Andhra Pradesh

After COVID lull, Horsley Hills back to buzz

With COVID threat subsiding, two adventure sports lovers seen at rock-climbing at Horsley Hills in Chittoor district.  

Owing to the threat of COVID-19, hardly any activity was seen in the tourist destinations of Chittoor district, including the prime location of hill station Horsley Hills, since March. With revenue generation being hit badly, the tourism officials in the district were a worried lot and they expected that it would take time to limp back to normal.

However, in contrast, the hill station achieved 100% target in September, followed by a little excess till date in October. Tourism Manager (Chittoor) D.V. Chandramouli Reddy told The Hindu that Horsley Hills constituted the major chunk of income for the sector in Chittoor district, followed by temple tourism and eco projects at Talakona, Kailasakona and Kuppam. “Much to our surprise, there is a full-fledged return of tourists at Horsley Hills in September first week. It continued and still goes strong in October. Interestingly, 90% of the footfall is from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, following full restoration of inter-State transportation,” he said.

The official said that the target of Horsley Hills for the month of September was ₹50 lakh, through boarding and lodging for the tourists. “In August, the presence of tourists on the hills was discouraging and we thought it would continue. But, we could achieve the target for September. It’s a big record in these pandemic times,” said Mr. Chandramouli Reddy.

At present, the hill station has as many as 50 rooms under control of the tourism wing, with Haritha restaurant for the visitors.

‘More facilities needed’

Jagannath Chowdary, a realtor from Bengaluru, who along with his four-member family visited the hill station, said that most of the Bengalureans experience a dull life during the lockdown period. “Poor or rich, people of Bengaluru love visiting places. A big chunk of picnickers don’t miss the opportunity to visit either Nandi Hills (near Bengaluru) or Horsley Hills at least once a year. Exactly, we came here in September last. Now we are here again. We need more facilities for tourists here,” he said.

Singaravel (28), who works as an assistant director in Kollywood, said that he got married a few days before the COVID-19 lockdown. “For over three months, it’s like house arrest for us in Chennai. Till July, we could not enjoy our honeymoon. We find this Horsley Hills very convenient for us with a small budget, after my income got flattened due to COVID,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 1:52:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/after-covid-lull-horsley-hills-back-to-buzz/article32986342.ece

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