Monday - October 14, 2019
Tags Posts tagged with "Rajahmundry"

Rajahmundry

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who returned from his tour to Kadapa District, suggested developing the district as a world tourist destination. In a review meeting with Tourism officials here in Vijayawada, he set a six-month deadline for the completion of Phase 1 works of the Gandikota Project.

In this regard, the Chief Minister asked officials to hire consultant services to introduce ropeway, rock climbing, boating park, amusement park, shopping area, resort and other tourist amenities. This will not just promote the tourism, but also increase passenger traffic at Kadapa Airport, he added.

“Submit proposals to develop Kadapa as a major entertainment and adventurous destination”, he added. He also directed the officials to hold a geological survey on stone rocks, Penna River, reservoirs and other regions. It has also been decided to construct a glass balcony in Gandikota on lines of Grand Canyon located in America.

Given that the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD) has come forward for the development of Ontimitta temple with an expenditure of Rs 20 crore, the Chief Minister directed the officials to complete construction works at the temple before Sri Rama Navami next year. “Prepare a master plan for the construction of marriage halls, hotels and choultries,” he said.

Tirupati must emerge as a lake city by developing 100 ponds in the town, along with Vijawada as Canal City and Vizag and Beach City, the Chief Minister said. He directed the officials to ensure clearances within 21 days for companies that have already signed MoUs for various tourism projects. “Create a milestone and update the progress of the projects to the Dash Board,” he said. The Chief Minister also suggested setting up Hospitality University and Culinary Institute in the same premises in Tirupati.

Furthermore, the Chief Minister examined the idea of developing Nagarjuna Sagar into a Buddhist Heritage site. He also directed the officials to speed up construction works of the convention centre spread across 6 acres in Rajahmundry.

Meanwhile, Secretary (Tourism) Nirab Kumar informed the Chief Minister that they have designed a PPP-based model for the development of Kotappakonda. He also presented the working statuses of tourism projects in various districts.

Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao convened a meeting with the Officials of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) New Delhi to review on the progress of Railway Projects and Cement Industries in Andhra Pradesh.

Regarding Sanjanamala to Kolimigundla Railway siding for a distance of 40 KMs, the Chief Secretary informed that as it is there are three licenses given there for a total capacity of 10.5 Million Tonnes of cement production with a consumption of 1000 Million Tonnes of Limestone whereas the remaining total estimated limestone available there is 3000 Million Tonnes and it is now propose to issue licenses to other entities also under the new mining policy. Hence, participation of the manufacturers as part of the SPV will not be a problem and it is prima facie concentrated at one place which is one of the highest anywhere in the country. Keeping this in view Chairman, RVNL is requested to expedite the proposal and get going at the earliest.

Even after the issue of licenses, these manufacturers are saying that still there are certain infrastructural constrains and it is one of the main reasons for not starting the factories. The Chairman, RVNL is requested to take action on this railway line at the earliest.

The issue of construction of a separate freight line was discussed by the Chief Secretary, as an alternative to a freight corridor on the railway site involving Government of Tamil Nadu, Odisha as well, it was decided that the Advisor Railways in the State Government of Andhra Pradesh PK Srivastava would be in touch with RVNL to work out the modalities of further going with it.

The 3rd freight line would be running between Tada-Ichapuram Railway Stations covering about 1000 KMs touching in between Nellore – Vijayawayda – Rajahmundry – Visakhapatnam. This has higher importance in view of the Port based economic strategy the State Government of A.P. is envisaging in terms of developing number of minor ports in the coastal area. Presently the traffic between Central India and Northern India is going to the West and then getting into the Country. Even that is coming from the South East Asia. Therefore the Development of other lines namely East Coast Line also would become viable by re-shifting the merchandize to the East Coast.

Already on the East Coast in Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam Ports are functioning. Further Ports are planned and are in the process of establishing at Machilipatnam, Bhavanapadu, Ramayapatnam, Dugarajupatnam, Vadarevu, Nizampatnam and Narasapuram, Chief Secretary added.

Present status of the Nadikudi – Srikalahasthi Railway line, Doubling the railway lines between Guntur – Guntakal, Guntur – Tenali, Gudivada – Nidadavolu were also reviewed.

RVNL Chairman-Managing Director Satish Agnihotri, Prl. Secretary Revenue JC Sharma, Chairman-Managing Director TRANSCO Vijayanand, Director Mines and Geology Susheel Kumar and others attended the meeting.

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All roads led to Rajahmundry, the 1,000-year-old historical place as well as modern town in Andhra Pradesh, for the grand celebration of Godavari Pushkaralu. The river fete was celebrated from July 14 at 6.26 a.m, for twelve days, and pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the southern and northern states descended on the town to make Pushkaralu a truly memorable event.

The town is named after Raja Raja Narendra who ruled it in the eleventh century and who commissioned the great Telugu poet, Nannayya, to translate the Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu. The town was then known as Rajamahendravaram, which the British subsequently corrupted to Rajahmundry.

The Andhra Pradesh Government made elaborate arrangements in both East and West Godavari districts for the holy event that saw an average of 60 lakh pilgrims pouring in to the banks of Godavari. While the State Government publicised the event well in advance, creating awareness among the people over the once in 12-year ritual, the modern communications too helped attract millions of pilgrims to the Godavari Pushkaram, making it one of the largest congregations in recent times across the country.

The Inaugural

After taking holy dip in Rajahmundry, where the river brims in its full expanse and has been a nerve centre for Pushkaralu, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu blew a conch shell to mark the beginning of the 12-day event on 14th July. Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayandra Sarswathi also took the sacred bath. In the preceding night, a curtain raiser event was held at the Pushkar Ghat which was a cultural extravaganza. The CM, being head of the State, received the ‘Pushkar Akhanda Swagatha Jyothi Yatra’ (torch rally). Later, he released sky lanterns from the Pushkar Ghat. A grand beginning was made for the 12-day fete, as devotees turned up in large numbers to watch the cultural show.


A Tragedy: Conspiracy Angle

The death of 27 pilgrims in a stampede at the Pushkar Ghat on the first day of the Maha Pushkarams left everyone shell- shocked. Fishing in the troubled waters, the detractors made attempts to lay the accusing fingers on the Chief Minister. The government is suspecting that the stampede was the handiwork of anti-social elements. A judicial inquiry was ordered into the incident. The CM announced ex gratia of Rs 10 lakhs each to the families of the dead, while the injured were treated at hospitals with Government aid.

CM Stays Put

Upset though the Chief Minister was over the untoward incident, he immediately swung into action to stay the course. He lodged himself in Rajahmundry for the next 12 days and monitored the arrangements with minute care. He was everywhere, conducting aerial surveys, making midnight inspections, giving suggestions on easing traffic, observing from police control room, issuing directions on preventing health hazards and ensuring that the congregation is facilitated in taking the holy dip in all comfort and peace.
Besides conducting aerial surveys and frequent field visits, the CM moved on a river cruise and inspected all the ghats around Rajahmundry. He also checked the details of water being discharged into sea at Dowleswaram Barrage. While sitting in the control room, he personally reviewed the situation at various ghats and instructed the officials accordingly. He took utmost care for providing basic amenities like sanitation, drinking water, to the pilgrims and engaged the Fire Services to continuously clean up the ghats with huge water pipes. His personal involvement and initiatives ensured that the devotees had a memorable spiritual and cultural experience.

Impeccable arrangements

The State government of Andhra Pradesh made an array of arrangements on an unprecedented scale, spending nearly Rs 2000 crore for this humungous event. Be it free transport in Rajahmundry, or facilities like water, food and medication – they were all made available in plenty. About 275 ghats in the twin districts were made ready, the most prominent one being the 1.5 km long ghat at Kotilingala in Rajahmundry. Pushkar Nagars with amenities for pilgrim stay were built at several places in the city. More than 300 sanitation workers from Tamil Nadu were hired to keep the Pushkaram ghats spic and span on a daily basis. The workers, who had expertise in garbage collection and sanitary works during river jamborees, were put on round-the-clock duty removing solid waste and cleaning up the ghats.

Replicas of famous temples of the State were arranged on either side of the river for the pilgrims of Godavari Maha Pushkaralu. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam put up an expo with miniatures of 11 famous shrines of Srikalahasthi, Srisailam, Kanipakam, Vijayawada, Annavaram, Dwaraka Tirumala and Simhachalam and deputed its priests to perform daily rituals. The temple replicas witnessed huge rush every day.

The Godavari Harati at dusk every evening was a thrilling spiritual experience for the thousands of devotees who gathered at Pushkar Ghat daily.


Pushkaram Highlights in a nutshell

  • A whopping 4.9 crore pilgrims took holy dip in river Godavari in both districts
  • As many as 287 bathing ghats served on both sides of the river
  • 6.65 crore drinking water packets were distributed
  • 70 lakh butter milk packets distributed
  • 3.25 crore – ‘Pinda Pradhanam’ rituals performed
  • 248 medical camps were set up
  • A Total of 171 CCTV cameras were installed in and around the ghats
  • 12,173 number of announcements on missing persons
  • 1,927 APSRTC buses made 4,098 trips
  • 300 City buses operated
  • 60.85 lakh Passengers availed RTC services
  • 15 lakh travelled on trains
  • 650 Cultural programmes were organised
  • 22 km wire broadcasting system used to telecast Pushkarams live across Rajahmundry

Number of pilgrims

Scientific estimate

The officials used various techniques to count the number of sojourners to the Ghats. The data was collected from the CCTV footages and photographs taken at different times of day; with the help of the security personnel, the head count of the pilgrims at the ghats was also considered. The policemen and volunteers, who were managing the queue lines counted the pilgrims passing through their gates; vehicles entering the city and other places. It was further estimated through the traffic of RTC buses and the trains. On the concluding day, the Minister for Information and Public Relations, Palle Raghunatha Reddy explained how the total number of pilgrims- 4.91 crores was calculated. The Minister affirmed that 3.42 crores of devotees took holy dip in the ghats of East Godavari, whereas in West Godavari the number was 1.49 crore.

Pilgrims, who travelled from far and wide, could take the holy dip in Godavari in a relaxed atmosphere as Government agencies & voluntary organisations took every care.

Godavari Harati

The Godavari Harati, on the lines of Ganga Arti, initiated by the State Government on the eve of Godavari Pushkaralu, has turned out to be the highlight of the 12-day event. Godavari Harati, presented daily at dusk on the river bank, is similar to the Ganga Harati at Haridwar and Varanasi. Enthralled devotees thronged the Pushkar Ghat every evening to experience the spiritually thrilling tribute to the sustenance of life. The ritual of Godavari Harati performed by Vedic pundits on a specially designed pedestal on the river made for dazzling viewing. The Harati, which will be a regular feature henceforth, turned out to be the special attraction for many who came from far and wide. The light and sound show conducted at the inaugural event, too, was much appreciated for its creativity.

Valedictory on a Grand Scale

After 12 days of uninterrupted celebrations, the Godavari Maha Pushkaralu-2015 concluded on a grand note with enticing cultural programmes and an extravagant display of fire crackers on the banks of river Godavari on 25th July. The city, including all bathing ghats, was beautifully decked up with fountains, paintings and statues of Telugu stalwarts. The laser show, release of sky lanterns, firecrackers and ‘Godavari Nitya Harathi’ organised at the Pushkar Ghat impressed thousands of pilgrims gathered at the venue. The light and sound show apart from Godavari Nitya Harathi, which was all entrusted to noted film director Boyapati Srinu, also enthralled the devotees.

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, who was present at the valedictory ceremony, appreciated Godavari Harathi and said its look was more impressive than Ganga Harathi.

Music concert by reputed Carnatic vocalist Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna, flute concert by Pandit Hari Prasad Chowrasia and Kuchipudi ballet by 1,000 dancers from Kuchipudi Natyaramam held at the Government Arts College Grounds marked the concluding ceremony of the mega religious fete. Scholars and artistes flocked to the river banks to talk about the grandeur of the Telugu people, whose history was so tangled with the course of the river.

Kudos to the CM

It is to the credit of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu that millions of believers and nature lovers poured into East and West Godavari even after the first day’s unfortunate incident. The CM’s strenuous efforts in containing the damage and standing steadfast to repair the damage and provide the best care for the pilgrims was appreciated by one and all. His staying put at Rajahmundry all through the Pushkaralu, along with many of his cabinet colleagues, instilled a sense of confidence among the devotees who made a beeline to the ghat from across the state and the country.

Those who took the holy dip did not fail to mention their appreciation at the fool-proof arrangements made and facilities provided to the surging crowds. “We had a peaceful dip at the ghat. Once we entered Rajahmundry, we could see that everything was in place. Every official was helpful. The arrangements made the ritual bath for the entire family easy and enjoyable. We have seen the Chief Minister himself inspecting everything. Only Chandrababu could have managed such a huge crowd. I salute his courage and conviction, “said a beaming Prabhakara Rao, who came from Nellore to the auspicious event.

“It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining…”

Jonna, who came along with her friends, Grams Smith and Brooks to Rajahmundry to take sacred bath, referred to the above quote of Mark Twain, after his visit to Kumbh Mela of 1895.

“We experienced the spirit of the quote, when we have become part of the huge congregation sans barriers of caste, or creed. This fete exerted captivating influence over our minds,” she said.

For 103-year-old Koteswara Rao Garimella of Vegeswarapuram, West Godavari district, bringing parallels between Godavari Pushkarams and Kumbh Mela is absolutely wrong.

“Amongst all the river festivals, including the Maha Kumbh, I visited in my life, the present Maha Pushkaram gives me an unprecedented excitement,” Garimella toldAndhra Pradesh bureau.

While the administration took every care for the smooth conduct of the Pushkaralu, the Chief Minister has to be credited with making the event a grand cultural and social affair.

The extravagant display of fireworks, sky lanterns and dance shows, besides a host of seminars, religious and spiritual discourses during the event was painstakingly planned and executed under the direct supervision of the Chief Minister.

Godavari Pushkaralu have not only been an enormous success but also turned out to be a scintillating example of leading from the front in times of crisis. That certainly bodes well for the State of Andhra Pradesh in days to come!

 

The unfortunate incident on the first day did indeed leave the CM shell-shocked. “For the last four months we have been taking all necessary measures to prevent any untoward incidents incident. But it happened and it is unfortunate,” he said. But undeterred, he rose to the occasion; put his heart and soul into relief operations.  Soon, he personally supervised fool-proof arrangements for the entire period of Pushkaralu. Millions of devotees, however, unanimously praised the CM for his untiring efforts during the grand event.

 

The triumph over initial setback helped strength the resove of the Chief Minister. Wrapping up the event, he said the grand success of the 12-day Godavari Pushkarams would serve as a morale-booster to the State Government, the administration, employees and people of the 13 districts to build a model State. The CM said his plea to different sections to rise to the occasion evoked tremendous response and a collective effort enabled successful management of nearly 5 crore pilgrims who poured in from all directions. “With the same spirit, we can do wonders in future.”

 

 

With plans to transform Amaravati into a capital attracting international tourists, the state government is mulling setting up a ‘Monastery Boulevard’ in the capital region where Buddhishts from countries across the world can build their monasteries similar to Bodhgaya in Bihar.

During a review meeting on tourism today at Secretariat, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was informed that 13 heritage tourism spots have been identified and will be developed. Further, the tourism officials have identified Kakinada-Hope Island-Coringa Sanctuary-Konaseema as circuit will be developed.

The focus of this circuit will be Godavari backwaters, house boats, mangrove forest, beaches and local cuisine, arts and culture. As part of this circuit, the 2,000 hectare Mangrove forest of Coringa will be developed into eco-sanctuary zone. The Mangrove Forest is the second largest in India after the Sunderbans and is the only Mangrove Forest on the East Coast.

This circuit will envisage a passenger terminal with jetty, Water Sports, Marine/Water Park, Maritime Museum, Sea-plane rides, home-stay facility and convention centre. “We can have 5-6 passenger terminals with jetty across the state. And, e-rickshaws can be introduced to ferry passengers around the tourism spots,” the Chief Minister added.

Stating that most of these projects could be given on PPP basis, the Chief Minister added that a cruise ride from Rajahmundry to Papikondalu (through a tunnel) could be introduced.

To give a major boost to tourism in Godavari districts, the government is working on the “Akhanda Godavari” project. “From Godavari’s scenic beauty to food and locally-made products like Ratnam Pens, everything has to be branded and promoted,” the Chief Minister said, suggesting, Rajahmundry could become the hub of activity of both the districts.

Focusing on the coastal tourism circuit at Nellore, the government has identified 10 tourism projects such as Pulicat Lake, Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary, Udayagiri Fort including few beaches.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister also suggested officials to work on a plan to set up resorts and entertainment arenas which are not vulnerable to natural disasters. “Tourists’ safety is of utmost priority to us. For this, we need to install every cab with a GPS tracker. We should have information about every tourist. To ferry passengers in cabs, we can talk to cab companies and make it mandatory to install GPS trackers,” the Chief Minister said.

Emphasizing on creating a tourism circuit including all forts in the state, the Chief Minister asked the department to chalk out a plan and a package.

He also directed officials to instruct all home science colleges to research on food and how our cuisine can be mixed with other cuisines from across the world. This will not only generate interest among tourists about the local cuisine but also give them a new look at their own cuisines,” the Chief Minister said.

“Eventually we can open up these tourism packages for schools and colleges,” he said, adding that every district bus stand and railway station could have a promotional advertisement on the local tourist spots to visit within the district.

State Planning Board Vice-chairman Ch. Kutumba Rao, Special Chief Secretary (Forests) AK Parida, Principal Secretary to CM Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary (Tourism & Culture) Neerabh Kumar Prasad, Secretary to CM Sai Prasad, Commissioner (Endowments) Anuradha and other officials were present.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu awarded those who rendered best services during Godavari Maha Pushkaram 2015.

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The 12-day Godavari Pushkarams ended with an extravagant brilliant display of fireworks, release of sky lanterns and a laser show, with thousands witnessing the grand event from the Pushkar Ghat in Rajahmundry this evening. The Pushkarams, celebrated once in 12 years, was all the more auspicious this year as it turned out to be the Maha Pushkaram, which occurs once in 144 years.

Music concert by eminent Carnatic vocalist Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna, flute concert by Pandit Hari Prasad Chowrasia and Kuchipudi ballet by 1,000 dancers from Kuchipudi Natyaramam held at the Government Arts College Grounds marked the concluding ceremony of the mega religious fete.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, accompanied with his family, were among the audience, who thronged in huge numbers to the ghats of River Godavari in Rajahmundry for the harathi.

Naidu felicitated Bala Murali Krishna after an enthralling concert by the latter. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, a native of East Godavari district, was present on the occasion.

Trains and buses to East and West Godavari districts from different places in AP and Hyderabad ran chock-a-block. Heavy rush of private vehicles was witnessed on the highways leading to the Pushkaram ghats. Many voluntary and charitable organisations provided distribution of food, water and butter milk to the devotees.

The state government held medical camps to provide first aid to the needy pilgrims. Naidu stayed put at Rajahmundry during the 12 days in the wake of stampede incident. The state cabinet held its meeting at Rajahmundry this week.

The state government announced that more than 4.9 crore pilgrims took holy dip in the river in East and West Godavari districts during the 12-day mega event, which came to an end at 6.28 pm.

Here are pictures from the last grand harathi –

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The mega sacred river religious event Godavari Maha Pushkaram on its final day witnessed the special Abhishekam-Snapana Tirumanjanam performed to the processional deities in Saraswathi Pushkar Ghat by TTD on Saturday.

Earlier the deities were taken to the Ghat from temple in a grand procession at 7 in the morning and Snapanam was performed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The utsava murthies of Lord Sri Malayappa, flanked by Goddess Sridevi and Bhudevi on His either sides, along with Sudarshana Chakrattalwar were seated on a special platform and Tirumanjanam was performed amidst chanting of Vedic mantras.

The waves in River Godavari appeared as if they were dancing to the rhythmic sounds of Vedic chants by Vedic pundits. Divine bath to the deities were rendered with milk, curd, turmeric paste, honey, coconut water and finally sandalwood paste was applied to the deities before giving final bath. Later Sudarshana Chakrattalwar was given the celestial dip – Chakra Snanam – in River Godavari.

AP Endowments Minister P Manikyala Rao, TTD Trust Board Chief Dr Ch Krishnamurthy, Tirumala JEO KS Sreenivasa Raju were present.

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STATE NEWS

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