Case for Mysore Palace Walk

Mysore Palace Board wants to hire a consultant to double tourist inflow to the palace, says this morning’s paper.  The place attracts 2.7 million visitors a year.  According to deputy director of the palace board,  the idea is  ‘to enrich the ambience, without diluting the palace’s heritage’.  I would be surprised,  if  ‘ consultant’ parachuted from elsewhere for a hefty fee  come up with ideas  you and I can’t think of.  Besides,  one wonders whatever happened to our earlier ideas,  such as the much tom-tomed  palace sound-and-light show.

Do we need  a consultant to tell us that tourist traffic to the palace can’t be stepped up, substantially, without giving people fresh reasons to visit Mysore,  in the first place ?  Bulk of  visitors to our town are  passengers in transit to Ooty and Masinagudi resorts  or day-trippers from Bangalore, wanting to take in Mysore before taking a plane home. Mysore Palace, admittedly, is the city’s prime attraction. But the palace can’t be,  and it shouldn’t be, the only reason why tourists visit Mysore.  Doesn’t the city  have much else to offer its  visitor ? Viewed in this perspective, the palace board has set a rather narrow terms of reference to double the tourist flow to the palace.

Point is,  the palace already takes in all those who visit Mysore, whatever be their reason  – business,  yoga,  Infosys  training,  Chamundi pilgrimage.  Not many come to town only for its imposing  palace.  However much the palace is jazzed-up,  it can’t have visitors in much larger number than the palace already attracts. This, however, doesn’t  mean we can’t attract more of high-end visitors,  by making the palace visit an enriching experience. Based  on my experience of Royal Mysore Walks , I would suggest the  palace board allow Vinay to conduct a Palace Walk on the lines of his heritage walk. If  Vinay is given access to the palace archive material,  he could make the talk that goes with his walk that much more interesting.

Among other things the palace board could consider:  1) Putting  Mysore Palace on  facebook.

2) A passenger on board  Golden Chariot was quoted as saying tourists in Vienna  get to dine at the palace.  This prompted me to suggest, ‘the Maharaja (erstwhile, that is)  who lives in the palace could be persuaded to join tourists from the luxury train,  whenever he is in town.  His wife, who is into fashion design and branded soap-making, can only benefit from such interaction with the five-star tourism’.

3) Palace could do with a souvenir shop,  retailing authentic miniatures of selected collectables relating to the Mysore palace.  The shop is best run by the palace board,  with the items on sale carrying its seal of approval.

4) Wheel-chairs,  strollers, or even golf carts would be very much in order, for the convenience of  visitors to the extensive palace grounds.

5) Special concerts of reputed artistes could be organised weekly in the palace, as they do during dasara.

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3 Responses

  1. point very well made Sir.. with 2.7 million visitors.. its already among the worlds highest visited monuments, it might not b feasible 2 double the intake..

    your point on the palace archive, there is so much material out there. if it is made open to public.. such info can help in offering tourists/locals a superior Mysore experience.

  2. Mysore Palace truly is a very nice place.

    I agree with you that the palace board allow Vinay to conduct a Palace Walk on the lines of his heritage walk.

  3. I have my own concern on allowing more tourists to visit the Palace interiors. The century-old Palace is built is old traditional style. The Durbar Hall, built in the Madras-terrace style, is not strong enough to take more footfalls. In fact, it should be the opposite. The number of tourists into the palace should be curtailed. Entry should be limited to exteriors with video presentation on huge screens of the interiors. Your suggestions on souveniro shops and music concerts are welcome. I also agree that there is no need to hire a consultant.

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