Kodagu’s popular tourist attractions and pristine waterfalls are gearing up for reopening after a gap of nearly five months. This could be an economic boost to the district which has had to contend with not only the pandemic but devastating rains. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry in Kodagu is reopening from September 1 after a long gap.
However, no decision had been taken yet on allowing the public to visit Talacauvery and Bhagamandala, which witnessed landslips recently. Cauvery Nisargadhama on the banks of the Cauvery and Dubare elephant camp, which had been closed since March 23, are all set to be reopened from next week as the forest authorities were preparing to unlock the popular sites.
Deputy Conservator of Forest Prabhakaran told The Hindu that preparations are under way for their reopening with strict implementation of precautions. Mandalapatti, known as a trekkers’ paradise and Iruppu waterfalls are also being reopened for the visitors shortly. Abbey waterfalls, another famous tourist attraction, is expected to reopen for visitors on Monday.
“In Dubare, we are barricading so that the public keeps a safe distance from the elephants unlike the past,” he added. At Iruppu, visitors cannot enter waters like in the past as strict guidelines against swimming are in place. They can just watch the waterfalls from a distance, the DCF said.
Speaking to The Hindu, Karnataka Tourism Assistant Director Raghavendra said tourist attractions had not been reopened in Kodagu although many sites resumed operations in other parts of the State. A week ago, Raja Seat in Madikeri was reopened after the rains receded and the flood situation across Kodagu eased. Mr. Raghavendra said the tourist sites coming under the control of Gram Panchayats are being reopened from Monday.
However, the tourists’ response has been tepid so far considering the footfall at Raja Seat since its opening. Yet, the district and forest authorities are reopening them with hopes of early revival. Kodagu Hotels, Resorts and Restaurant Owners’ Association president B.R. Nagendra Prasad welcomed the decision to reopen the major tourist attractions.
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