Demand to promote tourism in Ranipet

Fabled lore: The bell rock in Lalapet, which is said to sound like a bronze bell when struck, is a sensation among the youth.

Fabled lore: The bell rock in Lalapet, which is said to sound like a bronze bell when struck, is a sensation among the youth.   | Photo Credit: C. VENKATACHALAPATHY

Youth and devotees throng the Kanchanagiri hills during weekends; bell rock is a main attraction

Residents of Lalapet, Ammur and Mukundharayapuram in the newly created Ranipet district are demanding that tourism be promoted in the district.

Stories galore

The famous ‘bell rock’ in Lalapet is a sensation among the youth of Vellore and Ranipet, who throng the spot during weekends to testify the hearsay stories. The rock is believed to be the place where sages performed penance to attain Lord Shiva’s grace. One particular rock — the bell rock — among the many rocks in the area, is said to sound like a bronze bell when struck.

V. Vignesh from Ammur said, “My grandfather would tell me that the hills had a reverential influence on his life. He said that worshipping the ‘bell rock’ and the Shiva lingas atop the Kanchanagiri hills extended many benefits to one’s life.”

Mr. Vignesh, along with his friends, has visited the place a number of times now and “worshipped the big sized Shiva linga with nandi (bull) statue, the temple pond and Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple on the hills.”

According to villagers in Mukundharayapuram, the legend goes that the nandi of Thiruvalam temple had destroyed the demon, Kanchan, of these hills. Pieces of his flesh were strewn around this hill and they had become swayambu lingas (self-manifesting) after holy water was sprinkled on them.

L.C. Mani, president, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, Vellore, said that demand for a tourism park in the region was a long pending one. “

‘No arrangements’

The hill temple and the ‘bell rock’ are visited by a number of youth and devotees.” “Despite the difficult climb, thousands of devotees make a beeline for Girivalam on pournami (full moon) days. The crowd swells during chitra pournami. And yet, there are hardly any tourist-friendly arrangements made,” he said.

There has been an increase in deer population along the hilly terrains, and if developed, it could attract more visitors to the hills on a regular basis, he suggested.

Issues flagged

Re-laying of roads from Lalapet to Kanchanagiri Hills, power and water connections, additional bus services from Walajah and Ranipet — these were some issues highlighted at the Public Grievances Day meeting with the District Collector at Ranipet.

“Based on a petition submitted by us, Assembly Petition Committee had sent a team of officials from the Tourism Department and Block Development Office from Walajah. But the outcome is yet to be known,” Mr. Mani said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:48:51 PM |

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