TIRUPTTUR: As temperatures soar across the state, travelers are flocking to the hill station of Yelagiri, only to allegedly find some of the usual poorly maintained tourist spots. The hospitality industry and tourists have urged the district administration to do more to make tourism attractive in the hills of Yelagiri in Tirupattur.
The boathouse and the natural park – two major places of interest for visitors – would have been overlooked. “The bushes that grew after the recent rains have not been cut. The children’s park is rusty and damaged. The robbers have vandalized swings and other games,” said M Sangamithra d’Ambur, a regular visitor from the mountain station. “The Fish Show here was great a few years ago, but now it’s neglected. The bamboo huts and other areas are just not maintained,” she added.
Boating is overcrowded and unpleasant, said another tourist. Other travelers have also asked authorities to deal with the traffic jams.
The hills attract tourists from Ranipet, Vellore, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Chennai, Bengaluru and nearby areas of Tirupattur. People coming from such long distances are disappointed because Yelagiri does not have many places to visit, said a hotelier, speaking on condition of anonymity. “About 60% of tourists come from Chennai and Bengaluru. Apart from boating and parks, there are adventure games and some other private entertainment places. But people think they are expensive. has a proposal to start a botanical garden but work has not yet started,” the quoted person said.
All one hundred small and large hotels, cottages and resorts in Yelagiri have been hit hard by Covid-19. But, things are finally looking up for the hospitality industry here as there has been an increase in tourist arrivals since late April, especially on weekends. “On Fridays and Saturdays, a large number of people show up. But they only stay for one night, because they have nothing else to see. If ecology, tourism and other places were developed, they could stay longer.” Hotel occupancy is very low on weekdays. The arrival of tourists is not even 10%, which was not the case before the pandemic,” said another hotelier.
Tourists there said they looked forward to Yelagiri Kodai Vizha and the flower show. Usually held in May, the Kodai Vizha has been postponed to June this year and will be a seven-day festival. People familiar with the matter said it was delayed due to the chief minister’s visit to the district. The hospitality industry in Yelagiri fears that the season and proper climate will be lost if delayed.