India: Karnataka preps for visitor rush during upcoming Dussehra festival

Military guardsmen marching at Mysore Palace during last year’s Mysore Dasara. Source: Santhosh Varghese/Shutterstock

DUSSEHRA or Dasara is a popular Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and various states in India are stepping up by offering tour packages and promotions.

In particular, the state of Karnataka is popular for its Mysore Dasara state festivities that annually pull in scores of domestic and international tourists at the end of Navaratri.

The Department of Tourism and the government of Karnataka will launch the “Dasara Special Tour Package” in the Golden Chariot, a luxury rail service in South India. Guests will also be offered a gold pass to witness the Mysore Dasara.

During the tour, they’ll  get to see the majestic Mysore Palace illuminated as well as attend a host of cultural programs.

Men in colorful Ravana masks at last year’s Mysore Dasara. Source: Santhosh Varghese/Shutterstock

The majestic Mysore Palace illuminated. Source: Shutterstock

This year, tourists visiting Mysore will be able to skip long queues and buy tickets online. “The proposed [online] facility is likely to be launched for the convenience of tourists before Dasara,” Mysore deputy commissioner D. Randeep said, reported by Deccan Chronicle.

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Last year, the annual festival recorded a decline in visitors because of violence and protests over water-sharing of the Cauvery river. Karnataka Tourism, IT and BT Minister Priyank Kharge told Mint “steps were taken” to minimize the damage to Mysore Darasa celebrations.

This year’s celebrations will take place on Sept 30.