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Tourism Places

1) Importance of the Destination

Sri Lalitha Someswara Swamy Temple
Sri Lalitha Someswara Swamy Temple
Someswara Swamy Temple is a highly revered shrine in Somasila of Mahabubnagar District. It is believed to have been built during the 7th century.Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here. Mahashivaratri and Karthika Pournami are celebrated here with much religious fervor. A major draw is the festival, which is celebrated here once in 12 years. Pushkara Snanam - a dip in the Krishna River - is considered auspicious on this occasion.

There are 15 temples, all housing Shivalingas where Shivarathri & Karthika Pournami are celebrated with much fervour. The Pushkar Snanam during the Krishna Pushkaram, which occurs once in 12 years, is auspicious. The temple was shifted from old Somasila village to higher land to protect it from being submerged in Krishna waters. With beautiful surroundings, it is also an ideal picnic spot.

Shivling, also spelt shivalinga, is the state of eternity, the symbolic idol of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is represented in the phallus form. The term shivling come from two words that is 'Leen' and 'Gati'. 'Leen' means 'dissolve' and 'Gati' means 'grow'. It means man should dissolve (Leen) in Shiva and then he should grow (Gati).

The shivling symbolizes the primeval energy of the Creator. At the end of all creation, during the great deluge, all the different aspects of God are believed to find a resting place in the shivling. The shivling is also a representation of the infinite Cosmic Column of fire, whose origins, Vishnu and Brahma were unable to trace.

Kollapur is located in Mahabubnagar District and is 180 km southwest of Hyderabad and 110 km north ofKurnool. Kollapur is famous for the temple of Madhava Swamy, which was built by the Jetprole kings during 16th century. This temple is known for its beautiful architecture. Somasila is a nearby attraction.

2) National Importance

Some of the pilgrims from Karnataka and Maharashtra have been visiting this temple since their hereditary. KarnatakaState is located nearby this temple. The flow from Karnataka (Raichur, Bellari, Gulbarga, etc) is high to this destination.

3) Location and Reach

Road: Visitors can reach the destination from Pebber (NH-7) or Vanaparthy. The temple is located about 10 km from Kollapur, 65 km from Pebber (NH-7) and 60 km from Vanaparthy. It is about 120 km from Mahabubnagar.

Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Gadwal, which is about 95 km away.

Air: The nearest Airport is located at Shamshabad (Hyderabad).

4) Jurisdiction of the Destination

The Temple is under the jurisdiction of State Archeological Department and the temple is maintained by Grama Committee.

5) Road Condition

120'BT Road is available from Hyderabad to Pebber. The road condition is very good and newly laying 4 lines road, which is under process now. 12' BT Road with average conditions is available from Pebber to Kollapur. From Kollapur to Somasila - 9' BT Road with good condition is available.

6) Present Status of Tourist Attractions around the Destination

The following are the main nearest tourist places/attractions available around the proposed destination.

Ø One museum is constructed to display god idols, sculptures, etc in the building

Ø 12 Jyothilingas are established in the temple (Somasila)

Ø Boating facilities at Somasila Reservoir

Ø Venkateswara SwamyTemple in Somasila - ½ km

Ø Veerabrahmendra SwamyTemple in Somasila - ½ km

Ø Sangameswara Temple in Middle of Reservoir - one can see in summer during April-May only when water level is low. During other days, it is in the water itself. Water flow is very high at this reservoir.

Ø Chandra Mahal (Kollapur Mahal)

Ø Proposed Circuit Temples/ Destinations viz., Sri Jogulamba Bala Brahmeswara Swamy Temple, Alampur; Group of Temples at Jetprole; Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Singotam; and Madhava Swamy Temple at Kollapur

7) Visitors Flow at the Destination

The flow of visitors to the destination has been increasing every year. As per the local people and officials of destinations, the visitors' flow during the three years is as below:

Year

Approximate No. of Visitors

2006-07

3,56,490

2007-08

4,45,613

2008-09

5,94,150

It is found that 150 people per day on an average are visiting the temple and the number goes up to 300 persons on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. On every Monday, the flow increases to 500 pilgrims per day. On all festival days, the tourists' flow is more than 1,000 tourists per day. During Sivaratri Festival, the pilgrims flow is very high and about 50,000 pilgrims per day visit this destination for a period of 5 dyas as the destination is having 12 Siva Lingas with separate temples, which are replica of Jyothirlingas located all over India. During Karthika Masam, the tourist flow is very high and more than 1000 tourists per visit this destination over a period of one month. The authority have been performing marriages at the temple premises and performed more than 100 marriages per year and about 500-600 persons per marriage on an average attend the marriages. The temple is located at Somasila Reservoir and the tourists, who visit this place have avail both benefits of visiting temple as well as reservoir.

8) Estimated Future Visitors Flow

The visitors' flow to the destination has been increasing year by year and the estimated future flow of visitors/tourists is as follows.

Year

Estimated Visitors

2009-10

8,91,225

2010-11

11,88,300

2011-12

14,85,375

Justification for Tourist Flow

The logic behind the estimation of future visitors' flow is that there is huge potential to attract the visitors. The rationale is as follows.

Ø The bridge at the reservoir over the water was sanctioned by Government of Andhra Pradesh from Somasila to Siddeswaram, which facilitates shortest route to Nandikotkur, Kurnool, Srisailam, Vijayawada from Somasila (about 100 km reduces by virtue of construction of this bridge). The tourists' flow increases at very high rate once the bridge is completed/constructed.

Ø On Monday, the tourists flow is very high and more than 300 devotees visit this destination on every Monday.

Ø On Friday, the devotees of Goddess Lalitha Devi visit this destination regularly.

Ø The destination is having 12 Siva Lingas (temples) located at one place. These 12 Siva Lingas are replica to 12 Jyothirlingas located all over India. There is also belief that if any person visits these temples, he/she completes travel/darshan of 12 Shivlingas located all over in India.

Ø The destination has historical importance. The flow to this temple has been increasing now-a-days at high rate due to awareness about the temple in general public, temple attraction, existing beautiful environment/climate at the destination with hilly places, water body, etc

Ø The pilgrims who are residing villages/mandals located surrounding the destination have been performing pujas from hereditary

Ø The crowd in May, June and July is high due to holidays to the students.

Ø Increasing number of tourists from Karnataka and other districts of AP

Ø The average growth of visitors flow is increasing on an average of 25% - 30%. Apart from this, if the Tourism Department provides infrastructure and promotional facilitates to the tourists, that can add another 20% - 30%.

9) Special Days of Attraction and Visitors Flow

It revealed from the field survey that the visitors prefer the following days in general.

Monday and Fridays - Tourist flow is more

Sivaratri Days - Very huge tourist flow

Festival Days; Sivaratri, Dasara, Deepavali, Sankranthi, whole month of Karthika Masam, First Ekadasi, 1st January, Every Pournami, Vaikunta Yekadasi, Pushkaralu, etc - Tourist flow is high

Marriages and tonsure ceremonies are mainly performed at the destination

Public Holidays increase the flow to some extent

Special occasions like family tours, marriages, educational tours, etc

Vacations (like Summer Vacation and Winter Vacation)

10) Income Profile of Visitors

The approximate income profile of visitors to the destination is as below:

Lower Income People: 20%

Middle Income People: 60%

Higher Income People: 20%

The main occupation of residents, who are living around the temple is cultivation. Most of the visitors, who visit the temple belongs to middle income and are coming from surrounded villages. Vinayaka Nimajjanam is celebrated by the surrounded villagers for every year at this destination.

11) Purpose of Visit

Most of the pilgrims (about 90%) visit the destination primarily for devotional purpose but some of the visitors (about 10%) also visit for sightseeing as the reservoir and hilly places are located at this location. They conduct Pujas and Vrathams at the destination. Devotees celebrate Sivaratri as main festival for a period of five days. Climate on the hilly places is very good and is suitable for boating, meditation, etc.

12) Origin of Tourists

The approximate percentage of tourists and places from where the tourists have been visiting the destination are as follows.

Ø 25% from surrounded villages and mandals of Kurnool district

Ø 35% from Hyderabad

Ø 15% from other districts of Andhra Pradesh

Ø 10% from Karnataka (Bellary, Raichur, etc are the nearest to this destination)

Ø 15% from Maharashtra for SivaTemple

13) Mode of Transport

Most of the pilgrims (about 50%), who came from long distances comes by 4-wheelers (jeep, car, etc); about 30% visit by APSRTC buses and about 20% by other mode of transport.

Direct bus is available from Hyderabad to Somasila. APSRTC is operating their buses for 7 trips a day from Kollapur to Somasila. In addition, private vehicle operators are also operating their vehicles from Kollapur to Somasila. There is good road access from Kollapur to Kurnool, Hyderabad and other important places. There are also 7-seaters and private autos available to meet the transportation demand.

There is also transport access on water from Somasila to SrisailamTemple, which is about 50 km through water transport.

14) Frequency of Visits

· It found that 80% of the visitors are new persons and visited the destination first time after knowing the importance of the destination. Now-a-days, the new comers flow has been increasing to this destination abnormally. This was happening by telling/creating awareness to others by one who visits the destination.

· About 20% of the pilgrims have been repeating the visit to the destination at least once in a year along with their friends and relatives and generally residing in the villages/mandals surrounded to this destination.

15) Group Size

The visitors have been coming to the destination along with their family members and relatives & friends as a group. The group size consists of 5 to 10 persons in general mostly by a 4-wheeler. 10 to 15 pilgrims as a group, in general, visit the destination frequently.

16) Accommodation Facilities

There are no accommodation facilities exist at the destination. Pilgrims can stay at either Kollapur or Kurnool for lodging facilities. One guest room/house belongs to State Archaeology Department is available but it is not allotted to general public. Some of the pilgrims will stay/sleep under the trees in open places at the destination. Due to non-availability of accommodation facilities, the pilgrims/tourists generally visit in the morning and leaves this place in the evening.

17) Food & Beverages Facilities

Three hotels are available at Somasila Bus Stand. These provide tiffin, tea/coffee, beverages, biscuits, etc to the visitors/tourists. These hotels prepare food on order.

Almost pilgrims carry their food along with them while visiting the destination. The flow of tourists and population of vehicles is very high during Sivaratri Days.

18) Illumination Facilities

Illumination facilities are available at inside of the temple. There are no proper illumination facilities at outside & around the temple and at water body.

19) Sewerage and Public

Toilets

There is no drainage facility available either inside or outside the temple. No urinal blocks/public toilet facility is available at the destination.

20) Water Facilities

There is no systematic drinking facility available at the destination at present. The local Gram Panchayat is providing drinking water through tank at the destination.

21) Banking/ATM Facilities

There is no bank available at the destination (Somasila). SBI, SBH, Andhra Bank, Central Bank, DCC Bank available at Kollapur. SBH is providing ATM facility at Kollapur and Andhra Bank is proposing ATM facility at Kollapur now.

22) Emergency Health Facility

Two RMP (Registered Medical Practitioners) available at Somasila. Primary Health Centre (PHC) run by Government is available at Kollapur. In addition, there are 6 private nursing homes, medical shops, diagnostic centres, specialist doctors, etc are available at Kollapur.

23) Cleanness

The authority is maintaining cleanness only inside of the temple. They are not maintaining cleanness at outside the temple and there is no tourist infrastructure available except temple and water body.

24) Landscaping and Park Maintenance

The temple is neither maintaining any landscaping nor park at the destination. There is a need to develop landscaping facilities for the tourists. There are also no proper sitting facilities. Some of the pilgrims have their lunches under the trees at the temple premises in general by observing the pleasant water body and natural environment.

25) Safety/Security of Tourists

There are three security personnel available and are appointed by the Archeological Department. One priest and one watchman are available and are appointed by Grama Sabha to look after the safety of the tourists and also safeguard/guide the tourists. There are no thefts, threats or robbery occurred at the destination.

26) Guide Services

There are no guides available at the destination. The priest explains about the history and importance of the temple. He also guides the tourists.

27) Wayside Amenities

There are no wayside amenities available at the destination. At Kollapur, where minor support services viz., air, petrol, puncture facilities, minor repairs, etc available. All type of major services available at Kurnool.

28) Communication Facilities

It noticed that almost all mobile phones viz., Reliance, BSNL, Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, etc receive signals at the destination. About 20 PCOs with Coin operated boxes are available at the destination.

29) Marketing Facilities (Arches, Information Centre, Destination Boards, Direction Boards, etc)

There is no published material (brochures, etc) about the temple available at the destination. No destination boards and direction boards are established by the temple authority. No arches are available for the temple. The temple authority publishes brochures on the occasion of Sivaratri.

30) Shopping Facilities

No shopping facilities are available at the destination except puja items. On Sivaratri Festival Days, shopkeepers will organize mobile shops consisting of children's toys, sweets, bangles, puja items, etc. Mobile children's playing equipment is also available on Sivaratri Days for children at the destination.

31) Local Transport

Sharing autos, 7-seater autos, jeeps, private vehicles, etc are available to reach the destination from Kollapur and surrounded villages.

32) Parking Facilities

Tourists are parking their vehicles either within the boundary of temple area or besides water body as per their convenience. There is plenty of vacant land available for parking at the destination.

33) Other Facilities

The temple authority organises bajans during Sivaratri Festival for a period of five days and also during Ekadasi & Karthika Masam for a period of 30 days. The authority also organise bajans on every Mondays also depending on the interest of pilgrims.

Boating facilities are available from Somasila to Amaragiri (5 km); Siddeswaram (5 km); Sangameswaram (3 km) and Durgam Guhalu-Caves (5 km).

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