Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi went down memory lane recollecting his association with film shootings in Visakhapatnam district.

Launching work on Rs.45.89-crore beach corridor project between the city and 17{+t}{+h}century township of Bheemunipatnam, he said on Saturday that he was completely floored after seeing the mesmerising beaches and green-capped hillocks of Visakhapatnam on watching K. Balachander - directed box office hit Maro Charitra1978. The romantic film was shot in Hindi – Ek Duje Ke Liye – in 1981.

Mr. Chiranjeevi, who had several shootings in famed locales of Visakhapatnam including Araku Valley, Borra Caves and Bheemunipatnam, said: “Hats off to Balachander garu for capturing the beauty of Bheemunipatnam very effectively.”

The Minister, who turned nostalgic, said he camped for nearly a month at Bheemunipatnam in connection with the shooting of love story Aaradhana in 1987 and promised do everything possible to make Visakhapatnam a major tourist destination.

During the shooting of Aaradhana, he donned the role of Pulliraju and met several people in the area. “I remember one particular incident which I will not forget in my life. On knowing about my favourite dishes, a woman offered me roasted dry fish and dal-rasam. It was very yummy. I relished it like anything,” he recalled.

Mr. Chiranjeevi said it was a splendid opportunity for him to lay the stone of the beach corridor project at Bheemunipatnam near the Light House, where he shot several scenes for Aaradhana, directed by Bharathiraja. “People treat me as one of their family members because of my roles in various films. That’s the reason why I plunged into active politics,” he said amid thunderous applause.