Tourist spots abuzz with picnickers in Vizag

Picnickers having fun at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam on Sunday
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Picnickers having fun at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam on Sunday

Highlights

Spreading a blanket on a sprawling lawn, unpacking the snacks to dig in and soaking in the crisp winter breeze make for a perfect picnic setting

Visakhapatnam: Spreading a blanket on a sprawling lawn, unpacking the snacks to dig in and soaking in the crisp winter breeze make for a perfect picnic setting. 'Karthika masam' is where the calendar is usually abuzz with plenty of social engagements and picnics.

But, unlike earlier years, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many to confine to a small group to hangout. Despite the drop in the number of visitors, some of the families plan for a 'samuhika vanabhojanam' (community lunch) with their dear ones. The drop in temperatures and the flattening curve of the pandemic appear to be conducive for the picnickers to head to their favourite tourist spots to relax and unwind.

'Karthika Pournami' is an added feature to draw many to various tourist spots dotting the city. It did bring cheer to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) as well. "On Sunday alone, IGZP recorded 3,800 visitors and the revenue earned was around Rs.2.4 lakh for the day," says Nandani Salaria, zoo curator.

Other tourist spots such as RK Beach, Rushikonda, Kailasagiri, Kambalakonda Eco Tourism Park, Bheemunipatnam, Yarada and Simhachalam attracted picnickers. Every year, visitors throng these places during Karthika masam. Keeping in tune with the picnic rush, APSRTC used to operate special buses.

Given the pandemic situation, most families refrain from venturing outdoors. "Despite the initial plans, we could not go ahead with our picnic this year. With two kids to take care, we do not want to take any risk," reasons P Vijay Kumar, an employee in a retail outlet.

With the coronavirus cases continuing to drop consistently in the recent past, there is a scope for an increased number of picnics in the coming days.

As part of the security measure, the city police are paying special attention on various stretches of the beach. Cautioning the visitors, the cops are alerting them against venturing into the sea. In some of the beach spots, professional swimmers have been engaged to avoid any untoward incident.

However, educational field trips which are a common feature during the season seem to be missing this year as many schools and colleges are yet to reopen.

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