One of the first mega tourism circuits in the country will be developed in Kerala with the Centre approving the state Tourism Department’s proposal for creating a world class eco-friendly project in Gavi-Vagamon region. The 150-km long circuit in the Pathanamthitta-Gavi- Vagamon-Thekkady region in central Kerala will have a host of new facilities such as trekking, archery and rock climbing.
State Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said here on Friday that the Pathanamthitta-Gavi-Vagamon-Thekkady project will be among the first such tourism projects to be built under the new ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of the Union Tourism Ministry, which are meant for theme-based development of destinations. “We are happy to announce that the empowered committee has cleared our proposal to develop a mega tourism circuit in the Pathanamthitta-Gavi-Vagamon-Thekkady region focussed on eco-friendly tourism,” he said in a release. Based on the theme of eco-tourism, the Gavi-Vagamon project will have an expenditure of INR 95 crore, funded by the Union Tourism Ministry, he said.
“The development of a mega tourism circuit will not only create tourism infrastructure with global standards, but also lead to creation of jobs and livelihoods for the people of our state and growth of our local communities,” he said. Anilkumar also said the circuit would become a model of eco-friendly tourism in the world. “As a picturesque region, the new circuit will certainly help in further increasing the number of domestic and international tourist arrivals in our state,” he said.
The state tourism department had submitted a proposal for the circuit estimated at INR 200 crore. Under the sanctioned project, INR 30 crore will be spent for Pathanamthitta and Gavi and INR 65 crore for Vagamon and Thekkady. Kerala Tourism Director P I Sheik Pareeth said the project would extend from Angamoozhy in Pathanamthitta to Vagamon covering about 150 km. “The main components of the project include destination development, tourist facilities and security for visitors,” Pareeth said. Facilities for trekking at viewpoint, boating surveillance camera, security arrangements, eco-friendly accommodation and adventure sports activities will also be developed in the area, tourism department sources said. In Vagamon-Thekkady area, there will be development of adventure tourism activities like buggy walks, shooting arena, archery arena, pain ball arena, Burma bridge, trampoline walk, rock climbing, multi-line walk and earthquake walk. A six-km nature trail along the pain valley forest will be another attraction besides common signage, solid waste management and walk ways throughout the project.