Andhra govt to boost tourism with a ‘Monastery Boulevard’

Hyderabad :With plans to make its capital city Amaravati, coming up in Vijayawada region, an international tourist destination, Andhra Pradesh government is mulling to set up a ‘Monastery Boulevard’ where Buddhist monasteries can be built, like in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya.

“The state government is mulling to set up up a ‘Monastery Boulevard’ in the capital region where Buddhists from countries across the world can build their monasteries similar to Bodh Gaya in Bihar,” a state government release said.

The issue was discussed at a meeting held on tourism by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu with senior officials yesterday.

Naidu was informed that 13 heritage tourism spots have been identified for being developed as tourist destinations.

As a part of it, the Kakinada-Hope Island-Coringa Sanctuary-Konaseema would be developed as tourist circuit.

The focus of the circuit will be Godavari backwaters, house boats, mangrove forest, beaches and local cuisine, arts and culture in the East and West Godavari districts.

As part of this circuit, the 2,000 hectare mangrove forest of Coringa will be developed into an eco-sanctuary zone. The mangrove forest, the only one on the East Coast, is the second largest in India after the Sunderbans, the release said.

This circuit will envisage a passenger terminal with jetty, water sports, marine or 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 said.

Noting that most of these projects could be given on PPP basis, he said a cruise ride from Rajahmundry to Papikondalu (a picturesque location comprising hills along Godavari river) could be introduced.