Anantapur: Lack of ways to properly promote tourism in Rayalaseema region has been the main reason why the industry performed poorly during post bifurcation programmes.
Many historic temples and tourist spots lack direct transport access. People have to change buses. Further, tourism circuits and proposals to bring important places at one access in all districts, are confined to paper. For instance, not even a single APSRTC bus is being operated to the historic tourist spot of Lepakshi from Anantapur district headquarters and also other parts including state capitals of Amravathi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
“There may be a number of buses from Hindupur town, but the RTC and APTDC fail to operate exclusive bus services for tourists from other states. Lepakshi had a historic note in the Ramayana,” Jayatheertha from Bengaluru city observed and added that they had to get down at Kodikonda check post and proceed by local bus to reach the temple town. Professor K. Prahlada Rao from JNTUA stressed the need for efforts to attract tourists.
The world’s biggest Nandi and hanging pillar are at Lepakshi. Recently, the Jatayu park was established after film star and MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna initiated the move.
Hemavathi, the Shiva temple of the Nolamba Pallava era, has the deity in the statue of a human as against other Shiva temples in Shivalingam.
The temple near Amarapuram on the Karnataka border has no direct bus from the district capital. “As part of post-bifurcation packages, state government is reportedly concentrating on improving the Sriram temple at Vontimitta in Kadapa district after the temple was chosen to celebrate Srirama Navami after Bhadrachalam was merged in Telangana.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu had announced several times the setting up of a tourist circuit in Kurnool, Kadapa and Anantapur districts but no progress has been witnessed.
A proposal was to set up a circuit with Vontimitta, Annamayya statue and surrounding places in Kadapa district. Srisailam to Mantralayam was another planned tourism circuit in Kurnool district.
Thimmamma Marrimanu, the world’s biggest banyan tree in the Kadiri area, Lepakshi, Puttaparthi and Hemavathi were also planned to be added in another circuit.
“We have exemplary tourist spots in the Rayalaseema region to attract international tourists. But lack of proper promotion and facilities force our inability to compete with other states,” HK Pushpa observed.
The Vijayanagar summer capital of Penukonda has been facing many problems. The road towards the hill top could not get completed even after seven years. The road was sanctioned during the Congress period when for the first time, the Penukonda fete was organised to recall 500 years of celebrations of Sri Krishnadevaraya.