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Keystone is partnering with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department on an eco-tourism initiative in Kotagiri range. The initiative is being implemented under the aegis of the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project (TBGP).

The initiative is an effort to use ecotourism as a strategy to further community participation in conservation activities. There is a special focus on enlisting indigenous people’s involvement. The initiative in Kotagiri is focused on three locations viz. Banagudi Shola, Longwood Shola and Kodanadu. The chief stakeholders identified are the Alu Kurumba community in Banagudi, the Toda community in Kodanadu and the Longwood Watchdog committee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACurrently, the activities offered are a mix of nature and culture tourism with interpretation services. The day long 10 hour tour includes the following:

  • Pickup from and to a central location in Kotagiri – Johnstone Square
  • A birding trail in Banagudi with opportunities for cultural tourism in a sacred grove.
  • A hearty breakfast including traditional cereals like ragi,saamai and thenai.
  • A view of Catherine Waterfalls and local folklore
  • A short walk in Longwood Shola and visit to the Interpretation Centre
  • Traditional Toda lunch in Kodanadu and a short walk across the grasslands

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A nominal contribution price of Rs 400/person is charged. For further details contact Forest Range Officer, Kotagiri or archana at keystone-foundation dot org