KSTDC may resume open-roof bus tour from August 1

KSTDC is planning to resume open-roof bus tours in Mysuru from August 1. The services were suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

With the sharp drop in COVID-19 cases and reopening of many popular tourist sites in and around Mysuru and also in neighbouring districts, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) is considering resuming its Ambari open-roof bus tours in Mysuru from August 1.

The initiative became a reality after a long wait in March this year. However, the buses were taken off the road after the pandemic situation worsened and a lockdown was announced.

With the lockdown curbs eased and the stakeholders hoping for revival of tourism, the KSTDC is hoping to attract visitors once again with Ambari.

When launched, the double-decker buses were the newest attraction for tourists in Mysuru as the bus tour assisted them experience the city which is known for magnificent palaces and buildings with architectural marvels.

The launch planned in 2020 was delayed owing to the pandemic, and for technical reasons.

Out of six open-roof buses, four had been allotted to Mysuru and two to Hampi, which is a world heritage site. The launch in Hampi is expected soon.

Inspired by London’s Big Bus Tours, the KSTDC came up with the idea of Ambari and the buses were flagged off by the then Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeshwar in the presence of stakeholders of the tourism industry.

Sources in the KSTDC told The Hindu that preparations were on for resuming Ambari from August 1. Tourists can buy tickets at the KSTDC office on JLB Road as online sales are yet to be made available. The ticket has been priced at ₹250 per person.

The 40-seater bus, with lower and upper decks, was built in Bengaluru. The body wrapping of the bus was done keeping in view the State’s art forms, culture and diversity, wildlife, and tourist destinations.

“KSTDC is gradually resuming its tours and packages seeing the public response. We have resumed the Tirupati package from Bengaluru. Likewise, the Ambari tour is also expected to be resumed with the pandemic situation coming under control. Taking all necessary precautions, the service will be restarted,” the sources add.

It’s a hop-on, hop-off initiative for tourists to glimpse the palaces and heritage buildings of Mysuru. Tourists get an audio guide the moment the bus reaches the tourist sites identified on the route. The audio will be available in two languages in the beginning — Kannada and English.

The bus route covers Hotel Mayura KSTDC office, Deputy Commissioner’s office, Crawford Hall, Kukkarahalli Lake, University of Mysore, Folklore Museum, Ramaswamy Circle, Palace Karikallu Thotti, Jayamarthanda Gate of the palace, zoo, Karanji Lake, Jockey Quarters’ Circle, Snow City, Chamundi Vihar Stadium, St. Philomena’s Church, Bannimantap, and City Railway Station.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 11:22:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/post-lockdown-ambari-may-hit-the-road-from-aug-1/article35588506.ece

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