- Upper deck of Ambaari bus to watch illumination will cost Rs. 500 per person; lower deck Rs. 250
- Test run of Dasara illumination begins
Mysore/Mysuru: The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will be offering special tour packages at subsidised rates for tourists, who come to witness the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru.
Additionally, KSTDC will operate the special Ambaari double-decker bus for tourists interested in viewing the Dasara illumination.
This year’s Dasara festival will be held from Oct. 15 to 24.
However, there’s a catch here. The open upper deck of the Ambaari bus will be priced at Rs. 500 for a one-hour city ride, as opposed to the current rate of Rs. 250. The lower deck remains priced at Rs. 250.
This year, KSTDC is anticipating high demand for the upper deck to view the illumination. Last year, the rates were consistent at Rs. 250 and many passengers preferred the open upper deck for a better view and experience.
The demand was so high that when the upper deck filled up, some tourists refused to board the buses. Consequently, trips were delayed and many tourists opted to wait for the next trip to secure seats on the upper deck instead of settling for the lower deck. This year, Tourism Department officials have clarified that the revised rates for the upper deck of Ambaari will take effect only after the Dasara illumination begins.
Currently, only one Ambaari bus operates within the city, starting from the South Gate of the Mysore Palace. This bus starts the day-long tours at 10.30 am and concludes at 7.30 pm and the number of trips depends on the response, KSTDC officials said.
As the festival approaches, plans are in place to commission the remaining five Ambaari buses to accommodate the rush, according to officials. Mysuru has six Ambaari buses. While one bus is used for regular trips from the Palace South Gate, the other five are parked at the KSRTC Depot in Bannimantap where they are maintained.
Three trips for illumination per evening
According to KSTDC, the one-hour Ambaari tour will commence at Hotel Mayura Hoysala’s transport wing on JLB Road, which also serves as the KSTDC Office.
The three trips to watch the Dasara illumination will begin at 6.30 pm, 8 pm and 9.30 pm. Each bus will complete three trips and children above 5 years old will require full-price tickets.
The Ambaari bus will cover the following places and route: Old DC Office, Crawford Hall, Oriental Research Institute (ORI), Central Library, Ramaswamy Circle, Sanskrit Patashala, Palace South Gate, Jayamarthanda Gate, Hardinge Circle (Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle), K.R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Ayurveda College Circle, Mysore Medical College, City Railway Station and return to the starting point at Mayura Hoysala Hotel on JLB Road.
To make the process convenient and hassle-free, this year, the KSTDC, instead of selling physical tickets, will sell the Ambaari tickets online and they can be bought at www.kstdc.co
The ticket section will be opened as the festival draws closer. For further details, contact Ph: 0821-2423652.
As is the tradition, this year also features special packages exclusively for tourists who will explore places in and around Mysuru, including religious shrines. KSTDC luxury buses and mini buses from the Mysuru Transport Division will operate on designated routes.
A five-day, twin-sharing tour covering Jog Falls, Gokarna and Goa will be priced at Rs. 6,358 per person. A one-day trip to Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebeedu will cost Rs. 1,089 while a visit to Somnathpur, Shivanasamudra, Talakad, Mudukuthore, Gaganachukki-Bharachukki (one day) will be priced at Rs. 550 per person. A day’s excursion to Nanjangud, Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple and B.R. Hills will cost Rs. 728 per person.
Additionally, KSTDC is organising trips to KRS Backwaters, Venugopalaswamy Temple, Melukote Cheluvanarayanaswamy Temple, Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple and Adichunchanagiri for Rs. 660 per person. Another tour package will cover Dubare Elephant Camp, Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat and Cauvery Nisargadhama in Kodagu so also the Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, costing Rs. 979 per person.
A local Mysuru trip covering Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery, Mysuru Zoo, Chamundi Hill, Mysore Palace, St. Philomena’s Church, Srirangapatna Gumbaz, Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, Sriranganathaswamy Temple and Brindavan Gardens will cost Rs. 440 per person.
Online booking for the above tour packages has already begun and tourists can make reservations at www.kstdc.co. Officials have stated that once the bookings are confirmed, buses will depart from Mysuru and there must be a minimum of 40 percent bookings for a particular route. “We will maintain continuous communication with the tourists and inform them about the travel date and time once the bookings touch the minimum requirement,” officials have assured.
Illumination test run
Meanwhile, the test run of illumination began on 100 ft. Road near Sanskrit Patashala yesterday. Illumination of other prominent roads and circles will be taken up soon.