Vijayawada

Exploiting the untapped tourism potential in AP

Ropeway to Ahobilam, Development of Temple and Adventure Tourism are some of the tourism initiatives under way

Banking on an eclectic mix of tourist destinations across Kurnool district, officials of the Tourism Department are planning not only to improve the existing facilities but also to introduce new attractions to exploit the untapped potential of the region.

Taking a step forward in this direction, the officials have reviewed the status of tourist amenities and embarked upon improving them to suit the present demand, besides focussing on developing new locations.

’Sculpture Hub’

First among the series of initiatives is developing Allagadda, one of the major stone carving centres in the State, into a "Sculpture hub", as envisaged by State Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya.

The officials plan to establish working areas for the traditional sculptors, selling counters (including examining the possibility for export) and a state-of-the-art ‘Cultural Auditorium’, to highlight the importance of the region. The developments are also aimed at improving the lifestyle and prospects of the traditional sculptors. The Allagadda stone carvings have been bestowed with a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Another major emphasis is on the aspect of "Adventure Tourism". While the Orvakal Rock Gardens boasts hosting a series of activities such as rock climbing, zipline, bungee trampoline, rappelling etc., the officials have identified an unexplored underground cave system — Valmiki Caves in Boyavandlapalli village of Peapully mandal — and have enlisted the help of Italian speleologists to examine the feasibility of opening it to the public.

The cave system’s narrow entrance, which can only be accessed after a strenuous trek, treacherous drops of varying levels, rock formations, pristine water bodies and much more, would make it an ideal adventure spot, if everything goes according to the plan. In addition to this, the Tourism Department has identified two locations to develop boating facilities — Owk Reservoir and Chinna Cheruvu in Nandyal mandal of Kurnool district — besides improving amenities at the existing boating facility at Gargeyapuram. The entire operations, with regard to the latter, will be done in PPP mode.

Cave shrines

The State government has also sanctioned three ropeway-related tourism projects, with one of them falling under the purview of Kurnool district. The tourism officials are currently examining the feasibility to set up the ropeway facility to Ahobilam, with support from Forest Department and stakeholders concerned.

The main aim of the project is to "facilitate pilgrim tourists to reach the inaccessible cave shrines" in Ahobilam. The existing tourist destinations will have improved amenities right from cafeteria/restaurant to approach roads to facilitate movement of tourists, the officials said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 6:42:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/exploiting-the-untapped-potential/article25753117.ece

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