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ECO-TOURISM

Cycling shows the way!

Indian coast is almost 8000 kilometres long with pristine beaches, beautiful coastline, estuaries, small and big ports, mangroves and much more.  Cycles are easiest and friendliest way of exploring the coast line.  Not just Indian coast  but number of nearby tourism hubs are open nearby countries accessible by cycles.  Cycles also help tourists reach the most colourful Himalayan region where hundreds of beautiful camping sights could be accessed.

Cycle to future pages would be covering leading events  relating tourism using pedal power, one of which happened in Kerala. The event was organised by the state government with Mountain Terran  Bikes (MTB) international last December.. You can see the details in this link. of Autotrack. 

Indian coastal community is diverse and vibrant whether they are fishermen of the Chilka fresh water lake or the Rameshwaram fishermen or the snorkeling  community of Gokarn, the fun loving  Goans, the sober mangaloreans, the keen Mumbaiwallahs or the sharp witted Gujaratis.  Everyone  is connected  to the blue ocean  straddling three sides of India, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The Kanyakumari confluence of the three seas is magical and breathtaking.  Andaman & the Lakshadweep  are  beautiful destinations for  a casual visit or long term stay.  There are also a whopping   1,382 islands (including uninhabited ones) in India including the Andaman & Nicobar and the Lakshadweep 

The coastline encompasses nine states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal as well as the two union territories of Pondicherry and Daman and Diu, the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal in addition to the Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea. The coastal ecosystem includes 43,230 sq km of wetlands, 97 major estuaries, 34 major lagoons, and 31 mangrove areas.

There are major seven Mountain ranges in India and those are the Himalaya, Aravalli, Eastern Ghats, Nilgiri, Shivalik, Vindhya, and Satpura mountain ranges. The country contains 13,857 named mountains, the highest and most prominent of which is Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,169ft). There are 1,187,049 mountains in the world!.  In America alone, 77706 mountans have been named followed  by Italy 42,541 mountains and  Switzerland 10,811The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the World, around 7,000 km (4,300 miles) long. The range spans the full length of the western side of South America, passing through seven countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Andes has 100 peaks exceeding 6,000m in elevation.

INDIAN COASTAL OPPORTUNITEIS 

More than half of today’s world population live in coastal areas (within 60 km from the sea) and this number is on the rise.  In India the percentage is even more  at 60 per cent. Additionally, among all different parts of the planet, coastal areas are those which are most visited by tourists and in many coastal areas tourism presents the most important economic activity. Coastal tourism is strongly dependent upon natural (climate, landscape, ecosystems) and cultural (historic and cultural heritage, arts and crafts, traditions, etc.) resources. It encompasses activities that can only be carried out in particular areas and in specific conditions.

Coastal tourism is also impacted by ; Residence in the coastal zone  Fisheries and aquaculture Shipping tourism  Land-use practices (Agriculture, Industrial development)  and Climate change.  The 7,500 km Indian coastline is packed with 1,262 settlements, 1,023 structures, 143 existing ports and another 76 proposed ports. Within 10 km, there are 27 power plants and another 59 proposed power plants. Call this a problem or a possibility. It depends upon how you look at this. 

DISCOVERING INDIA

India is a vast country with plenty of sights to see and places to visit. One of the obvious ways to do it is astride the ubiquitous bicycle like the Deepak Shirke of Nashik who is all of 64! He already has several cycle trips in India including the 8000 km Kashmir to Kanyakumari trip in two stages.  Deepak Shirke is a great inspiration for the cyclists in India.