Eco-tourism a big draw in Guntur

The toy train facility is available only on the Gandhi hill at Vijayawada.

Amaravati: The ancient hilltop Kotappakonda temple has turned into a eco-tourism centre and attracting the public largely.

The eco-tourism complex was developed recently with Deer safari, toy train, peacock, painted storks and fish aquarium. The toy train facility is available only on the Gandhi hill at Vijayawada in AP and Kotappakonda is the second centre to have it.

Besides this, the government is considering starting ropeway facility to reach the hilltop. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in his recent visit to Kotappakonda had promised developing the Kotappakonda in all aspects.

Kotappakonda hill is surrounded by 426 hectares of Yellamanda reserve forest, 2.4 km ghat road to the hilltop temple helping the public to reach Trikoteswara temple and the AP state government announced the famous and historical Maha Sivaratri held at the temple as AP State Festival.

The government sanctioned Rs 24.50 lakh under Neeru-Chettu scheme for the development eco-tourism centre and now the religious place is turning into eco-tourism centre attracting the public from all sections of the society.

The deer safari with various types of deer spread in an extent of eight hectares with chain link fencing, peacocks, ducks, variety of pigeons, Turkey hens, lovebirds, painted storks and toy train is attracting the public.

Natives of Vijayawada, M. Mani and others said that earlier they used to spend only one hour on the hilltop temple for the darshan of Trikoteswara Swamy, but now they are spending one day at Kotappakonda to see all the parks of eco-tourism and expressed happiness that that the hill is now becoming entertainment tourism centre besides religious place.

Kotappakonda temple executive officer D. Srinivasa Rao said that the government had appointed a private agency to study the feasibility of ropeway to hilltop Kotappakonda. He said that the report was submitted to the government for consideration. He added that they are hopeful about approval of ropeway project and it would switch the ancient Kotappakonda into religious-entertainment tourist centre soon.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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