Offbeat Tourism

Tea estate plans to attract tourists

KALPETTA: The Kerala state Tourism Department, in association with the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), is promoting Priyadarshini Tea Environs, a community tourism initiative of the government at Priyadarshini tea plantation, as a major responsible tourism destination.

The project was opened to tourists recently and will be formally inaugurated by the first week of November, reports The Hindu.

The Rs.2-crore project aims at utilising the tourism potential of the 995-acre plantation for the benefit of the tribespeople, Sree Ram Sambasiva Rao, sub collector Wayanad told The Hindu .

With the tea industry facing many challenges, the plan is to ensure an additional income to the tribal community, Mr. Rao added.

Apart from the scenic beauty of the lush green tea garden, Biswas Point, a view point nearly 1,500 metres above sea level, a tea factory, a tea museum and nursery are the major attractions of the destination.

A recreational park with tribal murals, an amphitheatre, adventure tourism activities such as trekking, nature trails, night camping, mountain biking, and swimming facilities will also enhance the attraction of the destination. Accommodation will be available in 12 well furnished rooms at the destination.

“Fifteen school drop-outs from tribal communities, including nine girls, have been trained in hospitality and they will operate the project,” C. R. Hariharan, manager, DTPC, said.

Priyadarshini tea estate, the second largest tribal settlement in the Asian continent, was set up in 1984 to rescue tribespeople from bonded labour. As many as 400 tribal families have been rehabilitated from different parts of the district under the project.

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