities. 

Flaying the decision of the forest department, social activist Mumtaz Begam told Deccan Herald that the department’s action is not acceptable. It is as though cutting once nose for avoiding cold, she ridiculed.

Ajay from Bangalore, who frequently travels on this road, said that the forest personnel were deployed in the area to monitor tourists. It was their duty to be cautious to avoid pollution and maintain cleanliness in the surroundings. The department used to collect Rs 20 per individual as entry ticket. They should have maintained cleanliness using this money. It is unfortunate that the forest department has taken a step owing to the demand of a few environmentalists, thus disappointing a large number of tourists, he said.

Ashuthosh, a medical student from Mangalore said that he used to come along with his friends to Hanumangundi, from Mangalore and return in the evening. “We have never thrown plastic or any other waste in this area, rather we used to carry all the waste materials in a bag. The department has done wrong by refusing entry to this beautiful waterfall,” he said.

When Deccan Herald asked Karkala Wildlife Division Deputy Conservator of Forest, on whether the department has any plans to open the gates for tourists, he said no decision can be taken till they get order from the higher authorities. 

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