Newsroom  Press releases  2003

33) ICRISAT likely to become an ecotourism destination (30 January 2003)

The 3,500 acre campus of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) may become an agro-ecotourism destination in near future.

According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, a feasibility study is underway to find ways of permitting discerning nature lovers to the scenic environs of the Patancheru campus. If the feasibility study is positive, the Government of Andhra Pradesh will be officially contacted for its support in developing activities in the campus. This can add to the Government's efforts in encouraging different kinds of tourism packages in the State.

The ICRISAT campus, with its farmlands, lakes, scrub jungles, glades and grasslands, has always been a birdwatcher's paradise. More than 70 species have been counted in a single afternoon. It is estimated that about 300 peacocks live on the campus.

Says Mr Siraj A Taher, President of the Bird Watcher's Society of Andhra Pradesh: "We have sighted rare birds like the Lesser Florican, the European Roller and the White-throated Weaver Bird in the campus."

Jackals, rabbits, wild cats, deer and even a pangolin are among the animals that have been sighted on the campus.
Avid anglers, members of the fishing club, rake in a good catch every year from the lakes and ponds at ICRISAT. Stone carvings, an old temple and mosque give it significance as a heritage site.

Among the other ideas being considered are permitting horse riding, camping and spiritual retreats

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