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United Way Bengaluru in collaboration with Government of Karnataka, Tourism Department, and Namma Nimma Cycle celebrated ‘Nandi Habba 2018’. The day long festival dedicated to Nandi Hills, encompassed a variety of fun-filled activities for all age-groups. The various activities which included yoga sessions, cyclethon, games for children and nature walks not only ensured that the community members experienced a leisure weekend but also aimed to create awareness about the need to preserve the rich biodiversity and heritage of Nandi hills.
Nandi Habba was a celebration of the iconic Nandi Hills, home to South India’s only cloud forest and an act of commitment and strong affirmative action on the part of the Government of Karnataka towards one of Karnataka’s most beloved eco-heritage spaces. The marquee event was attended by over 1000 people, including dignitaries such as Home Minister of Karnataka Sri Ramalinga Reddy, former CM of Karnataka Sri Veerappa Moily, Prashant Prakash - Board Chair, UWBe among others. The Nandi Hills Heritage Restoration (NHHR) project, of which Nandi Habba is a part, will comprise of five initiatives, namely, heritage, ecology, livelihoods, preservation of water bodies and solid waste management that will preserve Nandi Hills.
Former CM of Karnataka, Veerappa Moily expressed his gratitude to the organisers of Nandi Habba, noting that, “An event of this nature has been in the pipeline for years and we are so happy to see it happen finally! The heritage of Nandi Hills has much to be celebrated and I am very excited to see this event happen year on year.”
NHHR, an initiative being undertaken as a collaboration between the local administration and United Way of Bengaluru, strengthened with active participation from local communities, like minded organisations and socially conscious corporate entities will holistically address all the requirements for preserving Nandi Hills. Some unique elements of NHHR include assigning heritage tags to monuments, mapping heritage trails for walking and cycling, creating an enabling environment for migratory birds and planting native species of plants and trees. Eco-friendly tourism will be given special emphasis and the Project will empower locals as Karnataka Tourism certified heritage experts, naturalists, tour-guides, educators etc.
Manish Michael, CEO - UWBe said, “It gives us immense pleasure to be able to organise an event such as Nandi Habba. Several attendees have expressed that a celebration of the culture, flora and fauna that the hills have to offer, is breathing a new lease of life in the valley!”