Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation’s new tourist attraction that faced hurdles over COVID-19 situation early this year is gearing up for a launch in Mysuru and Hampi, the State’s two major tourist destinations.
‘Ambari’, a specially-built double-decker bus for open-roof bus tours, is being launched in Mysuru during the low-key Dasara celebrations. The initiative’s launch planned in March this year was put off in view of the pandemic.
With the festivities approaching, the KSTDC is now making preparations for rolling out the open-roof bus tours and ferrying tourists on the designated route to help them experience the beauty of Mysuru’s rich heritage on the go.
The KSTDC had requested the Forest Department and the Mysuru City Corporation to prune tree branches on the designated route for the smooth movement of the 16-ft.-tall bus.
The Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation was also requested to raise its overhead electrical lines to facilitate hassle-free movement of the bus, and these works are expected to be done by Dasara. The 40-seater bus, with lower and upper decks, was built in Bengaluru.
KSTDC Regional Manager Uday Kumar told The Hindu that the CESC is expected to commence the work soon while the MCC and the Forest Department are already on the job. “All of them have assured us to get the things done soon so that we can start our trial run before we officially roll out the buses,” he added.
The COVID-19 situation had put brakes on the KSTDC’s plan of launching ‘Ambari’ in March this year and one such bus that arrived here from Bengaluru for the launch had to be parked in the KSTDC office premises awaiting the run.
Once the preparations are done for the launch, three other ‘Ambari’ buses are also expected to be operated depending on the prevailing situation and the response to the new attraction. Besides four ‘Ambari’ buses to Mysuru, two buses will be operated in Hampi.
“The route and other logistics are being worked out for the Hampi tour which may also take off this year,” he said.
Ambari is a hop-on, hop-off initiative for tourists to experience the palaces and heritage buildings of Mysuru. Tourists will 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. Foreign languages will be added subsequently.
The body wrapping of ‘Ambari’ had been done based on the State’s art forms, culture and diversity, wildlife, and tourist destinations.