The beautiful Hope Island situated off the coast of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, is soon to be developed as a coastal and eco-tourism hotspot. The Ministry of Tourism, under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme, is all set to improve and increase the connectivity and infrastructure of the destination.
While the project was sanctioned back in year 2014-15, the last and final instalment of funds will be released after checking the operation and maintenance of the site for one year. The tadpole-shaped island was said to have formed in the late 18th-century; by the waters of Koringa river, a distributary of the river Godavari.
Just adjacent to the island, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, is the nesting ground of Olive Ridley Turtles, and is home to nearly 269 species of birds, of which 95 are migratory species from Eastern Europe and Asia. A huge number of water birds and 21 threatened bird species are also located in the sanctuary in the Marine Protected Area.
The State government is also developing Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-tourism spot, given the number of travellers to the sanctuary has been on the rise. The sanctuary is said to have the second largest stretch of mangroves along the East Coast, with a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna including otter, fishing cat, sea turtles and shellfish species.
According to the project guidelines, the rich flora and fauna here generates significant ecological and economic benefits such as shoreline protection and sustainable livelihoods for the locals. It protects the Kakinada region from natural calamities such as cyclones, storms, tsunamis and coastal erosions.
The best way to traverse the sanctuary is on a boat. Formed in the delta and estuary region of Godavari which then merges into Bay of Bengal, the sanctuary is located in the backwaters of the sea. At Coringa, one can also walk over walkways made of wooden planks over the thick forest cover and indulge in bird-watching. The most commonly spotted birds here include grey heron, sandpiper, little egret, red-wattled lapwing, blue kingfisher, pied kingfisher, Brahminy kites and little cormorants.