Andhra Pradesh

Tada Falls on Chittoor-Nellore border closed over COVID fears

The picnic spot is a popular retreat for visitors from neighbouring Tamil Nadu

The Tada Falls on the Chittoor-Nellore border was closed on Friday evening as part of a nationwide lockdown on public places to counter the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.

Also known as Ubbalamadugu, the waterfalls is a beloved picnic spot in the region.

Nestled in hillocks between Varadaiahpalem and B.N. Kandriga mandals, the waterfalls is a popular retreat for thousands of tourists from neighbouring Tamil Nadu. By virtue of its proximity to the Chennai national highway, the Ubbalamadugu attracts picnic lovers round the year. The highlight of the waterfalls is that it has a perennial source of water in the hillocks, while the monsoon rains add a dash of glamour of the cascading waters.

Administered by the Satyavedu range of the Forest Department, this picnic spot nets a monthly revenue of about ₹6 lakh only through the toll-gate and parking fee from vehicles. The falls attracts a crowd of about 500 persons on weekdays, while the number swells to about 5,000 on weekends. Picnic lovers throng the perennial stream with their families. As the visitors are allowed to enter the stream for over a distance of a couple of kilometers, they keep coming repeatedly in a year, also lured by the cleanliness of the water.

For the last couple of years, the Ubbalamadugu falls has turned into a hot destination for tourists visiting Chittoor district, apart from devotees on pilgrimage.

Forest Range Officer (Satyavedu) J. Prasada Rao said that the waterfalls is a star attraction in the region and is well-maintained by the department, providing safety to the visitors. “After our successful efforts in containing the menace of miscreants and alcoholics in the region, we are getting visitors from all walks of life, including women and children. Over years, the department has been able to provide some of the best recreational facilities to visitors,” he said.

Health is priority

The official said that following the COVID-19 threat and considering the closure of several tourist facilities in the district and elsewhere in the State, senior forest officials of the division prepared an action for closing down the Tada Falls, giving top priority to public health and to contribute to the government’s efforts to keep the dreaded virus at bay.

Meanwhile, the forest officials also mounted surveillance on the Bhupateswara Kona and Saddikulla Madugu water bodies in Nagalapuram mandal, which attracts several visitors from Tamil Nadu and Nellore district. “Our personnel are already posted there to prevent visitors from entering the zone,” the FRO said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 8:27:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tada-falls-on-chittoor-nellore-border-closed-over-covid-fears/article31122991.ece

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