0821- City of Palaces!
The Karnataka government is all set to rebuild the KRS dam with a museum complex on the top, similar to USA's Disneyland. The entire project would cost around Rs 1,200 crore and will cover up nearly 300-400 acres of area
Following the steps of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, Congress-JD(S) government of Karnataka has put forth a proposal to build a 125-feet statue dedicated to the river Cauvery, around the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) reservoir.
The state government is all set to rebuild the KRS dam with a museum complex on the top, similar to USA's Disneyland. The entire project would cost around Rs 1,200 crore and will cover up nearly 300-400 acres of area. The river serves as the lifeline for southern states - Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The proposal came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 182-metre tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat, built at a cost of about Rs 3,000 crore. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's statue is the tallest in the world.
Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh and Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar held a meeting with several top officials to discuss the design on Wednesday. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had previously stated that the proposal to develop the KRS dam would be along the lines of Disneyland in the US.
DK Shivakumar said, "It is not a statue per se, it is an amusement park. We want to showcase the heritage and culture of Mysore to rest of the country. It is still in planning stage and features can be changed be it statue or anything. We have planned a watch tower where people can oversee the dam. It will be like Eiffel Tower in Paris." It will be a public-private partnership project.
The government has also proposed a museum complex, two glass towers measuring 360 feet to provide a bird's eye view of the dam, an indoor stadium, a bandstand and some replicas of historical monuments.
In the proposal, the statue of Cauvery is presented as a woman holding a pot with water pouring out of it continuously. A smaller figure of the former king of Mysore Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar has also been planned.
Mahesh said the state's citizens carry a strong feeling for the river that is a symbol of motherhood and the government wants to reflect these sentiments through the statue.
Currently, the Karnataka government is earning around Rs 6 crore in a year from the KRS dam. After the construction of Disneyland-like attraction, the annual turnover is estimated to cross Rs 300 crore and the state government expects a yearly income of Rs 30 crore.
The Tour of Nilgiris (TfN), an annual cycle expedition through the Western Ghats and across Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, will be flagged off from Mysuru on December 9.
More than 110 cyclists will pedal the 950 km route that offers breathtaking views of the countryside and a myriad sight across different topography including plains, coffee and tea plantations, besides wildlife sanctuaries and hills.
The cyclists will get a taste of the cuisines each region has to offer and capture on camera the beauty of Nilgiris, said a statement from RideACycle Foundation (RAC-F), which is organising TfN 2018, the eleventh edition of its annual flagship event.
The eight-day expedition has also attracted the participation of 29 international riders from 23 countries.
Starting from Mysuru, the cyclists will pedal through Hassan, Kushalnagar, Sultan Bathery, Udaghamandalam, Kalpetta and return to Mysuru on December 16 to complete the tour.
Unlike the previous TfNs, which passed through the coffee plantations of Kodagu, this year’s expedition has skipped the district, which was ravaged by rains that caused causing immense damage to its road network.
On day four, while pedalling from Sultan Bathery to Ooty, the cyclists will climb Kalhatti Ghat.
“Every edition of TfN has etched a memory in the riders’ mind and they crave to come back to experience nature. Besides Indian cyclists, more and more overseas cyclists are keen to visit India to pedal in this grand tour. There are seven cyclists from Denmark, four from the U.S., three each from Australia, Germany and UK, two each from Belgium and Canada and one each from Austria, Greece, Malaysia, Philippines and Poland complete the international representation,” said Deepak Majipatil, co-founder, RAC-F.
Project will take two-and-a-half years to be ready and it will come up on 336 acres near the dam
The State government is all set to float a global tender in a month to develop Brindavan Gardens on the lines of Disneyland in the U.S.
Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar announced this on Saturday after inspecting the project site near Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) along with his Cabinet colleagues and senior officials.
The Minister told presspersons that project will be taken up under the PPP model and the State government will not invest “even a single rupee” for the project which is estimated to cost ₹1,425 crore.
The project will take two-and-a-half years to complete and will come up in 336 acres of government land located in several blocks near the KRS dam. The ownership of the land will remain with the State government, he said.
The Minister said a committee, headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, will seek guidance on the project. MLAs and Ministers from Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, technical experts, the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, representatives from the Mysore University will be part of the the committee.
The Minister also reiterated that the safety of KRS dam will not be compromised at any cost while implementing the project.
Earlier, the State government had announced a 60-metre Goddess Cauvery statute will be built on a museum tower near KRS. Now it looks as if the government has second thoughts on it.
Mr. Shivakumar said that the government is yet to decide on whether the statue will be that of Goddess Cauvery or Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.
The Minister said that a decision will be taken after going through various levels of consultation. As per the plan prepared, the statue will be built 750 metres away from the dam. The masterplan has a proposal to build a lake that will allow tourists to reach the statue and museum in a boat.
The total length — museum and statue — will be 120 metres.
On spending crores for building the statue, the Minister said: “Unlike the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue, where the government spent ₹3,000 crore, for this one, the State government will not spend any money. The contractor will bear the entire project cost.”
The other features of the project include upgrading Brindavan Garden with world-class fountains, and vast botanical gardens.
The masterplan, prepared by the consultant, also plans to build India’s first penguin zoo in the garden.
In addition to this, a street showcasing important architecture marvels of Karnataka, a wax museum, aroma garden and a tall glass castle which will showcase laser fireworks, are also planned.
In order to boost tourism in this region, Karnataka government has plans introduce ‘Tent Tourism’ in the ‘City of Palaces’ in front of the iconic Lalitha Mahal Palace.The state government has taken up various projects to increase the footfall of the tourists across the state and this move comes in the wake of growing awareness of and increasing demand for eco and adventure tourism where tourists prefer staying in tents instead of holidaying in permanent concrete structures. Tent Tourism will be implemented in city on the lines of ‘Rann Utsav’ in Gujarat where a tent city is established in the heart of the Kutch District — The Rann of Kutch — during the festival.
According to Minister for Tourism S.R. Mahesh over 50 acres of government land in front of Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel will be utilised for Tent Tourism. “Tents will be put up to be rented out to tourists to give them a new experience. Apart from regular destinations like Zoo, Chamundi Hill, KRS, Tent Tourism will give a different experience to tourists so that they can spend time in the open air, gazing at the stars,” he said.
Tent tourism will also make tourists stay back in Mysuru at least for a couple of days instead of using the city as a transit point to reach other tourist destinations like Ooty, Kodagu and Chikkamagalur, the Minister said.About four a million tourists visit Mysuru annually. But most of them come on a day trip and do not stay in the city as they do not see beyond Mysore Palace, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Brindavan Gardens. “We want the tourists to stay in Mysuru for atleast two days,” he said.
“The area in front of Lalitha Mahal provides a beautiful view in the backdrop of the Palace and the Chamundi Hill in front and it will be a wonderful experience for the tourists with hundreds of illuminated tents. Food will be provided to the tourists and there will be 24/7 service,” he said.“We will set up camp sites while ensuring adherence to quality, standards and safety norms,” the Minister added.
Mahesh revealed that the Tent Tourism project will be handed over to Jungle Lodges & Resorts and an action plan is being prepared by Tourism Department Director Kumar Pushkar. Incidentally, the Lalitha Mahal Palace is now maintained by Jungle Lodges & Resorts after taking over the Palace Hotel from India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
Mysuru: After visiting Kukkarahalli Lake recently where he initiated several development works in coordination with the ecosystem, Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh visited Karanji Lake this morning and held discussion with officials regarding its development and upgradation.
The good news for residents of Mysuru is that the famed Butterfly Park inside the Karanji Lake Nature Park, which is now closed for visitors, will be upgraded and opened soon. The biodiversity and climatic conditions of Karanji Lake surroundings are highly conducive for the breeding of butterflies.
Sadly, the Zoo Authority which maintains the Karanji Lake had banned entry into the Butterfly Park years ago following the suicide of one person in the Lake. People visiting the Butterfly Park can easily enter the Lake water as there is no fencing. The Minister this morning ordered the Zoo authorities to open the Butterfly Park after completing the fencing work.
Karanji Lake Nature Park is one of the tourist hot-spots in city. Zoo and Karanji Lake is located in a vast area of 165 acres of which 75 percent of the area is filled with greenery that acts as a lung space besides providing shelter to a lot of birds and butterflies. Thanks to copious rain, the Lake water has remained more or less intact, thus making it a perfect spot for bird watchers, picnickers and nature lovers.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Minister Mahesh said that the State Government has released Rs.2.06 crore to upgrade Karanji Lake. “The three lakes in the heart of Mysuru — Karanji Lake, Kukkarahalli Lake and Lingambudhi Lake — will be developed without harming the ecosystem,” he said. Rs.4 crore has been released to Kukkarahalli Lake for development, de-silting and smell control, he added.
During the Minister’s visit, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar and Zoo Executive Director Ajit M. Kulkarni told Mahesh that there was an urgent need to clear Rajakaluves that have blocked the natural flow of water from Chamundi Hill to the Karanji Lake. Krishnaraja MLA S.A. Ramdas accompanied the Minister.
On the desolate aquarium half built by the MCC and now being refurbished by the Zoo authority, Mahesh said that a world-class aquarium will be built that will attract lakhs of tourists. The aquarium is near Mysuru Zoo.
“An agency from New Zealand is interested in developing the aquarium complex and the agency has the knowledge on implementing such projects. We are looking at the option of Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) model,” he said.
The district administration and the Forest Department will jointly conduct a bird festival as part of Mysuru Winter Festival-2018 (Mysuru Maaghi Utsava) on December 28 and 29.
According to a release, the last date for registration is December 26. The participants will be taken on a birdwatching exercise around Kukkarahalli lake, Varakodu lake, Lingambudhi lake, Hebbal lake and other wetlands. Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Sankar, who is an avid bird-watcher, has evinced special interest in the programme, whose objective is to create greater public awareness of the rich biodiversity of the region.
While the birdwatching will be at the stipulated lakes, the technical sessions to provide additional details will be held at Mysuru zoo. The bird festival will be inaugurated at the zoo at 11 a.m. on December 28. There will be a technical session from 12 noon to 1.30 p.m. while the Deputy Commissioner will speak on birdwatching as a hobby from 2.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. From 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the participants, divided into 20 teams, will be taken for birdwatching.
On December 29, there will be a birdwatching session from 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. It will be followed by technical sessions from 10.30 a.m. to 1.15 p.m. There is a registration fee of ₹200, which has to be remitted online through http://mdc.psmedia.in.
The ongoing Mysuru Winter Festival organised by the Department of Tourism has given tourists as well as residents of Mysuru an opportunity to experience paramotor joyrides, which gives them a bird’s eye view of the heritage city.
After they received an overwhelming response during the Dasara festivities, paramotor joyrides are back in the ensuing winter festival, which kicked off on Saturday.
Tourists as well as residents were turning up at Maharaja’s College grounds to experience the thrill of gliding over the city, harnessed firmly to the paramotor, enjoying the view from a height of 500 to 1,000 feet for a duration of seven to eight minutes.
“Paramotoring is an aerial adventure sports that gives the riders the sheer joy of flying, exposed to the air,” said Kumaraswamy, proprietor of Bangalore Aviation and Sports Enterprise, which is offering the joyrides. Each ride costs ₹2,000.
Paramotoring has a pretty good safety record, according to Mr. Kumaraswamy. Both the paramotors deployed for joyrides at Maharaja’s College grounds comprise engines from Bombardier, Trike (seat) from the United States, and gliding equipment from Israel. “Even if the engine fails, the pilot can glide the paramotor down to safety,” he said. “We also keep the weather conditions in mind. We stopped flying for some time in the afternoon in view of dust. It is difficult to fly in the dust.”
Geetha and Manushree, who took a joyride on Sunday, were thrilled with their experience. “We enjoyed the view of Mysuru city,” said Ms. Geetha.
Mysuru Winter Festival will end on January 1.
Potential for more
Adventure sports enthusiast D.S.D. Solanki from Tiger Adventure Foundation said paramotor sports were among the most exciting aerial sports activities.
The weather conditions in Mysuru are conducive toparamotor sports, he said, urging the authorities to organise such rides frequently, preferably during weekends, to boost tourism.
Janardhan, Deputy Director of Tourism, Mysuru, said the district administration made paramotor joyrides part of winter festival to offer more variety to tourists.