THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A boat festival and an elephant festival in Pathanamthitta, scheduled to be held during the Onam season, is expected to give the district an elevated status in the state’s tourism map.
The boat festival will be held at Avadi, a picturesque forest patch, 10 km from Konni and 17 km from Pathanamthitta. It is situated on the banks of the river Kallar, with nearly 5-km river frontage. The Konni Forest Development Agency, in collaboration with the District Tourism Promotion Council and the Pathanamthitta district administration, will host the events during the Onam season.
Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar will inaugurate the Adavi Boat Festival on August 21, aiming at branding the town as a unique tourism destination. The occasion will also witness an elephant festival called Gaja Vijnanolsavam at the Konni elephant camp. Adavi, which is just 5 km from Mundommoozhy on the proposed Achencoil-Chittar hill highway is a weekend getaway. It is also an easily accessible destination for foreign tourists who can chose Adavi for a day trip from places like Munnar and Thekkady. Coracle rafting in the Kallar river is an innovative venture, which promises a never-before experience to travellers.
An eco-tourism centre with river rafts, coracle rafting, adventure trekking, accommodation options on tree-top cottages, tenting options and walkways are the attractions coming up in Adavi. Bamboo huts, which will be coming up in Adavi in a month, will also be another attractive camping option for tourists. The eco-tourism centre also has a refreshment area, public convenience areas and ample parking space for tourists and their vehicles.
The Gaja Vijanolsavam was first conducted in September last year with the support of Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, under the auspices of the Konni Forest Development Agency. The programme had helped raise the profile of Konni-Adavi eco-tourism, apart from imparting awareness about forest and wildlife conservation among schoolchildren and the general public.
The five-day festival this year, which starts on August 20, aims at imparting awareness about forest and elephant conservation among schoolchildren and the general public, to ensure public participation in the development of the eco-tourism destination and enhancing income-generating opportunities for the local community through increased tourist arrivals.