Mysuru: ‘Destination Mysuru’ seemed to be the mantra of tourists who have arrived in the city in large numbers from various parts of the country including Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. Yesterday and today being weekends and tomorrow (May 1) being a closed holiday for May Day, all roads led to Mysuru.
The number of tourists who started pouring since Friday evening swelled this morning with hotels, resorts and guest houses reporting full occupancy. Tourists also started crowding eating joints and restaurants as early as 7 am to taste the Mysuru-style breakfast before heading to various tourist spots.
The four-lane Bengaluru-Mysuru highway was full with traffic towards Mysuru with the other side of the highway almost deserted (see photo) since yesterday and the traffic Police at the entrance of the city had a tough time in controlling vehicles. They were seen operating signal lights and switching them off manually to clear traffic.
Even as tourists hit the highway to unwind, a few areas in the city witnessed traffic jams owing to the unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles.
Areas surrounding Mysore Palace, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysore Zoo), roads that led to Chamundi Hill, Hunsur Road and Ooty Road witnessed traffic jams.
According to a Mysore Hotel Owners’ Association President C. Narayanagowda, most of the hotel rooms were booked in January. “Many have planned this vacation way ahead and as a result, almost all the 6,500 hotels, lodges, resorts are full. Even the hotels and resorts on the outskirts of the city have full occupancy and it might continue till Wednesday (May 3),” he said.
Of late, Mysuru has emerged as a transit point to explore Kodagu and other surrounding areas. Wayanad in Kerala and Ooty in Tamil Nadu are weekend getaways, while Bandipur and Nagarahole have also emerged as popular tourism spots.
Till 12 noon today, 13,500 visitors visited Mysore Zoo fetching revenue of Rs. 7.65 lakh. Yesterday, 17,948 visitors visited the Zoo that fetched Rs. 10,23,730.
Zoo Executive Director K. Kamala Karikalan said that the inflow of tourists has increased since two days following which security measures have been increased.
In all, 5,800 visitors visited the Palace till 12 noon today which would cross 22,000 till the end of the day. Yesterday, 18,516 visitors visited the Palace. Since two days, entry fee for foreigners has been slashed from Rs. 200 to Rs. 100.
Mysore Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya said that inflow of tourists to the Palace has increased since two days and added that till Friday, tourist flow was between 8,000 and 10,000 and on Saturday, 18,000 footfall was recorded.
Chamundi Hill and Bandipur
Devotees and tourists from across the State and also from neighbouring States are thronging Chamundi Hill. Today morning, vehicles were seen parked till Devikere as all the parking places atop the Hill were full.
In Bandipur, all 23 rooms and cottages are fully booked from Saturday till Monday and today morning, 430 tourists were taken for safari. Even private resorts and Jungle Lodges are booked till Monday.