Airports India - - UTTAR PRADESH -

ourism is con­sid­ered an en­gine of de­vel­op­ment and a cat­a­lyst for eco­nomic pros­per­ity in a state. Neer­abh Ku­mar Prasad, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Andhra Pradesh, talks to Puja Ban­er­jee about the for­ward leap taken by Andhra Pradesh Tourism.

With beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tions and sites for tourists, what are the tourist ar­eas with po­ten­tial for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment?

There are many. If there is one state in In­dia that is renowned for its diversity of wildlife it is Andhra Pradesh. The state is strate­gi­cally lo­cated in the cen­tral re­gion of In­dia and is a true rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the mag­nif­i­cent flora and fauna of the country. With var­ied to­pog­ra­phy, right from the hills of Nal­la­mala and the East­ern Ghats to the shores of the Bay of Ben­gal, Andhra Pradesh sup­ports di­verse ecosys­tems, which, in turn, sup­port a rich va­ri­ety of wildlife. The veg­e­ta­tion in the state is mostly dry de­cid­u­ous, with a blend of Pte­ro­car­pus, Teak, Ano­geis­sus, Ter­mi­na­lias and Dal­ber­gias. This vi­brant state has tem­ples, his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments, mu­sic, dance, re­li­gious prac­tices, fine cui­sine, art and paint­ing. Andhra Pradesh is rec­og­nized for its, rich lit­er­a­ture, leg­endary dy­nas­ties, clas­si­cal mu­sic and dance and its nat­u­ral beauty. The Go­davari River, be­sides be­ing a holy river for the Hin­dus, is also the home of saltwater croc­o­diles, fish­ing cats and many other an­i­mals. The Kolleru Bird Sanc­tu­ary with its lush veg­e­ta­tion is a riot of colours be­cause of the mi­grat­ing birds from far-off Siberia and Aus­tralia. Andhra Pradesh is blessed with cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls, misty hills, ver­dant forests, shim­mer­ing rivers, un­du­lat­ing moun­tains and azure coast­line.

Are there in­ter­est­ing tourist at­trac­tions on the ru­ral front?

Pris­tine, peace­ful, colour­ful, vi­brant and lush are some ad­jec­tives for ru­ral Andhra Pradesh. The sim­ple life­style and tra­di­tional prac­tices of the peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas can be an en­light­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Peo­ple are warm-hearted and hon­est. There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­joy bird watch­ing, fish­ing, bul­lock cart rides, boat­ing, trekking and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing first-hand how the ar­ti­sans weave bas­kets and cre­ate pot­tery and other hand­i­crafts. The an­cient forts and tem­ples, the placid lakes and shim­mer­ing rivers and seas, are other de­lights that ru­ral Andhra Pradesh has to of­fer, in ar­eas like Gun­tur, Kadapa, West Go­davari and Nel­lore. The an­cient Sangameswara Tem­ple in Kurnool, lo­cated close to Muchu­marri, at the con­flu­ence of the Bha­vanasi and Kr­ishna rivers, is on the fore­shore of the Sri­sailam Reser­voir. Boat­ing is avail­able in our lakes & rivers.

Tell us about the Andhra arte­facts?

Andhra Pradesh’s crafts­men are cul­tural artists de­sign­ing arte­facts with to­tal fo­cus on en­rich­ing the na­tional her­itage. Tra­di­tional sym­bols in arte­facts have re­li­gious over­tones, in­clud­ing Hindu, Mus­lim and other re­li­gious mean­ings. Arte­facts re­flect our true cul­tural ethos and strik­ing pea­cock blue col­ors sym­bol­ise our her­itage. Chil­dren love pos­sess­ing Kon­da­palli toys and adults also trea­sure them. Bud­dithi Brass­ware is sim­ply el­e­gant and look fan­tas­tic on one’s man­tel­piece. Ka­jeer­avaram sa­rees, Dharam­varam sa­rees, Gad­wal sa­rees, Up­pada sa­rees and Man­gal­giri cot­ton sa­rees en­hance women’s ex­otic beauty. Lam­abadi women add glam­our as the tribal women are adorned with sil­ver jew­ellery and wear gha­gras and cho­lis. One can aes­thet­i­cally dec­o­rate one’s home with an ikat car­pet, dec­o­ra­tive hand cro­cheted lace, Kalamkari paint­ings and de­signs, Butta Bom­malu, or at­trac­tive bas­ket pup­pets made of bam­boo strips and dec­o­rated with at­trac­tive multi-col­ored at­tire, Bud­dithi Brass­ware or ex­quis­ite Bronze re­li­gious stat­ues, Durgi Stonecraft, Lac­quer­ware and in­tri­cate sil­ver­ware.

What are the other at­trac­tions?

Dance in the land of Andhra Desa is highly cre­ative, in­clud­ing Kuchipudi, Butta Bom­malu, a folk dance, Vi­lasini Natyam, dance of the deva­sis, Bur­rakatha, our old­est dance form, lively Dappu dance, as well as the Dhimsa and Kol­lat­tam dance, are all part of the gai­ety and fes­ti­vals of Andhra Desa. The ra­gas and the mu­si­cal pre­sen­ta­tion of Tga­yaraja Bha­jans, highly scin­til­lat­ing ra­gas of Shyama Shas­tri, Venkatadri Swami, re­li­gious kir­tanans, lyri­cists and in­stru­men­tal com­posers have all added to our mu­si­cal reper­toire. Kr­ish­na­macharyulu is a pop­u­lar mu­si­col­o­gist, ver­sa­tile in com­pos­ing kri­tis. The ren­der­ings of Bala­murlaikr­ishna have def­i­nitely made clas­si­cal mu­sic very pop­u­lar, not to for­get Chitti Babu. Car­natic mu­sic con­certs are a reg­u­lar pas­time, where mu­sic lovers spend hours. Re­li­gious mu­sic is a ma­jor at­trac­tion dur­ing Ganesh Chaturthi, An­na­macharya Dusshera, & Ra­manavami. Cities such as Put­ta­parthi, Machili­pat­nam, Tiru­pati, Vishaka­p­at­nam, Viziyana­garam, have strik­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, be it an­cient Hindu, Euro­pean, Is­lamic or mod­ern. Sev­eral dy­nas­ties made spec­tac­u­lar con­tri­bu­tions to art, ar­chi­tec­ture, mu­sic, etc. such as the Mau­ryas and the leg­endary city of Am­ra­vati, ruled by the Satyava­hanas.

Neer­abh Ku­mar Prasad

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