Youngsters enjoy the clouds from the Vanajangi viewpoint near Paderu in ASR District. (DC)
Visakhapatnam; Winter has set in early in the agency hill tracts of the Alluri Sitarama Raju district. The temperature fell to a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius, a fall of eight degrees Celsius since Sunday.
Thick fog was enveloping the agency villages due to a fall in the temperature, creating an ambience for the tourists flocking the popular sites during the Dasara vacation from last week.
The new tourist destinations, the Vanjangi view point and Lambasingi reported heavy crowd presence and all the cottages were full. Vanjangi had 30 private cottages and a couple of restaurants doing brisk business. In Lambasingi, all the 15 APTDC cottages and over 100 private cottages remained full.
"This kind of weather is normally witnessed during the second of week of November. This year, it came early, creating a pleasant environment for the Dasara revelers,’’ said unit manager of Lambasingi APTDC cottages, Appala Naidu.
Ayyappa Patrudu, who owns a cottage in Vanjangi, said there was a sudden drop in temperature on Tuesday morning.
"Around 5,000 people are visiting every day and some are staying overnight to witness the sunrise. This is a very popular site in the region,’’ Patrudu said.
About a 3-hour drive from Visakhapatnam, Vanjangi is located 3,400 feet above sea level.
"Scenes of dense clouds hanging endlessly on the horizon give us immense pleasure,’’ said a former naval officer, Satish, who started visiting agency areas regularly after his retirement.
Vanjangi is 100 km away from Visakhapatnam and six km off ASR district headquarters Paderu. Visitors begin trekking from 3 am to witness the sunrise.
There was also a rush at Borra Caves, covered by fog till 10 am on Tuesday. Manager of Borra Caves, Gowri Shankar, said 8,000 people visited the spot on Sunday, 7,000 on Monday and 4,000 on Tuesday. The caves were enriched by a collection of Rs 20 lakh during these three days, he said.
Tour operators said weekends would witness good crowds till Sankranti.