ANANTAPUR: Union tourism minister G. Kishan Reddy has assured that Puttaparthi will be included under centre’s scheme PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive) for developing the town as an international tourism site.
The scheme paves way for development and promotion of religious tourism in the country and includes development of facilities, including rail, road and air transport terminals.
Kishan Reddy’s assurance came when Hindupur MP Gorantla Madhav and Puttaparthi MLA D. Sridhar Reddy had called on the union tourism minister at New Delhi on Friday highlighting neglect of historic sites and pilgrim centres in the district.
The MP and MLA wanted the minister to consider Puttaparthi as an international tourist centre, as the holy Mahasamadhi of Sri Satya Sai Baba is located at the place.
There are lakhs of Sai Baba devotees spread all over the globe, they pointed out. Madhav and Sridhar also wanted the centre to develop a yoga centre on Chitravati River bank, apart from a multi-purpose hall at Puttaparthi.
Further, the MP sought necessary funds for protecting Thimmamma Marrimanu, world’s biggest banyan tree in Kadiri area. The summer capital of Vijayanagar Empire Penukonda has been badly neglected since many decades and needs to be developed as a tourism centre, along with the historic temples at Kadiri, Hemavathi and Rathnagiri, which are visited by huge numbers of devotees regularly, Madhav said....