Visakhapatnam: Even as tribals of Eastern Ghats shiver with temperatures plummetting during these days, numerous adventure lovers from the plains are making a beeline to Lambasingi, a remote village in Visakhapatnam district, to get the real-time feel of thick fog, biting cold and dense forests.
The COVID-19 pandemic fears notwithstanding, the thrill of having a different experience is bringing many to this village, of late described as Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh.
On an average about 10,000 to 12,000 people are visiting the area. Over the weekends the number swells. The hill station also witnesses traffic jams from nearby Narsipatnam town, about 20 km from Lambasingi. It is located 100 km from Visakhapatnam.
The non-descript village hogged the limelight after it recorded minus zero temperature in December eight years ago.
Sunlight can be seen only after 10.30am, which vanishes in three to four hours.
Located over 1,000 meters above sea level, it does not have any equipment to record temperature. Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) at Chintapalle, about 10 km away, reduces two degree Celsius from the temperature recorded at Chintapalle to estimate the climatic condition of Lambasingi.
Dr. G. Rama Rao, associate director of RARS told Siasat.com that they recorded 4.5 degree C at Chintapalle three days ago. He said they were expecting further fall in mercury by the onset of Sankranti in mid-January.
The locals prefer to stay indoors due to biting cold. In Araku area, located 100 km from Visakhapatnam, another popular tourist spot, temperatures have fallen below 8 degree C.
There are no adequate stay facilities at Lambasingi. “We preferred to spend time from dawn to dusk at Lambasingi to chill out and return to Narsipatnam to sleep at a budget hotel,” Banamali Behera, a youngster who came with four of his friends from Jagdalpur ( Chattisgarh), said.
AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is constructing a resort at a cost of Rs.27 crore to cater to the demand. The construction has been hit due to the pandemic and delay in release of funds.
“At present we are providing tent accommodation for those coming with prior bookings. We also provide canopies on rent,” said APTDC local manager Appala Naidu.
A few villagers are also offering home stay with bare minimum facilities. There is lot of demand for locals providing non-veg dishes till late in the evening.
The mesmerising hillocks, coffee, apple, berry and orange plants, Thajangi Reservoir and Susan Garden are the places where the tourists usually frequent.