Mysuru: Long weekends are always a reason to celebrate and for people smitten by the travel bug, it is the perfect time to plan a small trip. After the Dasara long weekend, it is always the Deepavali weekend one looks forward to.
With holidays starting from Wednesday (Oct. 18), this Deepavali has put that cracker of a smile back on faces and tourists are making a beeline to Mysuru to make the most of their five days. And it will continue till tomorrow, with Monday being a working day.
One side of the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway that leads to Mysuru was full with vehicles last evening and the same situation is continuing today, resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic from Columbia Asia Junction.
People are also thronging the Chamundi Hill and yesterday, hundreds of vehicles were stranded atop the Hill as devotees had parked haphazardly and left for the temple. The temple staff and the Police had a tough time in controlling vehicles and clearing the traffic. Yesterday alone, the Chamundeshwari Temple collected a revenue of Rs. 7,65,850 with over 30,000 people visiting the hill shrine.
The Mysore Palace recorded over 12,000 visitors till noon today and yesterday, over 18,367 people had visited it with over 13,026 people visiting on Oct. 19. The Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, popular as Mysuru Zoo, recorded more than 8,000 visitors till noon today and yesterday, over 18,711 people had visited the Zoo with over 11,790 people visiting on Oct. 19.
The Dasara Exhibition attracted the maximum number of visitors with over 30,000 people visiting yesterday. The exhibition was kept open beyond 10.30 pm to facilitate entry, shopping and merry-making though the closing hour is 9.30 pm. Today too, the rush will continue and tomorrow evening, the expo will attract maximum number of visitors.
Most of the tourists have come from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru and the extended holiday has also led to booking of all tickets on trains leaving Bengaluru. Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association President C. Narayanagowda said that hotels have seen 90% occupancy since the last two days and hoteliers are hoping it will continue till early next week.
Long-distance private buses operating from Mysuru are having a field day by increasing fares for the tourists who are entering the city and also for those getting out of the city. Private bus operators have hiked fares following the increase in demand as many people are on a tour.
The fares of air conditioned buses, including sleeper and non-sleeper, as well as non-AC ones have more than doubled on some routes. Bus operators are also engaging in cut-throat competition to get passengers.