Adventure sports to come to State in big way

To capitalise on the growing demand for adventure sports in the country, the State government is preparing to set up four permanent adventure sports units in Karnataka.

The units will be developed in four separate locations at Chandaravana on the KRS backwaters, Barapole in Kodagu, Karwar and the Karanja Dam area in Bidar and, Mysore, which is to have a permanent water sports adventure unit as part of projects to be taken up by the Youth Empowerment and Sports department.

Sources said General Thimmaiah National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), which has been operating similar adventure activities such as the Ramanagar Rock Climbing Centre in Ramanagar; the Vanivilasa Sagar National Adventure Sports Centre in Chitradurga; the Kondajji Aqua Centre in Davangere; the Badami Rock Climbing Centre in Badami, and the Karwar Aqua Sports Centre has been assigned the role of managing all four centres.

The KRS backwaters in Chandravana, popularly dubbed the ‘Blue Lagoon’, will house the most important unit.

Expert training

Here, sports experts from Shillong, Malaysia and other locations will offer all-year-round training in adventure sports.

Facilities in the area will also offer thrilling aquatic sports aside from aero and terrestrial challenges.

The unit, which is due to be developed at an estimated initial cost of Rs 10 crore, will be wholly self-contained. Accommodation, refreshments, restrooms, toilets and parking spaces will all be provided in an area of eight acres. To help protect the environment, it has been decided to erect wooden structures and tents instead of permanent concrete buildings.

Inspection

Recently, the KRS site and its sporting equipment were inspected by Vikash Kumar Vikash, Director of the department, Joint Director M S Ramesh and M R Manjunath, the Coordinator of GETHNAA.

Kumar described the KRS backwaters as being without equal this year as it is brimming with monsoon waters. “The KRS is technically superior compared to any other location including Varuna Lake — not only for aqua activities but also for terrestrial sporting activities,” he said.

On the difficulty of reaching the area owing to bad roads and non-existent public transport, however, Kumar explained that measures will be adopted to ensure accessibility and facilities.

Talks may be held with Deputy Commissioner C Shikha as well as other authorities concerned to initiate the project.

Speaking about the project in Mysore, he said, “After the centre at Vanivilas Sagar backwaters in Chitradurga, Mysore is the first one to have fresh water aqua sports in the State,” he said.

According to Manjunath, the projects will offer a blend of eco-tourism and adventure sports. The areas where quarrying had taken place in the backwaters will be utilised for river crossing, ziplines and other activities.

Kumar told Deccan Herald that the activities are due to start with the Dasara adventure sports.

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