Karnataka government allows kayaking at Gokak falls in Belagavi district

Published on : Friday, November 19, 2021

For providing an impetus to the pandemic-affected tourism sector, the Karnataka government has allowed kayaking at Gokak falls in Belagavi district. The falls is a major tourist destination during the monsoon and this kayaking initiative is expected to attract more visitors, especially water sport enthusiasts.

Forest and other government departments cleared the project, ‘Explore The Outdoors’, which is a private kayaking service owned by Ayub Khan about 10 days ago. More than 350 people have embarked on kayaking trips since, besides learning about paddling and navigation.

Presently, five kayaks, a jet ski and a raft are opento hire. A 30-minute ride on the Ghataprabha River costs Rs. 300 per person. Visitors can learn about the basics of kayaking — for example, paddling and how to ensure one’s balance while seated — before the ride.

Khan said that all safety measures are in place and staffs from the firm are always ready to help. He expects footfall to increase in the coming days, with enquiries pouring in. He also said that the sport will continue in summer without any disturbance.

“Even in the summer months, water levels will be sufficient for boats to maneuver and people can visit,” he said. He said that the emphasis is more on training people to handle a kayak instead of mere entertainment so that they could manage emergency rescues during floods.

Khan stressed the fact that safety of participants is a top priority and his team members are professional rescuers.
Khan, having helped with search and rescue operations for the past 30 years, rescuing more than 130 residents stranded in villages in Gokak during the floods in 2019, had sought permission for the venture way back in 2014. Being an adventure sports enthusiast, Khan owns six acres of land on the riverbank adjacent to the falls area from where the firm operates.

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