South India is loved for many things – be it its rich Dravidian history, the breathtaking coasts, or its delectable cuisine! But one thing that is never associated with south India is snow. When we think of snowfall, we promptly think about Gulmarg, Nainital, and Manali. But South India isn’t always dry and humid! There’s a small village in Andhra Pradesh, Lambasingi, where you can catch a sprinkling of snow. If you manage to catch Lambasingi snow, consider yourself a lucky traveler!
With quaint valleys and chilling temperatures, Lambasingi is the only place in the southern region that sees snowfall. Numerous adventure lovers from the plains are making a beeline to Lambasingi, a remote village in the Visakhapatnam district, to get the real-time feel of thick fog, biting cold and dense forests. On average about 10,000 to 12,000 people are visiting the area. Over the weekends the number swells.
Perched at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, this misty hill station in Visakhapatnam’s Chintapalli town is also fondly known as the ‘Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh’. Throughout the year, the tiny village is covered with an ethereal white mist that swirls and moves with the wind, but in the winter (from November to January), the temperature in Lambasingi goes as low as zero degrees Celsius and then come bouts of cotton-soft Lambasingi snow. Another name for Lambasingi snow is Korra Bayalu, which in translation means “if someone stays out in the open at night, by morning they would freeze like a stick!”
Kalyan Mondal from Kolkata, who visited thrice Lambasinghi, said “there are not many pleasures greater than sitting around a bonfire and sleeping under the sky! Lambasingi has the perfect surroundings for overnight camping”
With the flow of tourists growing and much-anticipated demand for adequate stay facilities, the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is coming up with a resort at a cost of Rs.27 crores. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Appala Naidu, Manager of APTDC at Lambasingi said, we are providing tent accommodation for those coming with prior bookings. We also provide canopies for rent. Stating further Mr. Naidu said few local villagers are also offering homestay with bare minimum facilities.
Another problem that is giving the local administration sleepless nights in Lambasinghi is plastic pollution due to the increasing usage of plastic by tourists and traders in this region. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Dr. Venkateswar Salijamala, project officer of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA-Paderu) said, more than 60 percent of the waste generated in the Agency areas is plastic. Once, the items like plastic or polythene cover and the sale of plastic water sachets and single-use plastic are curbed, plastic waste can be minimized.
To arrest this trend and to make Lambasingi an eco-sensitive and plastic-free zone, we have asked gram panchayat officials to impose fines on tourists and shops or commercial establishments found flouting the ban, he said.
Another mesmerizing spot, 6 km away from the Lambasingi that can make tourists stop a while is Thajangi Reservoir. The reservoir, with hills in the background and the light flowing water, provides a beautiful setup for photographers. Add to this, tourists can hop a while at Kothapalli Waterfalls, 27 km away from Lambasinhi, which will make you realize that there are very few geographical features that exemplify the beauty and power of nature as dramatically as waterfalls! The eye-catching Kothapalli Waterfalls cascade over a series of rocks and plunge into a pool.
It’s also a popular picnic spot for locals and visitors. Apart from being the only place in the southern region that sees snow, Lambasingi is also home to an isolated tribal community that works at the pepper and coffee plantations. The vast expanse across which these plantations are spread is a sight to behold!
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