KARWAR: Ticket prices for India’s first canopy walk at Kuveshi forest area near Castle Rock in Joida taluk of Uttara Kannada district have been fixed and soon it will be open for tourists.The canopy walk is available only in a few countries, including Malaysia and Australia, in the world. Though the walk was inaugurated in February 18 by Industries Minister R V Deshpande, the entry of tourists was restricted as the Forest Department had not decided on rules and regulations. In the last week of April, the department signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR), which will arrange canopy walk shortly.
C Anikethan, manager of Jungle Lodges and Resorts in Dandeli, said the tourists can experience walking on trees about 30 metre from ground level. They should come to Kunigini check post near Castle Rock and from there they can get tickets after producing identity cards or other relevant documents. From there they have to travel till Kuveshi on their own vehicle. From Kuveshi, the tourists will have to walk 2.5 km through the forests along with the forest department and JLR staff to reach the canopy walk. “We are charging `500 for adults and `300 for children,” he said.
To attract tourists from the country and abroad, the forest and tourism departments have constructed a 240-metre canopy walkway above about 30 metre from ground level in the dense forests of Western Ghats at a cost of Rs 84 lakh. The canopy walk idea was mooted three years ago. The project got into a legal hurdle after the conservationists opposed to it claiming it will harm the Western Ghats. Later the project was cleared by the Central authorities. Finally, it is now open for tourists.
According to sources, canopy walk will be open for tourists this month and it will be closed during monsoon (June-October). After monsoon, it will reopen. In view of heavy rain during monsoon season, it will not be safe for tourists to enter into deep forests. As of now, there is vehicle facility from JLR or the forest department. The tourists are supposed to reach Kuveshi on their own vehicles.
Jungle Lodges and Resorts, which is operating the canopy walk, will start online ticket booking facility for canopy walk. Interested can book tickets by logging on to Jungle Lodges and Resorts’ website. For more details, call at 94495-97871 or 94495-99765.