So much to boast, but very little tapped...

Not much has been done to promote Kolar as an eco-tourist spot on the global map

The greatest challenge before the tourism industry is, how to promote a holistic approach towards tourism which encompasses - preserving and conserving the rich bio-diversity on the earth and yet provide a feast of both knowledge and relaxation to the hungry traveller.

When it comes to Kolar district, tourism is still in its poorest state. The Tourism Department is limping due to dearth of infrastructure. Kolar district is blessed with rich bio-diversity including a variety of flora and fauna, majestic mountains and hills, valleys and forests. The Tourism Department aims at constructing Yathri Nivas in all the religious tourism centres. And Kolar is yet to react positively towards Eco-Tourism, which is the latest manthra promoted across the globe to catch tourist’s attention.

Key to modern tourism

Bio-diversity is the key for tourism in the modern days. Apart from religious tourism, Eco-Tourism has been steadily attracting tourists. Infact bio-diversity is one of the best resources to attract tourists across the world. But, unfortunately, the district is yet to open its eyes to tap this resource.

Unless Eco-Tourism is promoted extensively, the tourists have to satisfy themselves with only the pilgrimage centres.

They are completely ignorant of nature, greenery, forests and mountains. Earlier, the undivided Kolar district, which also comprised Chikballapur, boasted of several tourists attractions. The world famous Nandagiri Dhama was a crowning glory to the district. After the bifurcation, Kolar was left with meagre attractions. The centre of attraction is now Chikballapur’s pride.

The mere mention of Eco-Tourism reminds us of the majestic and gigantic rain forests. A dryland like Kolar can still offer interesting spots on the tourist map. In Antargange, as many as 32 varieties of birds have been identified in an hour’s span. Bird watchers keep arriving at Antargange from the City and far-off places. Noted Science writer V S S Shastri is one of the prominent bird watcher who frequents Antargange. The kind of sparrows which are found at Antargange are not seen elsewhere.

Granite in abundance

The Sunnakallu (limestone) mountain in Srinivaspur is another special place which will sure attract tourists. As the name suggests, incidently there is no limestone available on this mountain. But it is granite which is available here in abundance.

The ponds and tanks in the district boasted of fish in large quantity. And also water grass was abundantly cultivated here. But of late, most of the ponds and lakes have dried up and so also the fish, which have become extinct. With diminishing water creatures, water vegetation is also fast on the verge of extinct.

Says teacher Muniyappa, an environmentalist, more than 230 varieties of water vegetation were available in Kolar once upon a time. The range of hills and mountains acted as shield, protecting the rich water bodies. Utter negligence towards the nature’s bodyguards has more or less turned these stoic and ageless beauties into mere moulds of stones and mud.

With mountains and valleys being neglected, automatically, the water bodies are also on the verge of extinct. If the greens on the mountains and hills are maintained, then this would keep the water bodies blue. This is should be addressed on a war-foot measure.

A myth

The fact that good rains in Kolar will rejuvenate the tanks and ponds will remain a myth as far as the district is concerned, says Environment writer H A Purushottam Rao.

The best thing about Antargange is, there are several small streams which have never dried up. If more trees are cultivated, the streams will flow eternally. The custard apple cultivated in the forest area of Kamasamudram in Bangarpet taluk are one of the best qualities ever available in the market.

Are these not sufficient to attract eco-tourists? The streams of Antargange, flora and fauna, custard apple and the hilly ranges which attract people for trekking can definitely put Kolar on an eco-tourist’s itinerary.

If only the rich nature is tapped accordingly and more facilities are provided, propaganda is made at its best, Kolar tourism will sure beckon the highest number of tourists. This is extremely necessary to put Kolar on the global tourism map.

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