Kanyakumari gets more adventurous for tourists (IANS Travel, With Images)

March 14th, 2010 - 10:18 am ICT by IANS  

Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), March 14 (IANS) A visit to Kanyakumari is almost always synonymous with watching the sunrise at the Vivekananda Rock. But visitors will soon have a lot more to do at the southernmost tip of India - be it trekking, bird-watching or even bungee jumping.
The district administration is all set to woo more tourists with the added attractions of adventure and ecotourism.

“Along with the National Adventure Foundation and Friends of Nature, we plan to promote adventure and ecotourism here,” District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo told IANS.

For years, tourists have mainly come to Kanyakumari to see the sunrise at the Bay of Bengal from the Vivekananda Rock, around 200 metres from the shore. Spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda is said to have sat in meditation on this rock for two days.

Apart from the rock, the other places visitors opt to see are the 133-foot statue of Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, the Bhagavathi Amman temple, the Pechiparai Dam and St.Xavier’s Church.

With the administration’s new adventurous plans, there will be more to Kanyakumari than its religious and spiritual side.

“We are looking at trekking, rock climbing and bungee jumping activities with technical inputs from the National Adventure Foundation. A meeting with them is slated this month. We, however, do not want unregulated adventure tourism,” Ratnoo said.

According to the official, ecotourism is also another area of interest and the Friends of Nature group would help pitch in. And they are looking at special packages for school students and corporates as well.

“We will be targeting schools and corporates for our ecotourism packages,” Ratnoo said.

Last month the district administration organised a two-day bird-watching event in which around 300 people participated.

“Seventeen varieties of migratory birds like pelican, flamingo, spoonbill and varieties of ducks come to Kanyakumari. We had some ornithologists to educate and help the tourists. We plan to make the event a regular feature,” Ratnoo said.

Kanyakumari will also turn eco-friendly from April onwards when the ban on using plastics with less than 20 microns comes into effect.

Ratnoo said the the district administration was open to the idea of joining hands with the state tourism department to promote Kanyakumari as a tourist destination complete with the new options available for holidayers.

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