As the government announces a “big” Dasara this year and the tourism industry hopes for a significant turnaround in attendance after two years of low-key festivities, stakeholders such as the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have come up with organized trips for tourists wishing to explore sites in and around the city and also beyond Mysuru.
Beyond its popular “Darshini” tours during Dasara, KSRTC launches luxury tours on Airavat Club Class buses, providing a relaxed journey for tourists.
Reservations for the luxury tours are expected to open soon as the KSRTC plans to launch the luxury tours as well as the “Darshini” tours – Giri Darshini, Deva Darshini and Jala Darshini – from September 26, the day the festivities begin.
The one day deluxe tour has been planned in Ooty and Madikeri. While the Ooty package cost ₹1,600 per person, the Madikeri package was priced at ₹1,200. All above tours start from KSRTC Commuter Bus Stop
Mysuru KSRTC Divisional Comptroller Ashok Kumar said The Hindu that inquiries about package tours had increased, encouraging the company to start bookings earlier than expected. “Airavata bus tours are launched to facilitate travel. Our team will take passengers to the sites around Ooty and Madikeri as part of the package. It’s more convenient for families who want to travel in groups,” Kumar said.
Darshini bus tours ‘Sarige’ have been offered at attractive prices. Visiting Jala Darshini costs ₹450 for adults while Deva Darshini and Giri Darshini cost ₹300 and ₹400 respectively for adults.
“Our Giri Darshini tour is very popular because at Dasara 2019, the package brought ₹7 lakh to the company which organized more than 40 trips. We hope for a big response this year, as the big Dasara is happening after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” he said.
The KSRTC is also considering launching “Darshini” tours on AC buses if passenger response is good. “We are not opposed to the introduction of more AC packages on other routes depending on the response to the Ooty and Madikeri circuits,” he said.
The Giri Darshini package in 2019 covered Bandipur, Gopalaswamy Betta, Biligirirangana Betta, Nanjangud and Chamundi Hills. The Jala Darshini package covered Bylakuppe Golden Temple, 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 Bylakuppe Golden Temple, 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 set at ₹800 for adults .
No Bandipur and Shimsha packages are available this year.
Officials said details of the visits would soon be available on the KSRTC website.