ANANTAPUR: A proposal to form tourism circuits to connect interior historic places in Rayalaseema region have been neglected and confined to papers.
Even great sculptures, temples and exclusive locations could not be brought to light due to lack of proper transport connectivity and other facilities. Except during special occasions, the tourist spots have been in dark throughout the year. The previous TD government had repeatedly announced development of tourism circuits in each district to facilitate tourists who may visit any time.
The concept of connectivity is to provide easy access to interior locations along with familiar spots. But no action was initiated by the departments concerned.
Hemavathi was once the capital of Pallavas during the 9th — 10th centuries. It is a repository of striking collection of Pallava and Chola architecture. It only has a Lord Shiva temple appearing in human form in South India, unlike other Shiva temples where the ‘Lingam’ is worshipped . But, the temple town located in Amarapuram mandal in Karnataka is located at 148 km distance from the district head quarters of Anantapur. The rail head is at around 80 km distance.
Hemavathi had considerable importance under Nolamba Pallavas. A Nandi made of black basalt granite, 8 feet in length and 4 feet in height, is placed at the entrance. There is a 6 feet-tall Shiva Lingam installed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Jain devotees from all over India converge annually at the Jain temple. The state archaeological department had set up the museum with available sculptures found during excavations.
“Except during the annual fete on Shivarathri, the devotees and tourists face difficulty in reaching the temple,” a devotee from Amarapuram said.
Similarly, Ratnagiri, familiar as Seema Golconda, situated in Rolla mandal is in a state of neglect. The ruined historical fort is located very close to the Karnataka border with historic importance gained during the Pandyan and Chola Dynasties. Later, it fell into the hands of Hyder Ali.
It is also believed that after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, Allasani Peddana, a familiar poet during Sri Krishna Devaraya’s regime, along with numerous Brahmin families migrated to Ratnagiri. Jayachandra, a tourist from Anantapur, stressed the need to protect the fort by providing facilities to attract foreign tourists.
Further, the Durgams built on the hills have different kind of attractions in Rayalaseema region. The Vijayanagara Emperors and also, Palegars worked hard for decades to bring exclusive shape to the hilly areas.
Shimagiri Fort in Madakasira municipality has Singemoorthi, stone structure on hill top, to attract the tourists. Gooty, Rayadurgam and Penukonda forts appear with their own styles.
Historic Bugga Ramalingeswara Swamy temple and Chintala Venkataramana Swamy temple in Tadipathri have also not reached the mark to attract tourists and devotees. AP Tourism Development Corporation reportedly failed to improve facilities in Anantapur district as against priority given to other parts of AP, K. Ramesh, a pilgrim said.