Gifted by nature; 'cursed' by man!

tourism circuit With World Tourism Day on Monday, its time to do some stock taking around the city. The tourism spots surrounding Mysore is not bei

Gifted by nature; 'cursed' by man!

Mysore is acclaimed as a city of palaces and historical monuments. But are we able to make use of them to promote tourism?, is a million dollar question. Not only Mysore even neighbouring districts too have many things to offer to tourists. Yet we are not successful in attracting more tourists because of lack of basic facilities. 

Many tourists, after visiting important tourist places of Mysore, would get back to their home towns without showing much interest to equally important places like Belur, Halebeedu, Talkad, Melukote, Somanathpur, Nanjangud, Shivanasamudra, Biligirirangana Temple Sanctuary and Ranganathittu.

Unfortunately, more impetus is given for the promotion of tourism in Mysore than other places of tourists in neighbouring districts. One of the main reasons why tourists do not visit those places is due to bad roads. The tourists like to cover places that are having good road connectivity.

This has hampered development of tourism as a whole in the region. Whatever little done by Department of Tourism for promotion of those ‘not so popular’ tourist places is going waste mainly because of lack of co-operation of other departments and local bodies.

Recently, a tourist from north India who set out to explore a tourist place in T Narasipur taluk developed back pain because of bad roads.

Henceforth, he said he would never recommend any of this friends or relatives to visit T Narasipur. This kind of ‘negative publicity’ will definitely hamper the growth of those places of importance for tourists. What is required is good infrastructure facilities for the development of tourist places in Mysore, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar districts.
Karnataka has to learn a lot of things from its neighbours-Tamil Nadu and Kerala regarding basic infrastructure. Any tourist, who undertakes tour in Tamil Nadu or Kerala never complains of bad roads even in the remotest places. A small state like Kerala, with mostly backwaters for tourist attraction, is attracting tourists from all over the world.
 But Karnataka with plenty of natural forests, backwaters, temples, palaces and monuments is not able to match other States when it comes to promotion of tourism.

No doubt Mysore attracts tourists more than Taj Mahal in Agra. But, there is so much to do to attract tourists. The Wadiyars have left behind rich legacy which is sufficient to attract much more tourists. The states like Rajasthan and Jaipur are offering many things to pull tourists towards them. Such an initiative is missing here. After visiting Mysore Palace, zoo, Chamundi Hills, Jagan Mohan Palace, Brindavan Gardens, St Philomena’s Church tourists hardly stay back. Most of them go back to Bangalore. What is missing is to hold back tourists in the city for one or two days by offering them the rich cultural heritage. The authorities of Mysore Palace Board do special illumination of the Amba Vilas Palace whenever tourists of the Golden Chariot visit the city.

Promotion
An officer of Department of Tourism told City Herald that the department has done whatever required for promoting tourism in the region. The biggest problem is lack of coordination among officials of various departments. For instance, any local body that earns handsome revenue from tourists is not at all spent on development of infrastructure.

The officer said there is a need to showcase tourism places of neighbouring districts if the government wants to promote tourism in the whole region.
In case of series of holidays, thousands of tourists flock Mysore, but not other places. However, the same crowd does not like to visit either B R T Sanctuary or Talkad. “Our basic problem is contentment. We feel above the skies if any survey indicates that over 25 lakh tourists visit Mysore, every year. But do not bother to make further improvements. The infrastructure is remaining same even as there has been improvement in the number of visitors. We are banking upon whatever left over by our rulers without improving them. The city spruces up only during ten-day Dasara festival and remains dormant during rest of the time.”

Missing
What is missing is a tourist circuit encompassing important places of neighbouring districts. Although, much has been talked about improving facilities in all tourist places seldom it is implemented mainly because of lack of willpower.

Special package needed
President of Mysore Hoteliers Association, Rajendra opined that the State Government should announce a special package to provide basic amenities in all places of tourist surrounding Mysore.
He told City Herald that lack of basic amenities is preventing tourists from visiting those places. Providing good infrastructure will definitely attract more tourists not only to Mysore but also to other places. . According to an estimate, around 25 lakh tourists are visiting Mysore and the number will double within shortest period.
Rajendra said there is a need to organise cultural programmes at all important places so that tourists, after visiting tourist centres, to sit and relax up to 11 pm. Besides, the sound and light programme needs to be organised daily.
The government should release an one time grant of ` 100 crore to provide facilities, more importantly good roads in neighbouring districts. For instance, road that leads to Gaganchukki is in very bad shape. Taking tourists to that spot is like inviting their wrath.

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