Harnessing the tourism potential of the Kalvarayan Hills
Plans to develop the area and its surrounding hamlets into an eco-tourist destination are on the anvil
The district administration is working on a master plan to develop the Kalvarayan Hills in the Eastern Ghats, known for its scenic waterfalls and pristine vegetation, into a major eco-tourism destination in the state.
The administration, in association with the Forestry Department, has identified land in the hamlet of Thalvizha in the hills for the promotion of ecotourism activities, including guided hikes and adventure sports, and other basic amenities. for tourists.
“We proposed setting up an adventure zone and other basic amenities for tourists in the hills. A consultant appointed by the Ministry of Tourism will visit the site and conduct a feasibility study on the type of adventure sports that can be practiced in the region. Activities such as the cable car have been planned and the works will start after drawing up a detailed plan, ”said collector PN Sridhar. The Hindu.
Waterfalls and valleys
Located at a distance of 50 km from the headquarters of Kallakurichi district, the hills encompass five waterfalls in addition to a few lookout points that give a view of the picturesque valley.
While the Periyar Falls on the Ghat Road have become a potential tourist spot, the other waterfalls – Megam, Kaviyam, Maankombu, and Sirukalur – are difficult to access.
Megam Falls is located 10 km from Vellimalai. Considering its tourist potential, the Kariyalur panchayat has built a road for the first 3 kilometers, although the rest is not drivable. However, that didn’t deter hikers from visiting the falls.
“The Kalvarayan hills have very good tourist potential. The area might not offer the best facilities, but there are a lot of repeat visitors. It’s a hidden treasure for nature lovers who want to spend time away from the mundane life, ”an official said.
“The administration has planned to develop guesthouses in the hills that are managed by the Forestry Department wisely. Hiking routes will be created and qualified naturalist guides will accompany and inform tourists about nature conservation. Development works, including a concrete floor in the bathing area, safety guardrails, signage and an access plan to the waterfalls, have been planned. Forest guards will be stationed at all waterfalls to ensure safety and surveillance will also be stepped up, ”Sridhar said.
Plant and bamboo farms
The proposal also includes a 10-acre bamboo farm in Moolakkadu village and a herb farm in Kariyalur.
“We plan to have 60 varieties of medicinal plants. Young trees will also come from tribal people. In addition, an organic millet farm has been planned on 39 acres of land in the village of Serapattu, ”added the collector.