Pleasure with piety

Pleasure with piety
Highlights

Never harnessed to realise its full tourism potential, Koti Lingala, the abode of ancient Sri Koteshwara Siddeshwara Swamy temple, remained an unexplored destination until recently, despite it being a major pilgrim centre in north Telangana.

Jagtial: Never harnessed to realise its full tourism potential, Koti Lingala, the abode of ancient Sri Koteshwara Siddeshwara Swamy temple, remained an unexplored destination until recently, despite it being a major pilgrim centre in north Telangana.

Like they say better late than never, the picturesque Koti Lingala under Velgatoor mandal, the first capital of Satavahana dynasty, located on the banks of River Godavari, is finally set to embrace the limelight with the Tourism Department taking up a slew of measures to tap the tourism potential of the temple town.

The brick-built wharf on the shores of Godavari believed to have constructed during the times of Satavahanas, suggests the historical significance of the village. The excavations carried by the State Archaeology department suggest that Buddhism and Jainism prevailed in the nearby caves, known as Munula Gutta.

The legend says that sages, who used to meditate in the hillocks, prayed Lord Hanuman to get a Shiva Lingam. But before Hanuman could get one, they installed a Shiva Lingam made of sand grains at Koti Lingala. However, they offered prayers to Shiva Lingam brought by Hanuman and later to the one they installed to appease Hanuman.

Koti Lingala hit the headlines during the Godavari Maha Purshkaralu held in 2015, and its image further boosted by the Balakrishna-starrer Gautamiputra Satakarni movie (2017). It may be mentioned here that Balakrishna offered prayers in the historic Koti Lingala temple before the release of his movie’s trailer and audio.

The huge advantage the village is the ever-available backwaters of Sripada Yellampally Project (SYP). When Godavari is in full flow, the waters even submerge the temple steps. Speaking to The Hans India, Karimnagar Tourism Officer Ravipati Venkateshwar Rao said: “The government has plans to turn Koti Lingala, which hitherto known as famous pilgrimage centre, into a major tourist spot. Recently, we have introduced boat cruise and it was an instant hit with the people.”

As of now, the authorities introduced two mechanised boats, a 50-seater and a 35-seater, aptly christened as Satakarni and Poulomi, besides a four-seat speed boat. The cruise will be extended to SYP and Luxettipet in near future, Rao said. Proposals are afoot to introduce a day-long cruise to SYP providing all facilities to the tourists, he said. It’s learnt that a plan is on the anvil to set up a deer park besides constructing a Haritha Hotel.

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