Bhimili civic body skips anniversary fete

Santosh Patnaik
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Dutch village proposal yet to take off

A tourist clicks the statue of Buddha at the scenic beach of Bheemunipatnam.— Photo: K. R. Deepak
A tourist clicks the statue of Buddha at the scenic beach of Bheemunipatnam.— Photo: K. R. Deepak

The 153{+r}{+d}Formation Day of Bheemunipatnam Municipality passed off without any celebration on Saturday even as plan to develop the area with rich colonial past as a Dutch village by AP Tourism Development Corporation is yet to take off.

Lack of interest and fund shortage are said to be the reason for staying away from any celebration. One of the oldest municipalities in the country,

Bheemunipatnam, also known as Bhimunipatnam or Bhimili, was set up on February 9, 1861. The 150{+t}{+h}year celebration was held in 2010 on a low-key with funds released by VUDA as the municipality had severe resource crunch.

Located on the confluence of Gosthani river and the Bay of Bengal, Bhimili town is known for 17{+t}{+h}century Dutch settlements. It was bustling with activity with sea-borne trade through Bhimili port by the Dutch and the British rulers. A passenger ship used to connect the region with Chennai and Kolkata.

There is also a plan to develop a beach corridor in the 25-km stretch from Bhimili to Visakhapatnam at a cost of Rs.200 crore.

Bhimili Municipality has Bhimili, Tagarapuvalasa and Chittivalasa panchayats with a total population of 55,000. Several Buddhist remains were found atop a hillock at Pavuralakonda. Bhimili name is believed to have been derived from Pandava prince Bheema.

On the eastern side of Pavuralakonda, the famous temple of Lord Narasimha is located overlooking the sea.

The heritage structures at Bhimili – the Dutch cemeteries, Red Church set up by Englishmen in 1850, the port building, lighthouse installed in 1868 and the Clock Tower are famous landmarks.



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