RAJAHMUNDRY:Apart from the religious importance, the ongoing Godavari Maha Pushkarams are entertaining the millions of pilgrims arriving in the city to take a holy dip in the mighty Godavari River. The boat ride and helicopter ride, which were initiated for the first time in view of the pushkarams, have been drawing huge crowds since the inaugural day of the mega event on last Tuesday.
Apart from special attractions like ‘Godavari Harathi’ and laser show at the river bank, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is operating boat ride and helicopter ride to attract the tourists. While the boat ride from Padmavathi Ghat to Pushkar Ghat via Markandeya Ghat and Laanchilarevu Ghat, covering the rail-cum-road bridge is rendering the visitors speechless, children in particular are going crazy to have an aerial view of the ghats in chopper.
The APTDC has been running seven different boats including three speed boats, a deluxe boat and pontoons. The authorities have also arranged a public addressing system in the boats to explain the history of the mighty river, each ghat and the bridges.
According to APTDC assistant general manager (Rajahmundry) R Ganga Babu, a deluxe Haritha Boat carries more than 100 people and a deluxe Chitrangi carries 40, both charging Rs 40 per adult. However, people are preferring speed boats and pontoons over other rides being organised from 7 am to 6 pm till the end of pushkarams.
Meanwhile, since the helicopter ride has drawn tremendous response from the tourists, the authorities are operating two helicopter services since Saturday. “The demand for a ride in the chopper has been growing day by day. On Saturday itself, more than 225 people took the ride, as such we had to deploy another helicopter to mmet the demand,” said Maneesh Rokade, DGM of PHL.