Karnataka Tourism Counter at Bangalore Airport

Waiting for my baggage after my flight back to Bangalore, I decided to get some information about Bangalore Palace, which, I have been informed, has been thrown open to the public at Rs.100- per head, for a while now.

I went to the KSTDC (IKarnataka State Tourism Development Corporation) counter, where a lady was busily chatting into her mobile phone. I asked her for information about Bangalore Palace.

“The *Bangalore* Palace?” she said disbelievingly….it appeared that she doubted whether I was talking about the right palace. But she didn’t ask me if I meant the Mysore Palace.

“Yes, the “Bangalore* Palace,” I emphasized, “It’s open to the public now, isn’t it?”

“We have no information about that,” she said laconically. End of conversation. She certainly did not try to phone up anyone to get more information, or ask for my phone no or email id to mail more information to me, or attempt to interest me in any other sights. I walked away.

We have SUCH a long way to go, as regards tourism. We think that just because we have all these wonders of Nature and architecture and history, they will sell themselves, and tourists will come rushing in. Well…they won’t. Tourism is something that has to be worked hard on, and a good infrastructure established. The newspapers recently had an article about tourist traffic to India falling because of the high prices and lack of infrastructure. We need to sit up and take notice of that news item.

Also…I notice now that no website, not even KSTDC’s official one, has the Bangalore Palace listed as an item for sightseeing. Has the Palace not yet been opened? But my information was that it HAS been.

And I wonder…if my skin had been white (or whiter)…would I have got a different response?

7 Comments so far

  1. Sriram Iyer (unregistered) on March 30th, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

    You bet we have a long way to go. I remember the first time I went visiting developed countries, I used to get all excited after interacting with the ‘Visitor Center’ staff, only to be disappointed later after visiting the so-called exciting tourist attractions. We should at least do a decent job of what we have on hand…if only we could get over our lackadaisical attitude

  2. Naren (unregistered) on March 30th, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

    Deepa, it seems you hav a long query.. First thing you are speaking to an Govt. officials who is on God’s work. So, you cannot expect a good courtesy from them. I dont think fairer skin gets better Response. So, no racist descrimination.

    If I were in that seat, i would have given the same answer. FYI, the Bangalore Palace is not an Govt. Property. ITs entirely Private Property of Royals of Mysore. I have not heard of it anything officially. There were Reports with pics. about the renovation. But, nobody knows wats happening!! After the day of IT.com had been there on personel work.
    when enquired about Bangalore Palace the security guards had no Information and denied the entry. Today Royals may allow tomorrow they may withdraw. So, i completely stand with the official in airport. The complete Information is required to answer a query. Incomplete info may trouble tourists. Moreover there is an litigation between the Mysore Royal Srikantadatta wodeyar and Govt. of Karnataka for Palace and grounds. Hope This might have helped you.

    you should hav asked for a Leela Palace, Definately she would have shown you. Ofcourse, she need a break from Chatting.

  3. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 30th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    your basic point regarding apathy is genuine.

    But racism is a different game. It is a fairly easily made accusation and one that can never be fairly established either way.

  4. silkboard (unregistered) on March 30th, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

    right said Deepa. This sort of lazy approach shows up almost everywhere (except perhaps Goa, Kerala, Delhi) and not just Karnataka.

    KSTDC can’t do or manage it and looks like they know that. That is probably the reason they recently invited bids for an ambitious “tourism master plan” for developing Hampi area.

  5. Archana Parikram (unregistered) on March 31st, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

    Well Said Naren. Leela palace is Very near to airport than Bangalore Palace:)).

  6. RAvi (unregistered) on March 31st, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    All I can say is that this matter is right up my street. I will try to get it redressed with the right people. Thanks!

  7. Jane (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 7:34 am

    Deepa – I was in Bangalore in February of this year on business and I can tell you that Bangalore Palace IS open because I was there. I was allowed inside, but only when accompanied by a “guide.” I was charged Rs. 200, and wished that I would have been allowed to roam around and enjoy the palace. There are renovations going on, and I saw men working on hand-made silks. My driver told me that weddings are often held on the grounds. By the way, you have a beautiful country and I wish to return soon.

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