Tourism push for cave full of bats & waterfalls - Dispur plans to spend over Rs 1 crore to develop Chapanalla, Akashiganga falls

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By SARAT SARMA
  • Published 20.07.10
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Nagaon, July 19: Dispur is planning to invest Rs 1.0935 crore to turn two waterfalls and a mysterious cave populated by thousands of bats into tourism hubs.

While work has begun on the projects near the two waterfalls of Chapanalla, Akasiganga, the cave of bats in Kondoli is still awaiting its project, to be executed by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation.

“The state government will release Rs 42 lakh for Akashiganga and Rs 41.5 lakh for Chapanalla. These projects are in the initial stage now,” said an Assam Tourism Development Corporation source.

The Rs 25.85-lakh Kondoli project, on the other hand, includes work on an approach road to the cave, a waiting room for tourists, electrification, drinking water facilities and beautification measures.

The mysterious cave in Kondoli, famous for its bats, is in a Tiwa area, 20km from the Nagaon district headquarters.

And thereby hangs a tale.

“Local villagers believe that originally there was a village in this place. God’s curse turned the villagers into bats and the village took the shape of the cave. Each winter we arrange for a fair near the cave and local villagers offer prayers there. It is risky to enter the cave, though the bats do not harm anyone,” said Bileswar Bordoloi, a resident of Kondoli.

“We could initiate more measures to attract tourists to the mysterious cave. But that could disturb the ecological balance and the bats. However, we are planning a road joining National Highway 36 and the approach road to the cave and a few watch-towers,” said source in the Nagaon administration.

Neighbouring Karbi Anglong had once announced a mega tourism project for development of the two waterfalls, Chapanalla and Akasiganga, but it fell through.

Chapanalla is the biggest waterfall in Assam.

“Fluoride contamination is a problem in Akashiganga. We are stressing an alternative water source in the project. That would be in conjunction with other facilities like electrification, construction of an approach road and a garden,” an Assam Tourism Development Corporation source said.