Union govt gives green signal to Great Canara trails

270 km-long, it will be the longest jungle trail in India

Union govt gives  green signal to  Great Canara trails

 The Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Tourism Ministry have given the green signal to the Great Canara trails, the longest jungle trail in India.

The 270-kilometre-long foot trek trail, which will be open to people in November, was created by the Forest department for the Karnataka State Eco-Tourism Development Board (KSETDB). It will be popularised and operated by the Tourism department along with Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR). The proposal was prepared last year and the in-principle clearance from the Central government was obtained in November 2014. A detailed project report was prepared and submitted to the Centre in April.

Additional CEO KSETDB, Vijay Mohan Raj, told Deccan Herald, “The Tourism department adopted the project as it was keen on promoting it. As part of the campaign we have also tied up with village forest committees. Private trekking and adventure sports firms have also been roped in because they organise unregulated treks presently. In April, we tied up with Indiahikes, Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Private Limited and Wolfpack Outdoors.”

The 25-day long Great Canara trails will have 17 camps and will cover some parts of Eco-Trails (which offers  smaller day-long 10 km treks). The initial project cost estimated for the whole circuit is Rs 19.4 crore and presently Rs seven crore has been sanctioned by the Centre under the first phase.

It covers 10 base camps which are linked to Eco-Trails and seven jungle camps where trekkers can pitch tents. Just like with Eco-Trails where tourists who are not trekking can buy accommodation in the base camps, the facility can be availed at the camps of the Great Canara trails too.

A trend in India

“Trekking is becoming a trend in India now and many in the State want to explore the Western Ghats. So far, people relied on private unregulated companies for the treks. For adventure, they ventured to the Himalayas. Now, by starting the Great Canara trails, we aim to attract all this crowd here, showcase nature in a guided manner, increase tourism revenue and ensure there is conservation. By starting this we will also be able to reduce vehicular movement inside forest areas,” said Sarath C R, Chief Advisor to JLR and trainer for the trails.

The trail starts at Jog Falls and ends at Castle Rock passing through Katlekan - Garuda Jog - Unchalli, Devimane Ghat - Shivaganga Falls - Ganesh Falls - Bedti River Valley - Lalguli - Kali River - Shivapura in Anshi - Ulavi - Kumbarawada - Kuveshi - Diggi.

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