Monthly Archives: April 2016

5 Offbeat Destinations in Andhra Pradesh You Must See

These places in Andhra Pradesh are really offbeat. And the state government is doing its best to promote tourism in these places. Read more to know about these enchanting yet unexplored destinations.

Dhyana Buddha Statue in Amravati

Andhra Pradesh is one state that has plenty of tourist friendly destinations. In fact, there’s so much that some of them even remain unexplored by travellers. The state tourism board, realising the potential of these places is looking to promote these places in order to attract more investments in the tourism sector. Importance is being given to such an extent that the state’s tourism policy is offering attractive incentives to investors — the target is to receive an investment of Rs 10,000 crore by 2020 and and Rs 20,000 crore by 2029 in the tourism sector. Commenting on the state’s tourism potential, Neerabh Kumar Prasad, Principal Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture said, “The state is working towards creating six tourist hubs – Visakhapatnam; Rajahmundry-Konaseema-Kakinada; Vijayawada-Amaravati; Tirupati; Ananthapuramu-Puttaparthi and Srisailam.”

India Today went into the depth of the situation and found the offbeat destinations that Andhra Pradesh tourism is actually looking to promote. Most of these places have hardly made to the tourist map, but each of them has plenty to offer to a traveller. Let’s take a quick look at these places.

Hope Island

Island

As a traveller, if you are looking to literally discover a place in the state of Andhra Pradesh then Hope Island needs to be at the top of your list. It is a 200-year-old naturally formed island off the coast of Kakinada, that is composed of the sand that has drifted from River Godavari over the years. The island is beautiful — while there’s ample amount of greenery, there are stunning views of the backwaters from one side. That’s not all — on the other side of the island are sandy beaches overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

Undavalli Caves

Undavali Caves

Located at a distance of 22 km from Guntur the Undavalli Caves are exemplary of the architectural skill of Indian rock caves built in the fourth and fifth centuries. Originally belonging to the Jains and eventually to the Buddhists, these caves were converted into the abode of Hindu deities over time. Housed in these caves is a huge recreated statue of Vishnu in his reclining pose, which is sculpted out of a single block of granite.

Amaravati

Amravati Prakasam Barrage

Being the new state capital of Andhra Pradesh, Amravati is being developed under a futuristic model that just can’t be ignored. Apart from witnessing a modern city in the making, travellers can explore some of the country’s finest Buddhist centres that this place is home to. Dhyana Buddha and Nagarjunakonda are among the most prominent ones.

Papikondalu

Papikondalu

Not too far from the town of Rajahmundry is Papikondalu, which is a scenic river gorge. It’s one place where travellers get the opportunity to avail the boating and cruising services offered by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. Tourists can soak in the beauty of River Godavari and at the same time, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding hills that are teeming with a lush green vegetation and varied wildlife.

Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake

Just a two-hour drive away from Tirupati is the Pulicat Lake, which is the second largest lagoon in India after Odisha’s Chilika Lake. What makes this lake even more special is the presence of numerous migratory birds, with Greater Flamingo being one of the most prominent ones. Apart from the birds, travellers can witness the charm of some old buildings in the locality that showcase colonial-era architecture at its best.

Source: indiatoday.intoday.in

Trekking in India

Trekking in India started when the land was inhabited in prehistoric times. There are perhaps as many trekking routes in India as there are Indians. It was in the 1970’s and 1980’s that trekking started gaining in popularity as a recreational/adventure sport. A number of religious sites and shrines across the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand – such as Badrinath, Amarnath, Gangotri, Hemkund, Joshimath, Kedarnath, Vaishno Devi and Yamunotri – entail trekking for a couple of days in the mountains. Trekking in India has grown in leaps and bounds and the current trekking scenario is very promising, with thousands of Indians and foreigners hitting trekking trails each year.

Goechala Trek, Sikkim Himalayas
What India can boast of is some of the most stunning trekking routes in the world – many of the mountain passes in the Ladakh and Zanskar Himalayas are above 5000m. But there are plenty of gentler and smaller trails, at different altitudes, both in the mountains and in the forests. If you’re looking for less arduous hikes, you’ll find plenty in in the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Hills of south India (Munnar and Wayanad in Kerala, Coorg in Karnataka, and around Ooty in Tamil Nadu).

Trekking in Uttarkashi

Equipment

It is possible to rent/buy trekking equipment all over India from clubs and adventure- gear manufacturers. Do thoroughly check all gear before venturing out into the mountains.
1. Small rucksack / knapsack
2. Sleeping bag
3. Lockable duffel bag
4. Karrimat / Therm-a-Rest
5. Tent
6. Personal toiletries
7. Water bottle (at least 2 litres)
8. First-aid kit
9. Camera with spare batteries and film (carry more film than you think you will need!)
10. Headlamp/torch with spare cells
11. Maps
12. Diary/pen/reading material
13. Sewing kit
14. Swiss Army knife
15. Whistle
16. Sunscreen – with high SPF (at least 30, to better protect you from harmful UV rays)
17. Lip salve/ChapStick
18. Sunglasses with retainers/spare prescription glasses
19. Lighter
20. Emergency rations/goodies
21. Parachute cord
22. Ski-stick/ice-axe
23. Rope (for high-altitude treks)
24. Plastic bags and Ziplocs for packing gear

Sandakphu Trek

Best season in India

May/June and September/October for Garhwal, Kumaon (Uttarakhand), Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh
June/July and August/September for Ladakh and Zanskar (Jammu and Kashmir)
One can trek in the foothills of the Himalayas from October through till March

Kedarkantha Trek

Trekking destinations in India
1. Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh, Zanskar)
2. Himachal Pradesh
3. Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon)
4. Sikkim and Darjeeling
5. Northeast states (Arunachal Pradesh)
6. Western Ghats
7. South India (Nilgiris, Coorg)

Team Goechala Trek, Sikkim

Tips

1. Hydration
2. Clothing / staying warm (‘Cover your head if your feet are cold gentlemen’ is an old English saying)
3. Packing a rucksack
4. Pacing yourself on a trek
5. Timing – ‘Start early and arrive early’ is the cardinal rule of trekking
6. Porters and guides – A guide, or guide-cum-cook, is important on routes that are remote, tougher and relatively less trodden. Porters, with the option of ponies, will come in extremely handy on longer trips, especially if you’re carrying lots of provisions.
7. Mules and horses on the trail

Source: www.indmount.org