Heavy rush at Dubare, Nisargadhama Hotels, resorts report full occupancy
Kushalnagar: Craving for a break and a year-end trip, several tourists from Mysuru and Bengaluru are heading towards Kodagu to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Hotels and resorts have reported full occupancy while tourist destinations are seeing heavy footfalls — the first after the emergence of COVID-19 in March this year.
Even the State Government has relaxed rules that it imposed fearing a second wave of virus infections. Kodagu District Administration had imposed ban on DJ nights and had clamped restrictions on tourists four days back but later withdrew, advising tourists to follow COVID norms while enjoying the year-end.
Christmas fell on a Friday and New Year’s Day (2021) too falls on Friday this year, making for extended weekends. The hospitality industry in Kodagu, which took a massive hit due to the nationwide lockdown and curbs thereafter, is now reporting full occupancy at home stays, lodges, resorts and guest houses.
Ratheesh, a resort owner in Dubare, told Star of Mysore that home stays, resorts in Pollibetta, Siddapura, in and around Madikeri, Kadagadalu and Suntikoppa are fully booked till Jan. 2, 2021.
“My resort is full till January first week and yesterday alone more than 2,000 people had food in my hotel,” he said.
Yesterday, Dubare recorded a footfall of more than 2,500 people and there was heavy rush for boating. Today too till afternoon, there were over 3,000 people at Dubare. Here, boating or a visit to the elephant camp is held from 9 am to 11 and from 2.30 pm to 4 pm.
As there was huge rush for boating, people crossed the river by foot. Fortunately, the water currents were not strong and there was less water in River Cauvery.
Dubare Deputy Range Forest Officer (DRFO) Ranjan said that despite caution boards being put on the riverbanks warning tourists not to venture into waters, tourists violate the rules and risk their safety. They cross the river and proceed to the Dubare Elephant Camp to see over 31 elephants.
As the crowd was huge, there was heavy demand for ‘still-water’ rafting that takes tourists on a 30 to 40-minute ride. There were 18 boats this morning for rafting and each boat can carry six persons and a guide.
Larger crowds were found in the places of interest in the district, compared to normal days. Tourism activities have witnessed a sudden boom at Golden Temple in Tibetan Colony near Kushalnagar, Kaveri Nisargadhama, Irpu Falls, Abbe Falls, Raja’s Seat, Talacauvery, Bhagamandala and Chelavara witnessed a huge crowd of tourists.
Kaveri Nisargadhama yesterday witnessed a crowd of 2,600 adults and 325 children. Harangi Dam witnessed a footfall of over 1,500 people.
The ushering in of tourists had its impact on the traffic movement. Madikeri especially witnessed frequent traffic congestion. Reports of traffic jams are also flowing in from South Kodagu where tourists are rushing to occupy the remaining home stays and resorts.