Kalakkad reserve in TN starts ‘jeep safari’ to Banatheertham waterfalls
The vehicle will be operated from 8 am to 4 pm. Tourists can buy tickets at the Mundanthurai range office at Rs 500 per head.
TIRUNELVELI: Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) administration introduced a new trip for tourists from the Mundanthurai range office to the Banatheertham waterfalls, beside the Papanasam dam via a scenic forest route. The same will begin on September 18.
In a communication, Deputy Director and Wildlife Warden of KMTR, Ambasamudram Shenbagapriya, said a 10-seater vehicle has been arranged to transport the tourists. “The vehicle will be operated from 8 am to 4 pm. Tourists can buy tickets at the Mundanthurai range office at Rs 500 per head. The trip will last for one-and-a-half-hour covering 24 km in total. Tourists can watch waterfalls, but they will not be allowed to take a bath. Children grown enough to occupy a seat also have to pay Rs 500. Tourists will surely enjoy the jungle ride and the biodiversity of the forest,” she told TNIE.
This is the first time the KMTR administration is arranging a four-wheeler to visit Banatheertham. Earlier, tourists used to travel to Banatheertham by boat through the Papanasam dam. However, the boat service was stopped around nine years ago.
Rs 500 is costly for farmers, beedi workers: Locals
Speaking to TNIE, T Sankaralingam, a farmer of Kalathimadam village said charging Rs 500 per person for this newly introduced trip is too costly for the local tourists. “Whenever we went to Sorimuthu Ayyanar temple to celebrate the Aadi Amavasai festival, we used to take a boat to reach Banatheertham,” he said.
We were charged only Rs 60. Most tourists from Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts are either farmers or beedi workers. We cannot afford to pay Rs 500 just for a one-and-a-half-hour trip. The KMTR is the only closest tourist spot to us. The KMTR administration should consider reducing the ticket price,” Sankaralingam added.