Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru city experienced a sudden surge in tourist activity during the extended weekend, particularly last evening, leading to extensive traffic congestion throughout the city, including its central areas and major roads.
All hotels and resorts were fully occupied during this time. The traffic gridlocks were more in the Central Business District, around key landmarks such as Mysore Palace, the Zoo, and the Chamundi Hill Road.
Traffic jams stretched up to two kilometres in some areas, and even the outskirts, Ring Road and connecting routes encountered intermittent traffic congestion throughout the day. The stranded vehicles included tourist buses, cars, taxis, mini buses, and regular commuter vehicles.
Tourists expressed frustration as heavy traffic delays persisted for several hours, particularly on routes leading to popular tourist spots in the city. Videos and photos capturing these massive traffic jams went viral on social media, with some comparing the situation to the traffic jams typically associated with Mysuru Dasara.
This unexpected influx of visitors was attributed to the extended weekend, which included a Government holiday for Gandhi Jayanti, as well as previous holidays due to a bandh on Sept. 29 and Eid Meelad-un-Nabi on Sept. 28 and a Saturday and Sunday. An official from the Tourist Department noted that the five-day weekend significantly contributed to the traffic congestion.
Around the Palace, traffic was bumper-to-bumper for extended periods, especially in the evening. Tourists faced difficulties finding parking spaces, as there were no designated spots available. Most vehicles were parked haphazardly along roads near the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Office, Sayyaji Rao Road, Palace North Gate, Devaraj Urs Road, Gandhi Square, Ashoka Road, Irwin Road, Basaveshwara Circle and the vicinity of Suttur Mutt at the foot of Chamundi Hill.
Many tourist taxis arriving from Bengaluru and other places had to drop passengers at the Palace or Zoo and circle around searching for suitable parking. The chaotic situation was exacerbated by haphazard parking by long-chassis vehicles, further blocking the roads.
In preparation for the upcoming festival, the MCC is undertaking several road and footpath upgrade projects. Consequently, there was limited space for vehicles to operate on both sides of the road, as one side was closed for civic works. The Police allowed vehicles to ply on one side of the road, such as near the CADA Office. These last-minute civic works contributed to traffic jams, inconveniencing tourists.
Hotels, restaurants, lodges, and resorts experienced increased business during this period, with crowds flocking to establishments that offered exclusive parking facilities. The uptick in business brought relief to businesses after they suffered losses during the last week’s Karnataka Bandh. Even small vendors selling sweets and snacks enjoyed a boost in business.