Tourists swarm as mercury drops in ASR district
VISHAKHAPATNAM: Mercury has dropped in agency areas of ASR district, with Chintapalli and Lambasingi, the coldest places in Andhra Pradesh, registering temperatures of 9.1 degrees Celsius and 7.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday. Arogyavaram recorded 15.5 degrees and Anantapuram 16.8 degrees.
Residents of Chintapalli and Lambasingi revealed that thick fog has been enveloping their places till 10 a.m. since last one week. The chill has been driving people indoors. After 4 p.m., all roads leading to major villages and market places are wearing a deserted look.
“Cold conditions have arrived early. I fear it will be severely cold once midwinter approaches,” said M. Raja Babu, an area CPI leader residing in Chintapalli.
Authorities anticipate that temperatures will drop further soon after rains that are expected to hit Rayalaseema and south coastal Andhra Pradesh following the depression in Bay of Bengal.
Travellers say it is getting increasingly difficult to get through ghat roads, as visibility is low owing to the fog.
A positive sign is that the chilly weather is attracting a large number of tourists from different places of the state. According to APTDC officials, Borra Caves received 10,913 visitors, the highest in recent times.
“We are issuing tickets till 7:30 p.m. because the crowd is huge. We do not want to disappoint people who have come from far off places,” said Borra Caves manager Gowri Shankar. He said most of the visitors are from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari.
Hotel owners say around 80 percent of the visitors return home in the evening. Only a few venture to stay overnight.
“Those visiting Lambasingi and Vanjangi stay back in hotels or tents to watch the sunrise,” said Karthikeya, who owns a small hotel in Araku Valley.