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Pachamalai expects to see more tourists during winter

The Forest Department in the district is anticipating more tourist arrivals during winter months to Pachamalai hills where 'tree-top' rest houses have been constructed.

Ever since four tree-top rest houses, each with capacity to accommodate four visitors, and a dormitory where up to 15 persons can stay, were constructed last year, there has been a steady stream of visitors from various parts of the State and also Bengaluru.

The rest houses, in fact, are supported by concrete pillars painted to look like tree trunks, and sync well with the greenery on a ten-acre expanse at Keelakarai village.

The project also includes an elaborate renovation of a British-era guest house where also people can stay. Work on a mushroom-type rest house at the location is in progress, official sources said.

There are a good number of visitors from Tiruchi, Namakkal and a few other districts who come in the morning and leave by evening. As the spot is located at just 85-km distance from Tiruchi and 35 km from Thuraiyur, not much time is taken for travel, a senior Forest department official said.

Those who stay go on trekking trail for about three kilometres escorted by Forest department personnel. Those visiting during the course of the day go to the water falls area and have bath.

The department charges ₹2,000 a day from visitors choosing to stay in the ‘tree-top’ rest house. For the dormitory, ₹4,000 is charged for a day.

Food needs of the visitors are taken care of by the Eco Tourism Management Committee consisting of locals that also handles the revenue.

Nestled at an altitude between 500 and 1000 metres above sea level, the hills cannot be compared to Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud, but Pachamalai is definitely a better choice for people who like the serene greenery away from polluting atmosphere, forest officials said.


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