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ECO TOURISM IN HASSAN TO GET A PUSH SOON

TNN Apr 23, 2012, 02.35AM IST

HASSAN: With the number of tourists to the district increasing year by year, the Hassan tourism department has chalked out a number of plans to promote eco tourism in the district.

Bhaskar, assistant director, department of tourism, told TOI that the tourism potential of Sakleshpur and its surrounding areas has not yet been tapped properly.

The department proposes to develop the region as 'Switzerland of Karnataka'. The proposals include setting up of an eco tourism unit near Sakleshpur, developing the historic Manjarabad Fort, promoting adventure tourism and running a special mini-train between Sakleshpur and Subramanya Road. According to him, the stretch between Sakleshpur and Subramanya Road station has 15 large tunnels.

"If we introduce a special mini-train in the Sakleshpur-Subramanya Road stretch, it will help promote tourism in the region.The train will have a halt at Yedakumeri.The mini-train will have four glass coaches and a locomotive engine. We also have a plan to set up a coffee shop at Yedakumeri station.Hassan has many tourist spots like Belur and Halebeedu which boast of temples built in 12th century, Shravanabelagola, a prominent Jain pilgrim centre, Manjarabad Fort, Bisle Ghat and Dakshina Kashi Ramanathpura temple in Arakalgudu.

Tourists visiting the district, including foreigners, has also gone up. According to data available in the tourism department, in 2011-12, 41,07,236 tourists visited Hassan where as it was 27,59.948 in 2010. Sharavanabelagola topped the list of visitors followed by Halebeedu.

The department also plans to set up a tourism complex near Subramanya railway station and develop adventure tourism by adding trekking, water sports and rope ways.