Eco-tourism project in Tamil Nadu nears its completion


The Eco-Tourism Project, which is currently being implemented on Pachamalai hills in Uppliyapuram block in the district, is expected to give a boost to the tourism infrastructure of Tiruchi district.

Work on almost all major tourism infrastructure facilities has been completed. The project is being executed on the hills located at a height of 1,072 metres above the sea level. The project, being executed by the Forest Department, includes tree-top houses.

Top Sengattupatti or Thenpuranadu is the major area where the suits, designed in the form of treetop houses, have been built.  Very close to it is a sprawling dormitory for men and women, restaurant, and a mushroom house.

Each of the four treetop house covers an area of 400 square feet. The windows have been designed in a manner which adds to the serene beauty of the hills. The large mushroom house is about 650 square feet in area.

“The absence of a motel on the hills has remained a major bottleneck for the tourists, Hence, a restaurant has been constructed very close to the tree-top suits,” said an official.

According to a study conducted by the Forest Department, the hills, which form part of the Eastern Ghats, account for 154 species of birds and 135 species of butterflies. It has a population of 500 deer with three deer habitats. So to provide the tourists with a treat, the Forest Department has constructed an Interpretation Centre, which has three distinct chambers — one for administrative unit, second for the cries of animals and birds, and the third for the butterflies.

The other works completed include a  4-km trekking trail from Maamarathusolai with two rest rooms; a safe access to waterfalls by constructing 80 steps; watch towers at a couple of places and renovation of the British-built guest house and construction of a new building for the Forest official.

The entire infrastructures will be maintained by the tribal communities. The Forest Department has formed four Eco-Tourism Management Committees, one each at Top Sengattupatti (Thenpuranadu), Keezhakarai, Semboor, and Chinnamangalam village panchayat.

A nominal entrance fee would be collected from the tourists and the funds raised would be utilised for community development of the panchayat concerned.