Bhubaneswar: The nature trails in Odisha with camps along beaches, rivers and the brackish water lagoon are drawing people in hordes, eager to explore the paths less taken while soaking in the unspoiled wilderness.
The state government has been promoting nature tourism for past two years with 35 such destinations with night camps at 21 places close to nature. Most frequented among them are Chilika’s Rajhans Nature Camp, Satkosia Sand Resort at Badmul, Chhotkei in Satkosia, Daringbadi cottages, Dangamala and Habilikhati in Bhitarkanika, Similipal Nature Camp, Sanghagra of Keonjhar and Bichitrapur in Balasore.
Posted by Forest and Environment Department, Government of Odisha on Wednesday, October 25, 2017
“The footfall in 2017 was around 10, 000 and most visitors were from West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and North Indian. Around 15-20% of them were foreigners,” said DFO, Mahanadi Wildlife Division, Anshu Pragyan Das.
The pine forests of Daringbadi, coffee and turmeric gardens and waterfalls in the forests of Daringbadi-Belghar belt is attracting foreign tourists. From Daringbadi, they travel to Bhetnoi in Ganjam to see blackbucks, she said.
With the ‘Stay in the Wild’ theme, the tourists enjoy trekking, birding, cycling and boating, folk dance/music, star gazing, bonfire and local cuisines, besides a game of football and volleyball.
These facilities are managed by local communities. “Around 40 communities are involved in the project, which is a source of livelihood for them,” the DFO said.
Nature tourism garnered Rs 2.7 crore by December last year. “The revenue generated is shared among committee members for maintenance of those sites,” she said.
It is being promoted with an objective to create awareness for conversation of nature and wildlife while providing livelihood support to forest-dependent communities, she added.
Through its social media handle Eco Tour Odisha, the Forest and Environment department is promoting these sites with sleek and colourful videos, calling upon people to explore its pristine forests, mountains, rivers, lagoon, mangrove, creeks and wildlife.
Posted by Forest and Environment Department, Government of Odisha on Friday, October 27, 2017
The packages are being offered at competitive prices, inclusive of food and activities. Booking for stay at these 35 spots can be done through www.ecotourodisha.com.