Mysuru: As many as 72 couples from various parts of the city and district took part in the Heritage Tonga Ride for couples, organised by the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, Mysuru, to showcase the heritage and architecture of beauty for the tourists, in city this morning.
Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh inaugurated the Tonga Ride by offering ‘Bagina,’ containing Mysuru Peta, bangles, kumkum, as a mark of tradition to the participating couples.
Later, the Tourism Minister went on a Tonga ride along with MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha and Commissioner for Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage T. Venkatesh till K.R. Circle and grabbed the attention of the public.
Speaking to reporters on the occasion, S.R. Mahesh said that the Tourism Department has organised a series of events like Heritage Walk, Open Jeep Ride, Cycling and Tonga Rides for Couples with main intention to attract tourists and introduce them the vast heritage buildings of the city.
Referring to the reported boycott of BJP MLA L. Nagendra to Dasara events, the Minister said: “Dasara celebration is not a private affair. It is a Naada Habba. It is not possible to invite everybody. The leaders should voluntarily take part in events without waiting for invitation.”
Each tonga, carrying two couples, passed through main thoroughfares of the city. Every participating couple wore traditional attire.
Hundreds of members of Mysuru Heritage Forum and volunteers too were part of the event. The organisers served Pongal near K.R. Hospital where the ride culminated.
Experts explained the importance of heritage sites located along the route.
A total of 42 tongas participated. Tourist Department distributed Rs.800 honorarium to each tongas.
Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Deputy Director Nirmala Mathapathi and others were present.