Tourism package of Nelakondapalli

Newindpress, July 17 2007

KHAMMAM, India -- The State Government has initiated steps to capitalise on the tourism potential of the famous Nelakondapalli Buddhist stupa, the second biggest one in South India.

Besides modernising the stupa, proposal are in the pipeline to include it in the Buddhist circuit. A tourist package beginning from Hyderabad to Phanigiri in Suryapet, Nelakondapalli, Jaggaiahpet, Amaravathi, Nagarjunakonda and back to Hyderabad is on the anvil.

The Nelakondapalli Buddhist stupa was constructed during Ikshvaka dynasty in 3rd century and it stood 100 foot tall when it was built, according to Archaelogical Survey of India officials.

But now it has been reduced to 35 foot only. Efforts are now on to restore the dilapidated Vihar complex adjacent to the stupa. The archaelogy department has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for this purpose, according to its deputy director Subrahmanyam.

A 10-member team of archaeologists has visited the site on July 12.

On its part, the tourism department would provide basic facilities such as toilets and drinking water besides taking up landscaping and greenary development, according to district tourism officer Suman Chakravarthi.