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Rajasekhara Reddy National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management)


A Case study on developing Eco tourism at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh with special reference to Thenmala, KeralaIndias first eco-tourism destination


Submitted by: Bhaskar Roy Enrollment no.: 09P41E0004


This is to certify that the Project Work titled Eco Tourism development project at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh is a bonifide work of Mr Bhaskar Roy, Enroll No: 09P41E0004 carried out in partial fulfilments for the award of degree of MBA (T&H) of JNTU - Hyderabad University under my guidance. This project work is original and not submitted earlier for the award of any degree/ diploma or associate ship of any other University / Institution.

Signature of the Guide:

Name and Official Address of the Guide:

Guides Academic Qualifications, Designation and Experience

Place: Date:

Submitted to Project Viva Voce held on _____________________________.

Internal Examiner

External Examiner


I, Bhaskar Roy hereby declare that the project work titled Ecotourism development at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, is the original work done by me and submitted to the JNTUH through N.I.T.H.M, in collaboration with World Wide Fund for conservation of Nature and Environment, India- AP state office; in partial fulfilment of requirements for the award of Master of Business Administration in Tourism & Hospitality is a record of original work done by me under the supervision of Mr. A Raghu of NITHM.

Enroll No: 09P41E0004 Date:


(Bhaskar Roy)

Chapter 1: Introduction to Eco-tourism This chapter includes the introduction to ecotourism, their stakeholders and their objectives Chapter 2: Physio-geographical feature of A.P. This chapter, as being the first one in the report includes an introductory picture of the whole project, and tries to convey a primary idea around which the project stresses on. It gives a brief of the topic and an initiation to the report encouraging the readers of the report to have a careful comprehension of the same. Chapter 3: National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries of A.P. This chapter presents more profound information about the Actors of the project, about Biodiversity conservation, footprint reduction Chapter 4: This includes territory analysis/ short diagnosis, biodiversity, sociology, culture and heritage of Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary Chapter 5: Introduction to Thenmala project in Kerala- comparative analysis This chapter introduces about Thenmala ecotourism project at Kerala which is Indias first planned eco-tourism destination. This has been included as a benchmark to what possibilities and prospects lies in respect to developing tourism at Srisailam- a comparative analysis. Chapter 6: Conclusion This chapter concludes with the quintessence of the whole report and highlights the major findings ensued by study for the ecotourism management enhancement and conclusion of the report presenting the core of the whole report.


I would like to thank my honorable faculty- Mr. A.RAGHU, under whose guidance this project has taken a successful shape. He helped me a lot in holistically completing this study, whether it was helping me with his personal research material or his valuable advice time to time.

My special regards to our beloved Director Dr. E. Shiva Nagi Reddy and Dean Hospitality Ms. Jaisree Anand who presented me with this life time opportunity before recently moving out, to work with World Wildlife Fund- an international NGO, in the field of my immense interest, and all the faculty, staff & my fellow students of NITHM who has been an inspiration and for extending their help at various levels of the project. I would specially thank the librarian Mr. Ramesh and Assistant librarian Mr. Giri without those help it would have been difficult to find the right books for the reference. Finally and most importantly I would like to thank Farida(AP state Director, WWF- India), Jawed, Srinivas, Srikant & Sarvanan from the WWF, AP office for extending their great guidance, sharing their knowledge, literature; and for providing me complete detail of the origination which is helpful in my project. I am falling short of words to describe the hands on experience gained while working on this project.

Finally, I have taken efforts in this project. However, it would not have been possible without the kind support and help of many individuals and organizations. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of them.

I would like to express my gratitude towards my parents & friends for their blessings and encouragement which helped me in completion of this project. 5

Table of contents





























Bio-diversity: diversity among and within plant and animal species in an environment.

Flora: the plants of a particular region or period listed by species and considered as a whole.

Fauna: the animals of a given region or period considered as a whole.

Estuaries: that part of the mouth or lower course of a river in which the river's current meets the sea's tide.

Wildlife: All living beings outside direct human control; all those plants and animals those are usually not cultivated or domesticated. It includes insects, fungi, frogs, wild-flowers, as well as wild shrubs and trees, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Sanctuary: a place, protected by law, where animals, esp birds, can liveand breed without interference Ecology: the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.

Herpetology: the branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians.

Sociology: the science or study of the origin, development, organization, and functioning of human society; science of the fundamental laws of social relations, institutions, 9


Culture: the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.

Heritage: something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; inherited lot or portion

Reservoir: a natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for use, especially water to supply a community or region.

Vegetation: all the plants or plant life of a place.

Pilgrim: a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion.

Cliff: a high, steep rock face; precipice.

Gorge: a narrow cleft with steep, rocky walls, especially one through which a stream runs.

Plateau: a land area having a relatively level surface considerable raised above adjoining land on at least one side.

Hamlet: a small village.


Teak: a large East Indian tree, Tectona grandis, of the verbena family, yielding a hard, medium brown wood. Sambar: an Asian deer, Cervusunicolor, with three-pointed antlers.


In Brief 11

is: A form of sustainable tourism within a given natural and/or cultural area where community participation, conservation and management of biodiversity, respect for culture and indigenous knowledge systems and practices, environmental education and ethics as well as economic benefits are fostered and pursued for the enrichment of host communities and satisfaction of visitors. Pillars of Ecotourism Development: The ecotourism framework demonstrates the interrelationship and inter-dependence among the stakeholders, the environment and the tourists. These three elements can be considered as pillars of ecotourism. Stakeholders: The term stakeholders refers to parties or groups whose interests are directly affected by any ecotourism-related activities. Stakeholders include the communities directly or indirectly affected by any development, civil society groups present in the area, local government units that have political and administrative jurisdictions over the particular site, and local branches of national line agencies, particularly those of tourism and environment departments. The tourists, or eco-tourists, are the market for ecotourism destinations. They differ from ordinary tourists as they seek to establish a deeper understanding, even communion, with the places and people they visit. The environment is the unique physical features or attributes of a locality that serves as its primary attraction. It also refers to distinct socio-cultural patterns exhibited by indigenous communities, resulting from centuries of intimate intercourse with the natural environment. The relationship between the stakeholders and the environment is anticipated to result in better environmental education and consciousness, as well as increased community cooperation for protection of the environment, and preservation of local culture at ecotourism sites. The implementation of appropriate national and local policies and guidelines will help ensure environmental protection. Indirectly, these policies and guidelines also contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge, practices and systems. The influx of tourists to an ecotourism destination generates much needed revenue for the local and national economies. 12

There is concern that unplanned and unregulated tourism growth in natural areas can lead to pronounced negative environmental and cultural impacts. Critics argue that visitation to environmentally fragile areas, often during sensitive periods; can affect key processes such as breeding and regeneration. Areas and sites opened for ecotourism may eventually lead to mass tourism and a range of negative impacts. In the absence of adequate participation in planning and management, local communities often bear the costs of tourism development and protected area management, gaining little or nothing in the way of income generation opportunities and suffering from restricted access to resources.

Ecotourism should try to: 13

Make a positive contribution to conservation of nature, natural and cultural resources and stimulate private conservation efforts. Promote local development and sharing of economic benefits in a fair manner at national, regional and local levels. Increase environmental awareness of hosts and visitors such that it results in a clean, green environment. Empower local communities to manage ecotourism and generate incentives for conservation through alternate and additional livelihood options. Provide visitors with a personal experience of nature and culture in ways that lead to greater understanding and appreciation.

To be meaningful, Ecotourism activities should: Incorporate policies that encourage the reinvestment of revenues and profits back into conservation and community development. Regulate access to sensitive areas in meaningful ways supported by appropriate fee structures to fully realize the inherent potential for generating revenue. Have enabling policies, plans and regulations for development and management that are enforceable and lead to the establishment of standards and codes of conduct for selfregulation by the industry and the consumer. Actively involve local communities and key stakeholders from the planning stages onwards and encourage partnerships across sectors, organizations and individuals.


Rely on low impact designs and technologies for reducing resource use, managing wastes and promoting energy and water conservation. Include and support green ecologically sustainable business practices that add value to tourism products and services. Ensure accurate marketing leading to realistic expectations. Incorporate and implement monitoring and audit mechanisms that assess progress and impacts. Focus on interpretation of natural and cultural resources to enhance visitor experience. Be sensitive to local cultures and traditions and involve other cultures in non-invasive ways. Be supported by research in not only environmental but also social, cultural and economic impacts of tourism. Lead to the strengthening and development of institutions that can facilitate linkages between various stakeholders, particularly among the conservation community and the tourism industry. Give adequate importance to domestic visitors as they are more affected by sustainability issues and are like to make greater contributions to conservation in the long run.


Stakeholders in Action
Ecotourism requires cooperation between various stakeholders.

LOCAL COMMUNITIES Understand impacts of tourism and take considered decisions. Offer services for employment and supplementary income. Own and operate ecotourism enterprises. The fishermen communities that is presently involved in illegal fishing in Manjeera wetlands keeping gender equality in mind, both men and women members of the community can be involved in housekeeping, hospitality, as guides, gardeners, etc.

TOURISM DEPARTMENT APTDC can promote the location and also provide adequate publicity through their billboards,


websites and brochures. The tourism department can promote the destinations, help in developing appropriate infrastructure. Enforce and monitor policies and strategies. Establish standards and implement certification programmes. Ensure local involvement. Compile and disseminate tourism figures.

FOREST DEPARTMENT & PROTECTED AREAS Define objectives and acceptable levels of impacts. Develop management plans and practices. Regulate access and enforce environmental laws. Monitor impacts. Promote interpretation programmes. As one of the major stakeholder, can put in a higher official at the rank of a DFO at the site. They can jointly, with the help of local youth from fisher community increase patrol in the sanctuary area, guide general tourists and improve the habitat. The forest department will also facilitate and help procure the land through other government agencies involved. They will also liaise with concerned government authorities from time to time.

PRIVATE SECTOR Develop the eco-tourism site through financial investment in a phase wise manner. This will involve using low impact designs and technologies that will ensure reduced resource use, recycling


of waste and promote energy and water conservation. The financer will also include and support green and ecologically sustainable business practices. He will ensure that the local communities involved in the project also respect their cultural sentiments and taboos.

NGOs and Academic Institutions WWF-India, Andhra Pradesh State Office will offer information, training and technical advice. Collect information to monitor and evaluate ecotourism. Foster linkages between various stakeholders. Undertake action research and develop materials for interpretation programmes. WWF-India will organize guide training programme and also capacity building programme for the community. It will also help organize training programmes on developing or value adding to local artisan skills, to rope in the larger community.

GOVERNMENT Develop policies, strategies, land use plans and regulations. Define jurisdictional mandate and responsibilities of different agencies. Provide mechanism for participatory planning and if possible, finance for project implementation. Ensure environmental protection and visitor safety. 18

Determine fees commensurate with visitors willingness to pay.

Aim:To ascertain and establish best eco-friendly practices being adopted both by the tourists and the government bodies/key service providers (all the stakeholders) and optimum utilization of resources towards a development of sustainable tourism.

Objectives: To understand the concept of sustainable tourism and protected areas of Andhra Pradesh. To discuss the role of visitor management, including techniques that control and limit impacts of use at Srisailam.

Scope of the study: to study the current status of eco-friendly tourism practices at Srisailam to study the best practices towards sustainable tourism & comparative analysis with Thenmala eco-tourism project in Kerala to study the future scope of Srisailam tourist visitation compared to the present scenario Developing Eco-tourism:1) Support from political leadership 2) Relocation of villages 3) Improvement of water resources 4) Maintenance of grasslands 5) Initiation of eco-development activities


6) Setup/Up gradation of interpretation facilities a) Lack of awareness about wildlife conservation at the school level- primarily due to lack of opportunities for students to visit wilderness areas. b) Maddening pace of life with our unflinching single-mindedness in pursuing materialistic-goods

Literature Review
Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Thus sustainable tourism should: Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance. Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio- economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation. Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary. Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them. 20

Research Methodology:
Various books and news articles have been referred along with previous projects and surveys conducted on this issue were referred. a) Primary research: facilities, interview b) Secondary research: Data will be assembled through study of articles, industrial reviews, books, magazine, internet and journals obtained from WWF AP state office.


Finding, Interpretation and analysis of data (which includes example of

Thenmala- Kerala, Indias first planned eco-tourism destination, which is gaining popularity due to its unique vistas, bio-diversity and functioning).


Limitation of the Study:

Due to area constraint of research, Srisailam could not be visited physically. The research is limited only to GHNP kullu region (H.P). People can give biased information. The facts given by the customers can be misleading.







The term Protected Areas is commonly used to describe areas of ecological and biological importance like Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks, Game reserves, etc. An area qualifies to be declared as Protected Area when it bears some floral or faunal species of great significance, which needs to be conserved or has an ecological system, which is fragile and needs to be protected. Most countries all over the world have taken elaborate measures to identify areas of Ecological and Biological significance and declare them as protected. It is in such area that most of the rich Biological Diversity of the world exists. India, being situated in the tropical region harbours a rich Bio-Diversity. With just 2% of the worlds land area, India supports about 10% of the Worlds Biological Diversity, making it the 7th richest bio-diversified country in the world. This distinction bestows a great responsibility on the government to protect and conserve its rich Floral, Faunal and Ecological Diversity. This is sought to be done by establishing a network of Sanctuaries and National Parks, which encompass areas of Ecological and Biological importance. The State of Andhra Pradesh, due to its strategic location and its geographical variation is considered as one of the rich Bio-Diversity states in India.


Physio-geographical feature of A.P.

Geographically Andhra Pradesh stands as one of the largest state in India with second longest coastline stretching over 1000 kms. The state is bestowed with two mighty river systems of Krishna and Godavari. The state has wide and varied vegetation types enriched by a variety of flora and fauna. Andhra Pradesh being located strategically in the central region of the Indian sub-continent has representatives of the magnificent Indian plant & animal life. Its varied topography ranging from the hills of Eastern Ghats and Nallamallas to the shores of Bay of Bengal supports varied ecotypes, which in turn support a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The forest in the state can broadly be divided into four major biotic provinces. Deccan Plateau --- 53% Central Plateau --- 35% Eastern Highland --- 11% East Coastal Plains --- 1%

The vegetation found in the state is largely of dry deciduous type with a mixture of Teak, Terminalias, Dalbergias, Pterocarpus, Anogeissus, etc. The hills of Eastern Ghats add greatly to the Biological Diversity and provide centers of endemism for plants, birds, and lesser forms of animal life. The varied habitat harbors a diversity of fauna which includes Tiger, Panther, Wolf, Wild Dog, Hyena, Sloth Bear, Gaur, Black Buck, Chinkara, Chowsingha, Nilgai, Cheetal, Sambar and a number of birds and reptiles. The long sea coast provides the nesting ground for sea-turtles, the back water of Pulicat Lake are the feeding grounds for Flamingo and Grey Pelican, the estuaries of


river Godavari and Krishna support rich mangrove forests with Fishing Cat and Otters as key stone species. The State is a proud possessor of some rare and endemic plants like Cycas beddomei, Pterocarpus santalinus, Terminalia pallida, Syzygium alternifolium, Shorea talura, Shorea tumburgia, Psilotum nudam etc. Similarly the Double babded or the Jerdonss Courser, the Golden Gecko, the Slender Loris which are rare and endangered are endemic to the State. Andhra Pradesh has a network of (22) Sanctuaries and (4) National Parks covering and area of 12,579.205 Sq. Kms. or 4.57 % of the geographical area of the state. The State with its rich forests and diverse flora and fauna provides ample scope for promoting Ecotourism. The natural beauty of the state has not been exposed to the visitors till now. The Govt. has drawn up a plan to open up the Protected Area Network of the State for visitors. Each of the Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Park of the State has its own significance and has something unique to offer to the visitors. Srisailam is a holy town and mandal, situated in Nallamala Hills of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located on the banks of River Krishna, about 232 km south of Hyderabad. Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy (a form of Shiva) and Devi Bhramaramba (a form of Parvathi) is located here and it is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Srisailam Dam, located about 245 km from Hyderabad and 132 km from Nandyal, is a multipurpose dam has been built across River Krishna and caters to the irrigation and power needs of the state. Srisailam is referred to as "Sri Giri", "Sriparvata", "Rudra Parvata" and "Seshachalam" in several texts and Puranas. The presiding deity at the place is Sri Mallikarjuna Swami in the form of a lingam, which is one of the twelve


'Jyotirlingams' existing in the country. The main deity in Srisailam is Mallikarjuna and the Goddess is Bramarambika. Andhra Pradesh is a state that has gracefully coalesced history, nature and modern ingredients to present a travel destination that offers a rare mlange of experiences to the discerning traveller. Hyderabad, the capital of the state for instance has the peculiar identity of being in balance with contemporary and history along with a harmonious natural abundance. The state has also been bounteously gifted by nature in the form of hills and valleys of the Eastern Ghats, a vast coastline and dry-deciduous forests. Making the most of the natural gifts, Andhra Pradesh tourism has plunged into eco-tourism and has come up with a number of projects. Conscious efforts have been made to preserve the natural beauty and environment while creating infrastructure and facilities for tourists that fit in with the natural surroundings. The Eco-Initiatives

The main activities involved in eco-tourism are non-consumptive like bird watching, trekking, nature trails, river rafting and more importantly mere watching of the scenic beauty of the hills, valleys, meadows, water bodies and learning to live in sync with nature.

The government of Andhra Pradesh has initiated an action plan to conserve the bio-diversity and promote eco-tourism in the state with the participation of the private sector. The government has also issued orders for the development of eco-tourism in 12 sanctuaries and three zoological parks in the state initially. The AP Forest Development Corporation Ltd has been entrusted with the task of implementation of these eco-tourism projects through private sector participation.

The 3,500-acre campus of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) may become an agro-eco-tourism destination in the near future once a feasibility study results are positive. 26

Jungle Bells is the name of the first eco-tourism camp in Andhra Pradesh, at Tyda amidst the Anantagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam. Jungle Bells is conceived to be an eco-tourism wilderness camp designed on the lines of local tribal architecture and ethnic designs. The basic elements of construction of cottages in the tribal communities of the locality are thatched or tiled roofs and mud or timber walls.

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary (Project Tiger) Location: Guntur, Prakasham, Kurnool, Mehboobnagar and Nalgonda Districts. Area: 3568 sq. kms. Uniqueness: Largest Tiger reserve in India spreading over 5 districts with river Krishna flowing through the reserve presenting some breathtaking sights with hills, valleys and deep gorges. Flora: Dry deciduous mixed forests along river Krishna with Teak, Bamboo, Terminilias,

Hardwickias, Anogeissus and hundreds of medicinal plants. Fauna: Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Jackal, Wolf, Fox, Ratel, Indian Giant Squirrel, Tree Shrew, Cheetal, Mouse Deer, Black Buck, Sambar, Chowsingha, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Mugger Crocodile, Rock Python and Peafowl. Accessibility: 130 Kms. by road from Hyderabad. Nearest airport- Hyderabad.


Accommodation: Rest house and cottages at Srisailam, Mannanur, Atmakur, Bairluty, Nagarjun Sagar, Macherla & Markapur. Season: October to May. For centuries, the Chenchus have been eking out their livelihood in the forests in the SrisailamNagarjunasagar areas. Helping pilgrims to safely walk through the once-dense jungles to the sacred Srisailam temple was their only major contact with outsiders. But the Tiger Sanctuary and the various other developmental projects aimed at tribal involvement have impacted this largely-backward tribe. And with their habitation areas shrinking, these tribals are being forced to don new roles for survival.


National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Andhra Pradesh


Eco-tourism is the new buzzword in the realm of tourism throughout the world. The state of Andhra Pradesh has been beautifully endowed by nature in form of hills and valleys of the Eastern Ghats, a vast coastline that spans 1000 km and lush green forests. Andhra Pradesh is encouraging Ecotourism by providing opportunities for jungle walks, forest retreat, wildlife tourism, bird watching and trekking.

NATIONAL PARKS Kasu Brahmananda Reddy NP Mahaveer Harina Vanasthali NP Mrugavani NP Sri Venkateshwara NP

WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES Coringa WLS Eturnagaram WLS Gundla Brahmeshwaram WLS Kambalakonda WLS Kaundinya WLS Kawal WLS Kinnersani WLS Kolleru WLS Krishna WLS Lanja Madugu Sivaram WLS Majira WLS Nagarjunsagar- Srisailam WLS Nellapattu WLS Pakhal WLS Papikonda WLS Pocharam WLS Pranahita WLS Pulicat Lake WLS Rollapadu WLS Sri Lankamalleswaram WLS Sri Penusila Narasimha WLS Sri Venkateshwara WLS

Andhra Pradesh is situated on the Deccan (south) plateau - one of the oldest geological formations in India. The mighty Godavari and Krishna rivers cut their way through the plateau, forming large deltas before entering the Bay of Bengal. Thus, the state is aptly termed as the 'Rice Granary of India'. Nevertheless, eco-tourism has given a new dimension to tourism in Andhra Pradesh and utilisation of the natural beauty to the optimum while keeping up social obligation and commitment


to conserve and preserve the ecology and environment is being considered to be of utmost importance in the state. Andhra Pradesh is endowed with a rich and varied bio-diversity distributed over a mosaic of different habitats spread over the Eastern Ghats, the Deccan Plateau region, the coastal mangroves, the fresh water bodies like Kolleru and Brackish water bodies like the Pulicat and the grasslands of Rollapadu. These varied habitats have been supporting a variety of animal and plant species ranging from the Tiger, Gaur, Elephant, Black Buck, and a variety of Deers and Antelopes, besides a variety of birds, including the great Indian Bustard the Spot Bill Pelican, the Lesser Florican and the near extinct Jerdon's Courser. In addition to the above faunal species, the forests of Andhra Pradesh support about 5,000 plant species consisting of species like teak, rosewood, sandalwood, and the endemic red sanders and cycas beddomeii and a lot more. The largest of India's Tiger Reserves, the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Sanctuary (3,568 sq km) lies in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Adjoining the reserve is the large reservoir of the Nagarjunasagar Dam on the River Krishna. Kolleru lake is another important destination ensconced between two major river basins of the rivers Godavari and Krishna and functions as a natural flood-balancing reservoir between the two deltas. It serves as a habitat for various resident and migratory birds besides sustaining fishing, agriculture and related occupations of the people dependent on it for livelihood. Part of the lake has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary recently with a view to protect the flora, fauna and the eco-system. There is a Jungle Bells nature camp at Tyda high in the Eastern Ghats of Visakhapatnam district; Tiger Wilds jungle camp at Farahabad in Mahboobnagar district, amidst the forests of the Nallamala Hills; enhancement of the beauty of the Belum Caves in Kurnool district and the Borra Caves near Visakhapatnam, through tasteful illumination. Landscaping of waterfalls and


surrounding areas at Talakona in Chittoor district and Ethipothala near Nagarjunasagar and a lake resort at Durgam Cheruvu abutting Hi-Tec City near Hyderabad. These are only a few of the projects that have been undertaken for eco-tourism and adventure. AP tourism has, apart from creating facilities for camping in the wilds, facilitated trekking, rappelling and pleasure cruises on lakes and rivers.


WWF-INDIA IS ONE OF THE LARGEST CONSERVATION ORGANISATIONS ENGAGED IN WILDLIFE AND NATURE CONSERVATION IN THE COUNTRY. Established as a Charitable Trust on November 27, 1969, it has an experience of over four decades in the field. From a modest beginning, the organisation was propelled forward by the efforts of its founders and associates who volunteered their time and energy to lend momentum to this movement. Apart of WWF International, the organisation has made its presence felt through a sustained effort not only towards nature and wildlife conservation, but sensitising people by creating awareness through capacity building and enviro-legal activism.


A challenging, constructive, science-based organisation WWF addresses issues like the survival of species and habitats, climate change and environmental education. Historically, WWF-India started as a wildlife conservation organisation with a focus on protecting a particular species of wild flora and fauna. Over the years, the perspective broadened to reflect a more holistic understanding of conservation issues facing the country. To suit India's specific ecological and socio-cultural situation, WWF-India articulated its mission in 1987 as follows: "The promotion of nature conservation and environmental protection as the foundation for sustainable and equitable development." World Wide Fund for Nature-India, or WWF-India, is a conservation organization dedicated to building a healthy living planet for future generations. We do this by adopting a two-pronged approach to conservation which includes Biodiversity Conservation, and Footprint Reduction.

At the global level, the WWF network has identified goals for Biodiversity Conservation and Footprint Reduction.

BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 2050 Biodiversity Goal By 2050, the integrity of the most outstanding natural places on Earth is conserved, contributing to more secure and sustainable future for all. Starting locally, WWF-India has identified the countrys most critical regions and priority species which characterize the countrys natural heritage, and is working to conserve their health and numbers, through field work, policy interventions and positive campaigns.


FOOTPRINT REDUCTION 2050 Footprint Goal By 2050, humanitys global footprint stays within the Earths capacity to sustain life and the natural resources of our planet are shared equitably. WWF-India is working to reduce the countrys footprint on the planet by addressing key development and environmental issues that have an impact on our overall national & global footprint.



(Short diagnosis) Information included in this chapter is far from being complete. It was selected to help building the ecotourism project. The documentary research on the different components of the project is still going on.

Physical territory and regional integration The following map allows visualizing the geopolitical context of Srisailam:



MAIN PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION Srisailam is located at 16.074N 78.868E. It has an average elevation of 409 meters (1345 ft).

BIODIVERSITY, SOCIOLOGY, CULTURE AND HERITAGE Srisailam Tiger Reserve is spread within an area of three lacks fifty three thousand hectares and sprawls over five districts of central Andhra Pradesh. It is the largest tiger reserve and also been one of the largest wildlife habitations in the country.


The sanctuary lies in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in the reservoir of the Krishna River. The region comprises five districts of the state- Prakasam, Kurnool, Guntur, Mahboobnagar and Nalgonda. It is surrounded by the Nallamalai Hills on the southern and eastern side while the Krishna River forms the boundary on the other side. The sanctuary is 13 km from Macherial. While on tour to the Srisailam Tiger Reserve you can see the forest track, the lush green vegetation on either side.

The Srisailam region is divided into three zones. Srisailam or the original pilgrim town centers round the age-old temples dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna and Goddess Bhramaramba, incarnations of Shiva and Parvati. A fairly stocked marketplace and several lodges for pilgrims lie alongside the temple quadrangle. About eight kilometers from the temple town is Sunnipenta, another ridge top where most offices and a few eating houses are located. Also located here is the office of the Project Tiger and the Field Director. The dam sites on the river Krishna-the Srisailam Hydel Projects-makes up the third zone.

Nestling in the Nallamalai Hill ranges, an offshoot of the Eastern Ghats, with cliffs, gorges, ridges and plateaus, endowed with a variety of flora and fauna, the NSTR protects a large portion of the once flourishing ecological system that existed here. Without having the benefit of being an erstwhile royal game preserve, the forest in this area was always open to human visitation. Pilgrims from all over southern India carved out routes through the forest to reach Srisailam. It was in 1973 that the area was declared a sanctuary and incorporated under Project Tiger a decade later.

A little over 6 sq km in area, the Rollapadu grasslands near Srisailam are dotted with dry, thorny bushes and is home of about a hundred blackbucks. From a distance, one can observe families of


blackbucks out on their breakfast trail, a couple of bustards gazing at the horizon while taking a tentative foot forward. At present, day visits to Rollapadu Sanctuary is permitted.

One has to be very, very patient if want to see a tiger at the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve. Mr.T.Ramkrishna, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests, wildlife Division Andhra Pradesh, had emphasized. Because with an area of 3,568 square kilometers and sprawling over five districts of central Andhra, the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) is the largest tiger reserve in the country. Endowed with its own characteristics, the reserve is no less grand than other popular tiger reserves in the country. Even though the reserve can be accessed from various corners, it is convenient to start from Hyderabad.

An extension of a pre-existing tribal hamlet, Mannanur's existence seemed to revolve round the forest range office, a tribal welfare office and two large residential schools for boys and girls respectively. Nearby are scattered hutments of cattle herders who frequent this area in periods of drought.

The forest area was thickly set with miscellaneous timber species with local names like Nallamadi (Terminalia tomentosa), Chirumanu (Anogeissus latifolia) etc. as well as stretches of teak forest. At places, there was thick undergrowth making the area impenetrable while sometimes the forest gave way to patches of grassland.

On the way to Neelgiri View Point at Farahabad, you can see groups of spotted deer scampering within the depths of the forest. Unused to the sights of vehicles, the browsing pairs of sambar and nilgai bolted at the slightest noise.


Located on a tabletop land, the watchtower at View Point offered a sweeping view of the greendraped valleys and plains lying below. The watery expanse of the Rasoolcheru Tank sparkled like a silvering sheet. Hopefully, with the promotion of tourism in the area-a prospect that was being promisingly explored during our time of visit-more people will be able to venture this way, a few kilometers away from the main road connecting Hyderabad and Srisailam.

The blacktopped road continued on its journey southwards. Cutting through the forest till it crests a hilltop and past one huge curve, it touches base at the periphery of the town of Srisailam.

Perched atop a windy ledge, the Vanmayuri Forest Bungalow offers a scenic view of the river Krishna snaking below and the temple town in the distance. Although perfectly poised for a quiet weekend, the bungalow is far from amenities like shops and eating-places. Evolved out of different needs, the town is divided into three zones. Srisailam or the original pilgrim town centers round the age-old temples dedicated to Lord Mallikarjun and Goddess Bhramaramba, incarnations of Shiva and Parvati. A fairly stocked market place and several lodges for pilgrims lie alongside the temple quadrangle.


About eight kilometers from the temple town in Sunnipenta, another ridge top where most offices and a few eating houses are located. Also located here is the office of the Project Tiger and the Field Director.

The dam site on the river Krishan-the Srisailam Hydel Projects-makes up the third zone.

Nestling in the Nallamalai hill ranges, an offshoot of the Eastern Ghats, with cliffs, gorges, ridges and plateaus, endowed with a variety of flora and fauna, the NSTR protects a large portion of the once flourishing ecological system that existed here. Without having the benefit of being an erstwhile royal game preserve, the forest in this area was always open to human visitation. Pilgrims from all over southern India carved out routes through the forest to reach Srisailam. Lying in the rain shadow of the southwest monsoon, the evergreen pastures attracted cattle-herders. And with


the construction of the two dams at Srisailam and Nagarjunsagar, the area was left open to be rifled of its wealth. It was only in 1973 that the area was declared a Sanctuary and incorporated under Project Tiger a decade later.

The subsequent declarations as a sanctuary and a tiger reserve gave teeth to the forest department who have now started an intensive programme of consolidating the habitat through direct protection and people's participation through eco-development projects.

The river Krishan cuts through the Nallamalai range taking a northward curve at the foot of Srisailam town. Within the forest it divides the area into the left and right bank. The river cut through deep gorges and the valleys broader. A short trek along the Bhimuni Kolamu trial (taking off from the popular Paldhara-Panchadhara religious spot) gave a closer look into the scenic countryside.

Travel along the Pecheruvu route, where the dense vegetation reflects various shades of green in the play of light shade as the sunlight filters through canopies of abundant foliage. We can see Grey hornbills, parties of parakeets, doves, a green pigeon or two, a family of red jungle fowl scurried about.

At the grasslands of Rollapadu we can search for blackbucks and the Great Indian Bustard. A little over six square kilometers in area, the grasslands are dotted with dry, thorny bushes and is home of about a hundreds of blackbucks. From a distance one can observe families of blackbucks out on their breakfast trail, a couple of bustards gazing at the horizon while taking a tentative foot forward.


According to the reports of the forest department, the number of tigers in the reserve has increased from 12 in 1972 to 97 in 1991. Although latest reports are that the numbers of tigers have decreased considerably.

A trip to the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve would take you on a journey to the Nagarjunsagar dam-site that lies on the extreme northern corner of the reserve.

General Information: The Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest reserve in the country and spreads over five districts, viz Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur, Nalgonda and Mehboobnagar.

The tourist attractions of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar lie within the tiger reserve. The place provides some of the best accommodation options to make stay comfortable.

Since regular tourism within the reserve, the roads inside the forest can only be tackled with vehicles fitted with four-wheel drives. At present, the forest department has no vehicle to lend out or for hire, for tourists. The best time to visit is between November and March. The elevation is around 500 mts above sea level. But November-December can be cold.

The nearest airport is at Hyderabad, 316 km away from Srisailam. By road, Srisailam 190 km from Kurnool, 220 km from Guntur, 470 km from Madras and 85 km Mannanur. By rail, Srisailam is connected through Hyderabad as well as via Markapur (85 km away) and Macherla (160 km away) on the SC railway.


CHAPTER SIX COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Thenmala, Kerala- Indias first planned eco-tourism destination


It is India's first planned eco-tourism destination, which is gaining popularity due to its unique vistas, bio-diversity and functioning. Situated about 72kms from Thiruvananthapuram, in the District of Kollam, the Thenmala Eco-Tourism shares its resources with the famous Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary at the foothills of the Western Ghats.

The word Thenmala in the local language Malayalam has an interesting meaning. 'Then' means honey and 'Mala' means hill; and they combine to mean 'Honey Hill'. It is believed that the honey collected from this region is of very good quality owing to its unique biological settings. Managed by Thenmala Eco-Tourism Promotional Society, which is an undertaking of the Government of Kerala, Thenmala Eco-tourism is a unique destination from a visitor's point of view. It has equal opportunities for fun, adventure, leisure and for learning the significance and necessity of ecofriendly measures for promoting tourism related activities.

At Thenmala Eco-Tourism, a visitor is taken care of by its well-trained staff providing guidance and information about the various attractions and facilities, enabling one to move about, explore and experience every bit of this remarkable destination. There are well-placed signboards, direction pointers, and information boards to facilitate one's movement inside the project area. Divided into


different zones with a particular theme, the project area currently has three major zones viz. Culture Zone, Leisure Zone and Adventure Zone.

At the Culture Zone one can indulge in a variety of activities like trying few traditional Kerala dishes at the restaurant there, a bit of shopping for memento sake, a peep on Kerala's art and culture, an amphitheatre etc. But the highlight of the Culture Zone is the open air Musical Dancing Fountain, which is a big attraction among the visitors. There is also a Tourism Facilitation Center in the Culture Zone to provide information on a wide range of tourism products available at Thenmala.

Step into the Leisure Zone here and try the boardwalk leading to the dam. The sway bridge here could be an exciting proposition, especially for children. Adding more variety and elegance to the landscape here is the Sculpture Garden, which has Man & Nature as its theme.

For those with an overdose of adrenalin and those willing to test their adventure spirit would find the Adventure Zone here quite a thrilling experience. Take the elevated walkway for a journey that winds through the canopy of trees and going over rocky terrains bringing one close to life at different heights. And still those who don't mind to give their body muscles a real work out can go for mountain biking, rock climbing and river crossing.

Besides the zone-based activities for a visitor, Thenmala Eco-Tourism also offer other attractions, like an invigorating boat ride in the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary; a visit to the Deer Rehabilitation Centre, where one can have a look at a group of spotted deer, the sambar deer and the barking deer, which have been given protection after straying out from the forests. The project area also has tree top huts and children's eco-park, riverside treks, and battery powered vehicle rides


through the forest, enabling one to sight wildlife from a close distance.

For a visitor to Thenmala Eco-Tourism, some of the nearby attractions are also worth exploring. One may visit the picturesque Palaruvi waterfalls, about 16 km away, on the way to Shenkottah. Thenmala Eco-Tourism is open round the year and there are conducted tours organized by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation from the Capital City of Thiruvananthapuram and also by the District Tourism Promotion Council of Kollam District.

Information Desk Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society, Thenmala Dam Junction, Thenmala PO 691308 Kollam District, Kerala, India. Phone: 91-475-2344800 E-mail: URL: getting there: Nearest railway station: Kollam, about 66 km away. Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 72 km away.


Thenmala or the hills that flow with honey is situated about 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, on the Shencottai Road. Once much sought-after for its honey believed to have medicinal properties, Thenmala is today home to India's first planned eco-tourism project. The nerve-centre of a chain of ten satellite eco-tourism destinations scattered across the hill ranges of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts, Thenmala is spread over acres of evergreen forest. A natural habitat of diverse flora and fauna, this unique eco-tourism habitat lies 500 m above sea

level. The rugged terrain of this land harbouring a fragile ecosystem packs plenty of adventure activities. Nature trails dotted with delightful waterfalls and enchanting picnic spots attract naturalists, conservationists and adventure seekers. With its forests, rubber estates and tea plantations, Thenmala provides the perfect background for leisure activities.

Ecotourism Activities The principles of zoning in ecotourism have been adopted here to create various zones, featuring


specific familiarisation activities for nature enthusiasts. The Thenmala Ecotourism Facilitation Centre has enough activities to entertain both adults and children. Culture Zone

Amphitheatre - For local art forms and other cultural performances. Shop Court - Managed by local women self-help groups for selling local forest products, souvenirs, local handicrafts etc.

Musical Dancing Fountain - A rhythmic ballet of water, sound and light in a natural ambience.

Adventure Zone (9 am to 5.30 pm on all days)

Nature Trail - Winding trail through various elevations in the zone. Canopy Walkway - Elevated path through a canopy of trees that helps explore the ecosystem and the level changes of the area.

Lotus Pond - A water body that exhibits various forms of aquatic plants. Mountain Biking - A 2 m wide, 1000 m long bike path facilitates mountain biking with various levels of difficulty.

Recreational Rock Climbing & Rappelling - Rocks of different heights and sizes are equipped with pegs and ropes to facilitate rock climbing and rappelling.

River Crossing - Ropes are tied at a height across the river for adventurous river crossing activities.

Hill Thrills - Valley crossing, spider net, shot range, trust fall, pedal boating etc.


Resting Points - Quiet spots in the wilderness to take a break.

Leisure Zone (8.30 am to 6.30 pm)

Pathways - Winding trails leading tourists to various sites. Boardwalk - 250 m riverfront built of wooden planks that give the visitor a close view of the stream below.

Sway Bridge - An unsupported bridge, made of wooden planks and hung from ropes across the river.

Sculpture Garden - Based on the theme 'Man and Nature', this garden depicts the relationship between the two in the serene backdrop of the forest.

Resting Points - Quiet spots in the wilderness to take a break. Deep Woods - Soft trekking and biking programme to explore the two patches of Niptica swamp forest (2 to 4 hrs).

Boating at the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary: Battery-operated vehicles to the boat landing from where begins an exciting boat cruise. Watch wildlife at close quarters and be prepared for surprises.


Deer Rehabilitation Centre An opportunity to befriend a deer and understand their delicate ecosystem. The deer that stray out from the forest are rehabilitated here. Spotted deer and the sambar are the main inhabitants. The Centre also has a children's eco-park with treetop huts, swings etc.

Other Attractions

Trekking One to three-day guided trekking tours and bird watching trails in the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.

Bird Watching Trail: Two-day programme in the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.


Pilgrimage Tourism: An eco-pilgrimage connecting the three surrounding Ayyappa shrines at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankovil can also be arranged from Thenmala.

Environment Education Centre: This Centre facilitates various activities inside the forest area, using the potential features of the site to educate the visitors. One-day Ecotourism at Palaruvi: The eco-trip to the 300 ft waterfall is managed by the local community. Ecotourism programmes are also available at the ten satellite spots that fall under a 50 km radius of Thenmala.

In and Around Hanging Bridge, Punalur (22 km) is en route to Thenmala from Kottarakkara. Achankovil is one of the major temples of Lord Ayyappa and along the way lays the Manalar Falls, a tiny strip of cascading water that is usually visible only after the rains. A little further is the Kumbavurutty Falls, to get to which you need to trek for half a kilometre. This is a nature interaction centre and it even has tree houses for children.

Accommodation Tented and dormitory accommodation by Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society, Green Valley and the Lake View Ayurvedic Resort offers excellent accommodation facilities. ACCESS Location: Altitude 1,640 ft above sea level. Snuggled in the foothills of the Western Ghats in east Kollam District, adjacent to the Shenduruney 49

Wildlife Sanctuary, Thenmala is 72 km north of Thiruvananthapuram. A short distance from Courtallam Falls in Tamil Nadu, this ecotourism destination lies on the northernmost end of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. Distance Air: The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 80 km away. Rail: Thenmala runs on metre gauge. The nearest broad gauge station is Kollam, about 66 km away. Road: Equidistant from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, Thenmala is a two-hour drive from both cities. There are regular buses from Kollam, Kottarakkara and Punalur.

For enquiries and bookings, contact: Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society, Ph: 0475-2344800, 0471-2329770 District Tourist Promotion Council Office, Kollam, Phone: 0474-2750170

Thenmala Ecotourism is the first planned ecotourism project in the country. Thenmala is located about 72kms from Thiruvananthapuram, the State Capital of Kerala, Gods Own Country, the southernmost State of India. It is a small village at the foothills of Western Ghats and predominantly a forest area with a lot of human interventions at the periphery. The most important ecotourism resource of this project is Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary was established for the conservation of a most important endemic and endangered tree species called Gluta travancorica (locally known as Chenkurinji). This tree has got high medicinal properties, which can control arthritis, blood pressure, etc and even possesses aphrodisiac qualities. This tree is the conservation focus of Thenmala Ecotourism.


A conscious management strategy has been evolved to manage the soft ecotourism component so that there will be only less impact on the ecotourism resources and will remain only as supply driven. This can ensure the long-term sustainability of the ecotourism resources.

Eco-friendly General Tourism is planned in the periphery of the sanctuary so that pressure of tourism will not affect sanctuary. The real ecotourism is to take place in sanctuary and only ecotourists are encouraged for that. Others can experience the eco-friendly products such as small nature trails, elevated walkway through canopies, mountain biking etc. which may give them a feeling of what awaits as ecotourism in the sanctuary area. Facilities such as boating in the Sanctuary Reservoir, Boardwalk, Sculpture Garden, Amphitheatre, Musical Dancing Fountain, etc. are also provided at Thenmala.

The sustainability issues are addressed through the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), regular monitoring and practicing wormi-composting techniques, battery powered vehicles, use of solar lamps, zoning of site, use of site hardening techniques, promoting tree planting through the concept of astro forest etc.

Environmental education is an area, which the project gives a lot of importance through providing classes to students, special concession for educational institutes, celebrating various environmental days in co-ordination with local educational institutions etc. The local community participation is envisaged through supporting the local women self help groups for opening shops and cafeteria within the project area, training local youth for utilizing opportunities of self employment, supporting community led ecotourism products like management of unique waterfalls within the forest area, conduct of bird watching trails, trekking programs, butterfly watch etc.


Any conservation project needs co-operation and co-ordination among stakeholders. Here, this project has institutionalized the co-ordination of Tourism, Forest and Wildlife and Irrigation departments, Local bodies etc in the implementation. The local community support for ecotourism products are institutionalized through the committees of the local dependent community called the Eco-Development Committees (EDCs). The project also envisages a unique synergy among Government, private Sector and the local community. There are opportunities for the private sector in the areas of accommodation, transport etc. for local community in ecotourism product management, local traditional transport, local handicrafts, local art etc within the overall regulatory and supportive framework provided by Government. Thenmala Ecotourism is a learning experience. The novelty of the planning process adopted and its implementation conforms to the accepted principles of ecotourism and the operational results achieved so far suggests that it can become a viable model both environmentally and economically. Thenmala has today become the worlds leading ecotourism destination.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS The touristic development calling for integrated infrastructures and particular structures of protection and valorization (zones of wildlife conservation/protection, protected cultural sites) is associated with other aspects of development and nature preservation: water and energy management, waste management, improving of roads; improvement and embellishment of dwellings, draining and sanitation system etc.

Architecture and landscape Srisailam deserves to be valorized by an architectural effort on its housing accommodations. Integrated architecture and the use of traditional, local materials have become a norm in ecotouristic accommodation.


The urban architecture will have to be considered: landscaping efforts on the squares, improvement of the major constructions, improvement of the roads, etc.

Comfort Clients do not expect luxurious accommodations. The rooms will be simple and clean, equipped with basic facilities (shower - sink - toilets on concrete paving, furniture for luggage, seats, a table). Lighting can be provided by petrol or gas lamps, the shower can be done with a bucket and a pan: all that is part of the setting, as long as it is clean and that little details making life easier are ensured. Natural aeration is sufficient in an open and generous environment.

Energy If the energy source is a generator, it must be installed far enough from the dwellings so that the noise of the engine does not reach the rooms. Renewable energy sources are the best solution: solar, Aeolic in some locations. In any case, different energies use will be favored, to allow the greatest possible autonomy - and for economical reasons.



A system of management and waste treatment needs to be installed and managed. The aridity of the high altitude prevents human waste to decompose rapidly. Burying will have to be looked after, in order to keep the surroundings of the yurts clean and sane.


The quality of water will have to be monitored (katadyn filters in the homestays and in the camp equipment) and its usage in town will have to be reasonable (appeal to limit the usage of water in bath and toilets).

THE EXISTING ECO-TOURISM The eco-tourism projects in Andhra Pradesh implemented by APFDC Ltd, Hyderabad are operated on the principle of the 'design, build, finance and operate' (DBFO) model with the participation of private developers. The developers are given specific concession for the above purpose to operate in the reserve forest without any rights of ownership on the land or other assets created and are allowed to recoup their expenditure before the end of the concession period. In conclusion, one could certainly add that AP tourism is definitely on the eco-trail.

Present Scenario:As informed by Mr. Jawed Salim field officer-WWF India, AP state office, I found out that presently the Chenchus tribes exist at Srisailam and AP Tourism governs the majority of tourist activities at the site. One of the irregularities observed was building of concrete structures for the guest houses which differs from the norms of being eco-friendly.


Suggestion: Instead, the guest houses should be built like the tribal people does using natural building substances such as hay, cow dung, mud, etc. Proper waste disposal system should also be developed.

Newspaper report HYDERABAD Andhra tourism's Srisailam project in trouble August 31, 2002 | P Balu, TNN

HYDERABAD: The much promised eco-tourism project of the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) in the Rajiv Gandhi tiger reserve at Srisailam, may run into trouble even before the tourism project is officially thrown open sometime next month. As part of the ecotourism project, the APTDC has developed a string of cottages, dormitory and other facilities in the heart of the tiger reserve at Farhabad, which was once a hunting lodge of the Nizams. The official launch of these tourist facilities, which have been created in a fenced area of about four hectares, is expected to take place sometime in September.

However, officials say these facilities should not have been created within the reserve as any tourism-based activity that interferes with the forest area is not permitted under the National Wildlife Action Plan released by the Prime Minister. "In fact, in the other tiger reserves in the country, plans are on to shift the tourist bases to outside the forest area," a senior government official said. "This is why the Dhikala tourist zone in Corbett national park in Uttar Pradesh is being sought to be shifted from the park," the official said.


Though the Farhabad tourism zone is not open officially, groups of tourists are being taken there by tour operators, especially during weekends, a tourism department official said. "We are, however, not encouraging anyone to leave the tourism zone and go into the forest as the area has black bears," the official added. Meanwhile, senior environment and forest department officials are expected to inspect the Farhabad eco-tourism project in the next week or so to see if any forest conservation laws have been violated by the APTDC.



"Tiger Wilds - Farhabad Nature Camp", conceptualized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), calling the nature-lovers as well as those people with wanderlust' to spend time in the confines of nature, came as a good opportunity for the Chenchus in terms of useful employment. Located about 160 km from Hyderabad, en route to Srisailam, the eco-tourism project, as it was called by the APTDC, was thrown open to people during mid-2002. It had cottages designed like the traditional homes of the Chenchus. In addition to the luxury of stretching your feet in the environs of the Tiger Wilds, opportunities to undertake adventure sport such as trekking, wilderness camping and rappelling were introduced. And the Chenchus were employed as guides for tourists and also to man the camps. With an infrastructure available to accommodate about 30 people, in huts and a bigger dormitory, the nature lodge also boasted of a tree canopy restaurant. Plans were also afoot to run a batteryoperated vehicle for tourists from the main road to the Farhabad Nature Camp. However, disaster struck a month ago, when a group of alleged naxalites blasted sections of the Nature Camp, raising doubts about the future of the project. As a result, the Chenchus, who were hopeful of getting better employment opportunities through their contact with visitors, have been affected too. C. Anjaneya Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of APTDC said that though the camp is presently shut down, they will definitely redo the damaged portions and start it again. It was a very popular tourist destination. Tourism projects, according to some estimates, create seven indirect jobs for every direct employment. The interesting part is that these jobs are mostly very mundane, sometimes skilled,


but overall oriented towards poor people like cooks, housekeepers, catering staff, boat drivers etc. who don't have access to education. The APTDC has established eco-tourism projects at several places where such employment generation has been witnessed. The Jungle Bells Tyda Nature Camp, located about 75 km from Visakhapatnam, has emerged as a popular tourist attraction. Similarly, the illuminated Borra Caves, near the scenically beautiful Araku Valley, the recently opened Belum Caves, with a two-km walk inside, and other projects in the pipeline, promise to encourage eco-tourism in the State. Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Development Corporation, the nodal agency to implement eco-tourism projects, said the GHMC was taking into account the entire area and was insisting on payment of various municipal charges accordingly. The building portion did not exceed 15 per cent of the total project area, which ran into several acres in the reserved forest areas, they said.


My reason for choosing this topic as my assignment report is due to the cause of my profound interest and concern in the protection and sustenance of nature and natural tourism product which today is facing the dearth of extinction and is endangered to the over exploitation of resources due to the uncontrolled human activity to fulfil his unending needs and selfish wants, which is also directly correlated to our Tourism and hospitality industry. It is almost impossible to imagine a world without these natural beauties which are facing a global threat and is important for human beings sustenance too. Inhuman practices are injustice to nature and nature has its own way of balancing the environment which ultimately the human kind will have to pay in the long run. Its yet not too late, but it has to be now or never. I hope this proposal followed by my project report might help in getting its voice and help as an eye-opener, which is personally my concern and not just a cut-copy-paste work. Finally, I would like to end by saying that With Great Power, comes Greater Responsibilities, and I am going to contribute a bit through this report as I feel that we are responsible human beings.

HUMAN KIND- Be both!




Consulted titles:

TITLE 1. Protected Areas Network of A.P. 2. Future of Sustainability 3. Tourism 2.0 4. Eco Tourism footprints 5. Guidelines for community based eco tourism

PUBLISHER Andhra Pradesh Forest Department Springer



Marco Keiner Edu. William

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Routledge WWF

E. Perez Martell David Fennel Dr. Richard Denman


I) II)

Farida Tampal, Director WWF, AP state office Jawed, Field Officer-WWF 60


S Sravanan, Education Officer- WWF