With a blend of the old and new, Telangana presents the perfect picture. Its attractions to domestic and foreign tourists include heritage monuments, nature and divine shrines. And in the past decade it has become known for its medical tourism with the advent of advance super-speciality medical technologies, as also for being MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) destination.
Considering all these and also as tourism is one of the largest provider of direct and indirect employment, successive Governments have leveraged the potential to the hilt. Since Telangana became a separate State in June 2014, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Government has noticed the surge in arrivals - from 3.26 crore in 2005 to a whopping 9.46 crore by the end of 2015.
Pertinently, the State has managed to get the largest-ever chunks of Central assistance - Rs. 91.62 crore for a eco-tourism circuit, primarily in Mahabubnagar district and a tribal tourism circuit around Warangal district. The two circuits aim at showcasing the natural beauty of the State, its pristine forests, tiger and wildlife reserves, waterfalls, caves, rivers, reservoirs and ancient temples with focus on infrastructure development, increasing road connectivity, together with building ropeways, tourism cottages and boating facilities.
The Socio Economic Outlook 2016 unveiled on Monday with the slogan ‘Reinventing Telangana - The Way Forward’ makes specific mention of the eco-tourism circuit including Somasila riverside facilities, a tourist facilitation centre, lounge, water supply and public convenience system in Singotam, Akkamahadevi caves, ‘Kadali Vanam’ where trekking paths are available, the tiger sanctuary of Farahabad/Srisailam, ‘Mallela Theertham’ waterfalls and Umamaheswaram temple of Lord Shiva.
The tribal tourism circuit includes ‘Mulugu Gattamma: The gateway to Medaram’, Laknavaram lake that is an engineering marvel of the Kakatiya Kings, Medaram and Tadvai where ‘Sammakka-Saralamma’ are worshipped, the Mallur spring waters that are said to have healing properties, and a shrine of Lord Narasimha Swamy and the scenic Bogatha waterfalls in Khammam district.