With the government announcing a “grand” Dasara this year and the tourism industry hoping for a big turnaround in footfall after two years of low-key festivities, stakeholders such as Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have proposed tour packages for tourists who wish to explore sites in and around the city and also beyond Mysuru.
Looking beyond its popular ‘Darshini’ tours during Dasara, KSRTC is launching luxury tours on Airavat Club Class buses, offering a relaxed journey to tourists.
Bookings for the luxury tours is expected to open soon as KSRTC is planning to launch the luxury tours as well as ‘Darshini’ tours – Giri Darshini, Deva Darshini and Jala Darshini – from September 26, the day of the commencement of festivities.
The luxury one-day tour has been planned to Ooty and Madikeri. While the Ooty package costs ₹1,600 per person, the Madikeri package has been priced at ₹1,200. All the above tours start from the KSRTC suburban bus stand
Divisional Controller of Mysuru KSRTC, Ashok Kumar, told The Hindu that enquiries for the package tours had picked up, encouraging the corporation to start bookings earlier than scheduled. “Tours in Airavata buses are being launched for the ease of travel. Our team will take the passengers to the sites around Ooty and Madikeri as part of the package. It is most convenient for families that wish to travel in groups,” said Mr Kumar.
The Darshini tours in ‘Sarige’ buses have been attractively priced. The Jala Darshini tour costs ₹450 for adults while Deva Darshini and Giri Darshini cost ₹300 and ₹400 for adults respectively.
“Our Giri Darshini tour is very popular, as in Dasara 2019 the package had earned ₹7 lakh for the corporation which ran over 40 trips. We are hoping for a big response this year, as the grand Dasara is happening after a gap of two years in view of the pandemic,” he said.
KSRTC is also considering launching ‘Darshini’ tours on AC buses if the response from the passengers was good. “We are not averse to introducing more AC tour packages on other routes based on the response to the Ooty and Madikeri tours,” he said.
The Giri Darshini package in 2019 covered Bandipur, Gopalaswamy Betta, Biligirirangana Betta, Nanjangud, and Chamundi Hills. The Jala Darshini package covered Golden Temple at Bylakuppe, Dubare elephant camp, Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, Harangi, and Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS). The Deva Darshini covered Nanjangud, Shivanasamudra, Mudukthore, Talakad, Somnathpur, Srirangapatna, and KRS. The Madikeri package covered Golden Temple at Bylakuppe, Nisargadhama, Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, and Harangi.
Two years ago, there was a Bandipur package covering Somanathpura, Gopalaswamy Betta, Talakad, Mudukthore, Bandipur, and Nanjangud, and the cost was ₹1,000 for adults. Also, there was a Shimsha package which covered both Gaganachukki and Bharachukki Falls, Sri Nimishamba temple, Srirangapatna, Ranganathittu bird sanctuary, Balamuri, and KRS, and the fare was pegged at ₹800 for adults.
No Bandipur and Shimsha packages are available this year.
Officials said details on tours would be made available KSRTC website soon.