Nellore a special attraction for tourists

Date:

(Prof. Shankar Chatterjee)

Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh:  Attractive District
for International and Domestic Tourists 
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in 2023, I was invited as a guest to share my views about
Gandhiji at Nellore of Andhra Pradesh, India. In Nellore, Gandhiji visited on five occasions,
and one Ashramam was inaugurated by Gandhiji himself on April 7, 1921, so people of the
district, generation after generation, remember. Nellore district has historical importance and
is a great place from a tourism point of view, both international and domestic. The district is
famous for many reasons, inter alia, of which heritage temples, churches, and the famous 
“Bara Shaheed Dargah.”    The Nellore Ranganathaswamy Temple is a temple devoted to
Bhagawan Ranganatha, which is Bhagawan Vishnu’s sleeping form. This temple is one of the
oldest in Nellore, also called the Talpagiri Ranganathaswamy Temple or the
Ranganayakaswamy Temple. It may be mentioned here that Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
was founded in the Seventh Century by kings of Pallava. Raja Mahendra Varma later created
the Temple in the 12th century. It is situated on the banks of the river Penna. A huge tower
called Gaaligopuram, which means “wind tower,” is located before the primary door to the
temple.
The district is in the Southeastern part of the state, with a coastal length of 163 kilometres.
The district was known as Vikrama Simhapuri until the 13th  Century, and later on, it was
known as Nellore. The different historical pieces of evidence reveal that the district was
under the rule of Mauryas, Sathavahanas, Pallavas, Cholas, Telugu Cholas, Kakatiyas,
Pandians, and others. The great Telugu poet Tikkana Somayaji translated 15 Parvas of
Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu in Nellore.
It is pertinent to mention that Nellore district was part of  Madras Division till October 1,

  1. On the first of November 1956, when the states were reorganized on a linguistic basis,
    the district was part of Andhra Pradesh, which readers know as historical facts. The name of
    Nellore district was changed to Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore District on June 4,
    2008. According to the 2011 Census, the district’s population was 2,469,712, of which 29.07
    percent was urban.
  2. The temples I visited in October 2023 inter alia were Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Sri
    Raja Rajeswari Temple, Jonnawada Mallikarjuna Kamakshi Tai Temple, Nellore
    Gramadewata Irukalala Parameswari Temple, Vedagiri Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy
    Temple, Sri Mulasthaneswara Temple, Dharmaraj Swamy (Dravupadi) temple, Sri
    Venugopalaswamy temple, Mirror mahal in Ranganayakula Temple, and Ayyappan Swami
    Temple. In addition, the Penna River dam, Mypadu Beach, etc., are worthy places to visit.
    The neatness and cleanness of the areas and their vicinity, whether Temples, Dargah, Gandhi
    Ashram, dam, beach, etc., had penetrated my mind. I will cherish the sweet memories till my
    death. The places are attractive both for Indians and foreigners. It is noteworthy that “Bara
    Shaheed Dargah” literally means “Shrine of Twelve Martyrs” in Urdu. Dargah is on the bank
    of the Nellore water tank/lake and has Eid-gah, a tourist resort, and a park next to it. Dargah
    attracts many people across the country and abroad; even many Hindus visit. I came to know
    when I visited the Dargah.

 It may be mentioned here that Mahatma Gandhi had a special feeling for Nellore because of
the contribution of the people to the freedom struggle and other national activities. So, I
suggest to the Government of Andhra Pradesh as well as the Government of India to initiate
the development of the places from the tourism point of view as Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore
district of Andhra Pradesh is important from the historical point of view. For promoting
tourism, wide-scale publicity should be taken up.
In addition to the places, local sweets such as ‘Malai Khaja,’ salted items viz., ‘Pounded-rice
(Chiura in Hindi and Telugu  Atukulu) fry,’ ‘Dahi Kothimbir Puri,’ ‘Pappu Chekkalu’ and
different fried items made of rice, etc., are tasty snacks available in the district. Further, I
observed plenty of fish items, including dry fish, were available in the area. As a fish eater, I
enjoyed the local fish preparation. 

Before conclusion, I wish to mention that human resources is a great resource for the district
as many high-quality educational institutes are located.  Many famous people, including Sri
Potti Sriramulu (a great personality who believed in Gandhian philosophy), S. P. Bala
Subrahmanyam (Singer and Music Director), T. Subbarami Reddy (Film Producer and
Industrialist), Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, popularly known as Venkaiah Naidu (former
Vice President of India) a popular personality in the political arena in our country and many
others. The Red Cross, as a dynamic organization, has been doing excellent services to the
people in the district.  
(The author expresses his gratitude to Dr. Kalidasu Purushotham Garu, Retired Principal of
Sarvodaya College, Nellore.)

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