Mysuru: The Dasara water sports, one of the major attractions of Dasara festivities, was inaugurated by Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda and Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh at Varuna Lake on T. Narasipur Road here yesterday.
S.R. Mahesh, who spoke on the occasion, said henceforth water sports will be a permanent feature in Varuna Lake and will be open for tourists and sports enthusiasts throughout the year.
The District Administration and State Tourism Department had leased the Lake to Outback Adventures, one of the reputed agencies on adventure sports to conduct the water sports for a period of five years. The Department had awarded the contract to this agency after an agreement to pay Rs.1.66 lakh annually to the Government. It can continue for another five years if it wishes to renew the contract. The agency has already developed all necessary infrastructures in the Lake. It will maintain, operate and manage the water sports activities on its own cost.
Adventure sports hub: The District Administration used to conduct this adventure sport for a week during Dasara celebrations without much response and the sporting activity would cease soon after Vijayadashami celebrations. However, the Department has decided to conduct water sports as a permanent feature in Varuna Lake to project the city as a hub for adventure sports also.
He said this Lake has been selected as it receives adequate inflow of water from Varuna channel for irrigation purpose from KRS reservoir throughout the year. Sports activities like kayaking, pedal boat, jet ski, speed boat, banana ride, zorbing, canoeing and water trampoline will be conducted. All such boats will be made available throughout the year, even during summer.
Bird-watching: The Lake is also an ideal destination for bird-watching and for nature-lovers apart from enjoying water-based recreational sports. The Lake houses various species of birds like spot billed ducks, purple swamp hens, painted storks, cattle egrets among others. The Outback Adventures has also taken all safety measures for the riders provided with life saving jackets and other security measures. It has set up rest rooms, changing rooms, ticket counter and locker facilities, restaurant to serve food, snacks, beverages and juices to the visitors.
It has deputed six technical staff and ground staff to take care of the visitors. Earlier, the visitors were entering through east side which made them difficult to reach boating point, but now the Lake is open on west side for easy access to visitors from Mysuru side. Visitors can enjoy the water sports at the Lake located just 10 kilometres away from the city. Water sports will be open for visitors from 9.30 am to 6 pm daily, he said.
Bus Facility: G.T. Devegowda, who spoke, said that buses will ply to Varuna Lake during Dasara season to enable tourists to enjoy water sports.
Earlier, a large number of passers-by had gathered on Mysuru- T. Narasipur Road to watch the event.
Local MLA Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah, Dasara Special Officer and Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar, Deputy Director of Tourism H.P. Janardhan, Tahsildar T. Ramesh Babu and others were present during the inauguration.
Outlook Adventures can be contacted on Mob: 98861-74411.