The riverine island of Srirangapatna is gaining popularity among tourists with nearly one million tourists visiting the historic town in 2010-11.
The increase in the number of tourists augurs well for the local economy and the proximity to Mysore has added to Srirangapatna's rising stature as a favourite tourist destination.
While about 4.5 lakh tourists visited the town in 2000-01, the number of tourists visiting Srirangapatana dipped to 3,86,144 in 2002-03.
However, there was a reversal of fortunes from 2003-04 onwards and the numbers steadily increased over the years.
It crossed the half million mark in 2003-04 when nearly 5.70 lakh tourists visited the place. As many as 9.04 lakh tourists visited the town in 2010-11.
These statistics are based on the number of tickets sold at Dariya Daulat Bagh which is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). However, a few tourists skip Dariya Daulat Bagh and instead visit either the Sriranganathaswamy temple or the Gumbaz.
Hence, the actual number of tourists who visit the ancient town would be easily more than one million, ASI officials said.
A bulk of these tourists is domestic travellers though the number of international tourists visiting Srirangapatna too has gone up.
As against about 4,900 foreign tourists in 2000-01, the town received 26,791 foreign tourists in 2010-11. The ASI collected Rs. 70.68 lakh from the sale of tickets.
“The proximity to Mysore, which is emerging as a major urban centre and draws over three million tourists every year, and improved connectivity between Bangalore and Mysore had a spill over effect on Srirangapatna”, according to K.S. Nagapati, director, Mahajana Tourism Institute.
He told The Hindu that Srirangapatna had more historic monuments than Mysore. Yet, local tourist promoters hardly spare more than two hours for Srirangapatna while an entire day can be spent exploring the Dariya Daulat, Gumbaz, the Sriranganathaswamy temple with its massive towers, Jamia Masjid, Wellesley Bridge, Col. Bailey's Dungeon, Obelisk War Memorial and the fort among others.
In view of Srirangapatana's growing popularity among tourists, the authorities are contemplating a sound and light show at the fort.