Two Decades of Eco-Tourism in Karnataka
Karnataka is endowed with most magnificent forests (which are around 20 percent of its geographical area) in the county ranging from majestic evergreen forests of the Western Ghats to the scrub jungles of the plains. The Western Ghats of Karnataka (about 60% of the Western Ghats are located in Karnataka) are one of the 25 global priority hotspots for conservation and one of the two on the Indian subcontinent. Several economically important species such as Sandalwood, Rosewood, Teak, White Cedar grow naturally in these forests.
Karnataka boasts of the highest elephant and Gaur bison population (greater than 6000 & 8000 respectively) in India. Its forests hold some of the largest remaining populations of the endangered tiger and leopard.
Eco-tourism has been extremely popular in Karnataka, it was one of the first states in India along with Kerala which tapped the potential of Eco-Tourism. Jungle Lodges and Resorts, setup as a unit of Karnataka Tourism was established two decades ago with the vision of tapping the vast potential of Eco-tourism within Karnataka.
Major Eco-Tourism destinations in Karnataka cover a wide range of Eco-tourism options including Wildlife Safaris, Island Living, River Rafting, Angling and Organized Treks. Eco-tourism options for both Budget and Luxury options have progressively Two to three new eco-tourism circuits and or destinations are being added every year providing new avenues for travelers to experience Karnatakas rich eco-diversity.
Eco-tourism provides the Urban Dweller an opportunity to experience various facets of Karnatakas bountiful nature and wildlife. This has resulted in wider participation in conservation efforts from travelers who have experienced what nature has to offer.
Eco-Tourism Hotspots in Karnataka
Widlife - Nagarhole, Bandipur and Kabini Backwaters - Near Mysore
White Water Rafting, River Sports - Kali River at Dandeli Near Hubli, River Tern Near Chickmaglur
Fishing Camp on the Cauvery - Bheemeshwari Near Bangalore
Island Living - Devbagh Near Karwar
Wilderness, Hill & Plantation Living - Coorg, Chickmaglur, Hassan
Beach and Water Sports - Devbagh (Diving), Honnemaradu(Near Shimoga) Karwar, Udupi, Malpe and Gokarna