The Dasara Gold Card, which confers a slew of privileges to the buyers during Dasara festivities, was released by the Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Shobha Karandlaje, here on Tuesday.

She also launched the Dasara website on the occasion.

The 1,000 gold cards, priced at Rs. 6,000 each, will be on sale within the next few days. They can also be purchased online.

Benefits conferred on the card-holders include free admission for two persons to places of tourist interest in Mysore and free admission to venues of cultural programmes, apart from discounts at specified rates at various outlets on purchase of select artefacts and rebate on room rent and restaurant charges in participating hotels.

The gold cards will also be on sale at premium hotels and in the Tourism Department offices.

Ms. Karandlaje said Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation had been invited to inaugurate the Dasara festivities atop the Chamundi Hills on September 19. The list of cultural events to be held at the Mysore Palace was ready, while the schedule for Yuva Dasara and other events were in the final stages of completion, she added.

Website

The default page of the website www.mysoredasara.com opens in Kannada. The contents can also be viewed in English and 35 other languages including Hindi, Arabic, Croatian, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, French and Polish.

Live streaming of the events has been planned this year also as there was good response for it last year. More than 2.5 lakh people from 76 countries had watched online the unfolding spectacle during Jamboo Savari.

Ms. Karandlaje expressed confidence that A(H1N1) influenza would not have any major impact on the festivities, and added that all precautionary measures including facilities to screen and isolate persons with symptoms of the flu were in place.

Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan said the district administration had urged the government to establish a permanent facility to detect communicable diseases.

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