The buses will cover five Vaishnavite holy places

The special buses launched by the Visakhapatnam Region of APSRTC last week for the ‘Pancha Vaishnava Divya Kshetra Sandarsanam’ for the benefit of devotees visiting the five Vaishnavite holy places during Dhanurmasam has turned out to be a big hit . The buses will cover Dwaraka Tirumala, popularly known as ‘China Tirupathi’, Antarvedi, Appannapalli, Gollala Mamidada, and Annavaram temple.

Pilgrims, who travelled on the first special bus, were full of gratitude to the RTC for arranging the package tour at a reasonable price.

The provision of a ‘tour coordinator’, who accompanied the pilgrims, also came in for appreciation.

“The time management and covering of the five holy places without any inconvenience is commendable. Tour coordinator Dorai guided the passengers at the temples,” M. Subba Rao of Seethammadhara North Extension, who went on the trip along with his family members, said.

“The trip is a boon to aged persons as they are assured of safety and security in travel by RTC. It was also a means to explore of tradition and culture. RTC can plan more such trips,” says K.S.R. Swamy, who went on the trip along with his wife.

“It would have been better had the passengers been given some more information about the five temples covered on the package,” says K. Shailaja.

“The trip was very good but Ryali temple could have been added in the tour. Gollala Mamidada temple was excellent,” says K. Satya Rao of P.M. Palem.

“RTC can introduce this type of tours to Arasavilli and Sri Kurmam temples also,” suggests N. Jayasree.

“There were 33 passengers on the first special bus, which left at 8 p.m. on December 14 and returned to the city on December 15 night. The special bus on the next day was full (40 passengers). Today (December 21), it is fully booked and tomorrow, we have arranged three specials on account of Vaikunta Ekadasi and all three are fully booked,” Deputy Chief Traffic Manager (rural) P. Jeevan Prasad told The Hindu on Friday.

The fare on Deluxe buses has been fixed at Rs.750 (adults) and Rs.400 (children up to 11 years) and on Super Luxury at Rs.880 (adults) and Rs.460 (children). “We have a tie-up for ‘darshan’ at Dwaraka Tirumala (West Godavari district) but passengers would have to pay for it. The tour coordinator, accompanying the passengers is our staff member, would take care of logistic support like giving advance intimation to the temple staff. He is not a guide, who can give information about the temples,” according to the Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer (Visakhapatnam Rural) Ch. Appalanarayana.

The special buses are also available on December 28 and 29 and on January 4, 5, 11 and 12.

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