BENGALURU: Tourist and pilgrim spots across Karnataka are witnessing a huge rush on New Year’s Eve with hotels fully booked at several places. However, at many places, the local authorities have imposed restrictions on visitors for New Year to prevent crowding and any untoward incidents.
At Nandi Hills, a popular picnic spot on the outskirts of the city, public entry is banned from 6 pm on December 31 till 6 am on January 1, 2023. Online bookings of rooms have also been cancelled.
Mysuru City Police Commissioner Ramesh Bhanot has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Chamundi Hills as a precautionary measure, prohibiting tourists from entering for New Year’s celebrations.
Entry is banned from 9 am on December 31 till 5 am on January 1, 2023. The ban is imposed to maintain law and order and the safety of tourists since there is a chance that a large number of people will gather. However, residents and staff of Chamundi Hill are allowed to move about.
The Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill is a popular pilgrim and centre thousands of devotees from all over the country visit the place. However, to prevent a rush of people on New Year’s Eve, public entry has been restricted. Moreover, this may lead to traffic problems and disturb wild animals in the reserved forest.
All New Year revelry is prohibited on the banks of the Cauvery river in Srirangapatna taluk and tourists have been barred from entering picnic spots like Balamuri, Edamuri, KRS backwaters and other places from 6 am on December 31 till January 2. Previously, some tourists indulging in revelry had lost their lives at these places.
The police have restricted entry to Antaragange hills and Terahalli hills in Kolar district from Saturday evening. Except those residing on the hills, no one else will be allowed to travel. Police personnel have also been deployed at Clock Tower in the town and near the bridge to prevent youngsters from popping wheelies and gathering near the Coffee Day outlet near Narasapura.
In Tumakuru district, entry is restricted at Namada Chilume, Devarayanadurga, Basadi Betta and other places from 8 am on December 31 till 8 am on January 2 as a precautionary measure.
The World Heritage Site Hampi is also witnessing a rush of tourists, both domestic and foreign, and all hotels and restaurants are full. With the New Year’s Eve falling on a weekend, the rush is particularly heavy, especially the techie crowd from Bengaluru and Mysuru
At Male Mahadeshwara Hills, about one lakh devotees are expected and rooms have been given on firt-come-first-served basis. In Bandipur, cottages and guest houses will not be available for tourists on December 31 and January 1, according to the Forest Department. The step has been taken to prevent any disturbance to wildlife, officials said. However, the safari will continue as usual.
Private resorts will not be allowed to play music or organise loud parties. Tourists must wear masks and follow Covid guidelines.
The famous Chitradurga fort is also witnessing a tourist rush from across the state and schoolchildren arriving on picnic. Vehicles are jampacked at the parking lot and tourists were standing in queues for hours to buy tickets.
At Hosahalli Gudda in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan district, paragliding has been introduced from Saturday (December 31) as an adventure sport for tourists. This is for the first time that such activities are being organised in the Western Ghats.