Vijayapura: The city saw a pleasant addition to its tourism sector as a special tourism bus for carrying visitors to major historic monuments in the city was launched here on Sunday.
The bus was scheduled to start from 8.45 a.m. from Hotel Mayura Adil Shahi belonging to the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation. But, no passenger booked a ride till noon.
As per the plan, the 39-seater air-conditioned bus will start from the hotel in the morning and complete the tour by 5 p.m. by covering the Gol Gumbaz, Jama Masjid, Asar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Bara Kaman, Malik-e-Maidan Toap, Sangeet Mahal, Nari Mahal and Ibrahim Roza. The charge for the ride is Rs. 250 per person. The bus, however, will provide service only if at least 15 persons book tickets.
‘Not a practical idea’
Although a novel idea, people and activists were of the opinion that a bus service is not practical considering the location of the monuments and the population in the area.
“Most of the monuments are located within a radius of 3 km. Taking tourists in a bigger vehicle is not an easy task as the monuments are located in narrow lanes,” Mohmmed Irfan Shaikh, activist and editor of a local Kannada daily, said.
He also opinionated that instead of spending money on an expensive bus, the government could have allocated funds to revive the ancient mode of transport, the tongas.
“Vijayapura is among a few cities that still has tonga service. Many tourists love to travel in tongas when they visit the city. The district administration could make best use of this facility to promote tourism. It will also help the tonga owner,” he said.
The district administration must look into this possibility to promote tourism, he added.