By P.T. Bopanna
Coorg, South India’s most popular tourist destination, is bouncing back to normalcy after two consecutive years of floods and landslides.
But the worrying fact is that the tourist infrastructure which was badly affected by the unprecedented floods has not been restored, disappointing the tourists.
Top tourist spots like Raja Seat, Dubare Elephant Camp, Abbi Falls, Bhagamandala and Iruppu Falls are throbbing with tourists during the week-ends.
Mandalpatti, one of the most scenic spots in Coorg, which was closed for tourists in the monsoon, has been opened to tourists. Mandalpatti on Abbey Falls road in Madikeri, can be reached easily by jeeps which are available on rent.
Madikeri Fort and Palace, one of the popular tourist spots, is disappointing because the structures have started crumbling (in picture). The Palace, where the Kodagu Rajas held court, later housed government offices. The offices have been shifted out and the Archaeological department is expected to take up restoration work shortly.
A portion of the Nalaknad Palace, at the foot of the Tadiandamol, the highest peak in Kodagu, 37 km from Madikeri, has collapsed in this year’s monsoon, but the ASI is yet to take up restoration work.
But the major hurdle facing the tourists is the poor condition of the roads which were affected badly in the floods.
After the 2018 landslides and floods, the government carried out temporary work to restore vehicular traffic. This year’s heavy monsoon has taken heavy toll of the roads. Unless permanent repairs and rebuilding of roads is taken up, tourism could take further hits in the coming years.