The recently concluded Dasara festivities followed by the weekend have proved to be a boost for the tourism sector in Karnataka. Amid the fears of Covid-19, a record number of people have visited Mysuru to witness historical Dasara festivities in the last 10 days.
Last year during Dasara celebrations when the Covid pandemic wreaked havoc, a total of 9,345 people had visited the Mysuru Palace. This time the numbers have increased to 36,618 in 10 days. Similarly, Mysuru Zoo saw a whopping 75,000 footfalls against 20,000 in the last year. As many as 16,000 visited the Railway Museum in Mysuru.
Buoyed by the response of the people, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that a special tourism zone will be created in Mysuru and from next year the government will celebrate Dasara on a large scale.
The special lighting arrangements of the Mysuru Palace, 105 kilometers within Mysuru city on 119 roads and 96 junctions will be continued till October 24 to encourage tourism in the region.
Mysuru district administration, which drew flak for the management of the Covid crisis during the second wave, was appreciated for its efforts during Dasara celebrations as Bommai and District-in-Charge Minister S.T. Somashekar praised the officers.
The Nadda Habba (state festival) was held amid Covid-19 restrictions with the district administration restricting visitors by issuing limited passes to the people to watch the ‘Jumbo Savari’.
Somashekar explained that as many as 5.12 lakh people watched Dasara festivities online and Dasara Jumbo Savari alone got 1.85 lakh hits on Facebook.
Apart from Bommai, the titular head of the erstwhile Mysuru Royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, minister in-charge of Mysuru S T Somashekar, and Mysuru mayor Sunanda Palanetra offered flowers to the goddess and inaugurated the procession of the 750 kg golden howdah of the city’s presiding deity.
The 10-day event is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari, who killed Mahishasura, of the Chamundi Hills.
Meanwhile, the world heritage site Hampi in the newly formed Vijayanagara district was thronged by more than 12,000 tourists during the festival. The hill town of Chikkamagalur witnessed traffic jams and the beaches in coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi were full after a long time.
(With IANS inputs)