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‘Palace on Wheels’ gets off the ground

MYSURU: The first-ever ‘Palace on Wheels’ initiative — which takes tourists on a palace hop across Mysuru — began on Sunday with 38 tourists.

The day-long tour in an air-conditioned KSRTC bus covers the iconic Mysuru palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Vasanth Mahal Palace, Karanji Mansion, Cheluvamba Mansion (which houses the Central Food Technological Research Institute), Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion in Manasagangotri, and Aloka Palace near Yelwal. This is a joint initiative of the district administration and the Tourism Department, reports The Hindu.

One ticket is priced at Rs. 999 and includes lunch at Lalitha Mahal Hotel and evening snacks at Aloka Palace. All the ticket-holders will also get a key chain the shape of Mysuru palace. They can also access free Wi-Fi.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is facilitating the initiative by offering its Volvo buses, used for intra-city transport, to ferry the tourists.

“The inaugural run of ‘Palace on Wheels’ had 38 passengers. If the response gets even better, we don’t mind operating a couple of buses,” KSRTC Divisional Controller (Mysuru division) Ramamurthy said.

The initiative was flagged off from the Balarama gate of Mysuru palace, in the presence of MLA M.K. Somashekar, Deputy Commissioner D. Randeep, and others. The tour began at 10 a.m. and ended at 6.30 p.m.

Mysuru palace is on the must-see list of every tourist who comes to the city. Jaganmohan Palace is an important edifice that houses the famous Sri Jayachamarajendra art gallery, where the famous paintings of Raja Ravi Varma are on display.

Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion is located in the University of Mysore campus and houses a folklore museum. It was renovated a few years ago using funds from the Infosys Foundation. Cheluvamba Mansion is breathtaking with a vast campus. . Lalitha Mahal Palace on the foothills of Chamundi houses a star hotel and is a major venue for film shoots. Aloka Palace is located on the outskirts of Mysuru and is being looked after by the Forest Department. A forest museum has been planned besides a tree park on the palace premises.

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