For long a picnic spot, the scenic Chandubi lake and its peripheral areas have now emerged as an exciting destination for the adventure-seeker with the latest attraction being the breathtaking Kaphendonga and Soloka Dare or Koliya Nijhiri falls.
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The Kaphendonga falls in particular which is located atop a steep hill some 12 km off Chandubi lake is a trekker’s paradise.
“It is a newly-discovered spot in that it was never really visited by tourists because of the remote location. But this spectacular waterfall can be a game changer for Chandubi. One needs to trek through an undulating, forested landscape to reach the waterfall,” Utpal Jyoti Das of Chandubi Eco Resort, who has put the falls in the tourist itinerary, told The Assam Tribune.
With new vistas opening up for a visitor to Chandubi, traditional home-stays have come up to cater to the needs of the tourists keen on savouring an intimate experience amid the idyllic surroundings dotted by sparsely-populated Rabha and Garo villages.
“The scenic landscape of the entire Chandubi area dominated by the Chandubi lake, the Kulsi river, cascading waterfalls and sylvan forests – and inhabited by hospitable villagers – is now attracting more tourists. Many are inclined towards home-stays in view of the first-hand feel it offers to the visitor,” Harshavardhan Marak, a home-stay owner right on the fringe of the Soloka Dare falls, said.
Marak added that people also love to visit the nearby orange orchards.
Incidentally, the State’s first ever community-based rural and nature tourism was launched at Chandubi lake by Assam Tourism in association with the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council two years back.
“The idea behind the move was to promote community-based tourism with the locals as active stakeholders. Chandubi and its surrounding areas abound in diverse tourist interests and tourism here should be managed by the villagers through traditional home-stays and other sustainable tourism practices,” a tourism official said.
According to Utpal Jyoti Das, Chandubi being a pristine area, involvement of the local communities is the only way which can ensure that tourism flourishes in sync with nature and in a manner that is sustainable and also empowering to the communities.
“The ecology of the place characterised by water-bodies and forests must not be disturbed. And tourism here can be managed sensitively only when the locals are active stakeholders. The Bherbheri eco-tourism village by the Kulsi has already made a beginning and the need is to build on that,” he said.
SOURCE: The Assam Tribune