Mysuru: Ban on tourists visiting Mysuru due to COVID-19 pandemic lifted to enable tourists to enter the cultural city of palaces in Karnataka during the Dussehra fest, an official said on Sunday.
"Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri revoked the ban on tourists entering the city for visiting tourist spots during the 10-day Dussehra fest, which began on Saturday on the state chief minister's direction," a district official told IANS here.
The decision to revoke the ban Sindhuri imposed on October 15 from October 17 to November 1 was taken after a delegation of tourist guides, travel firms and hotels urged Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday to allow tourists and others to visit the city and make-up for the huge losses they incurred during the Covid-induced lockdown over the last 7 months.
With Mysuru being the second worst-affected after Bengaluru in the state by the pandemic, the world-famous Dussehra fest, including the victory parade on the Vijayadashmi day (October 26) will be confined to the Amba Vilas royal palace in the city centre to prevent large gatherings in public places.
Some of the prominent tourist spots across the city are the royal palaces, Jayachamarajendra art gallery, Mysuru zoo and Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill on the outskirts.
Brindavan Gardens, Nimishambha and Sri Ranganathaswamy temples, Tipu Palace, Kokkarebellur and Rangantittu bird sanctuaries in adjacent Mandya district are other popular tourist spots in the old Mysuru region.
About a million (10 lakh) people from across the country and the world over visit Mysuru during the Dussehra and Diwali festivals every year to witness the caparisoned elephants procession from the royal palace to Bannimantap grounds across the city for the torchlight parade as the grand finale of the 10-day fete.
"The people in the city have been, however, advised to celebrate the fest at home and watch the Dussehra religious and cultural programmes on television, as they will be telecast live from the palace grounds," said the official.
The grand fest (nada habba) will begin on Saturday at the Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill with its formal inauguration by the Bengaluru-based state-run Jayadeva heart hospital director CN Manjunath in the presence of Yediyurappa and the invited dignitaries.
Wearing a mask, thermal screening, hand washing with sanitiser and maintaining physical distance are mandatory for all at the venues where the fest events take place.