¤ Mysore Dussehra
Dussehra is one of the most important and renowned Dussehra festival
In Mysore, Dasara is observed as State festival also known as
'Nadahabba', because of the special initiation taken by the Royal
Family of Mysore in the festival celebrations.
It is a 10-day celebration and ends on Vijayadashami Dussehra Day.
The day marks the successful conclusion of the preceding nine days.
The first six days are celebrated in the honor of goddess Saraswathi.
Eight day is dedicated to Durga and ninth day is for Lakshmi- the
goddess of wealth. On tenth day a grand procession is held from Mysore
Palace and terminates at Bannimantap.
¤ The Festival Commemoration in Mysore
During the festive season the entire city is decorated and lightened
in a most impressive way, that attracts thousands of tourists to the
city. The Palace and other important buildings are also embellished
and illuminated - worth a sight.
Majestic processions, a torch light parade, dance and musical events
vitalize the placid city. Many cultural programs are organized in the
Mysore Palace, performed by famous artists. Sport events, poet's meet,
food festival, film festival are also held. The famous Dasara
exhibition is organized at Doddakere Maidana, by the Karnataka
Exhibition Authority, where many public and private sector, State
Government departments and other business class set up their stalls to
promote their industries. Craft fairs, traditional wrestling matches
are other highlights of the exhibition.
¤ The Royal Celebrations
The royal family of Mysore performs special pooja on the occasion of
Dasara. The most favored site for the Mysore Dasara is Amba Vilas
Palace, also known as the Diwan-e-Khas. The palace is decorated with
remarkably designed inlay works of ivory, colored motifs and
creatively drawn designs made from jasper, carbuncle and resin.
On the first day of Navratra, the king, after a ceremonial bath,
worships the family deity in the palace and enters the hall with the
echoes of sacred chants and music. He worships the navagrahas (nine
sacred deities) and the sacred `kalasa'. Then he takes his seat on the
throne at an auspicious moment after going around it three times. The
palace lights are lit and a 21-gun salute is given as the royal emblem
and swords are presented to king.
The king sits on the throne and receives guests. He accepts blessing
by palace priests who chants Vedic hymns and sprinkling holy water.
Blowing of conches and trumpets announces the beginning of a royal
parade of uniformed soldiers and elephants.
¤ The Dussehra Procession
The most significant feature of the festival is the 'Dasara
Procession' held on Vijayadashami or the tenth day. It is led by
highly decorated elephants that carry idol of goddess Chamundeswari
well seated on a golden throne placed on an elephant seat. Hundreds of
decorated horses, folk dancers, courtiers, nobles, soldiers, and
colorful visitors follow the procession.
The procession starts from the Maharaja's palace to the torch light
parade ground gate and winds its way through the city in the backdrop
of the Chamundi hills. The festive celebrations are concluded by a
closing ceremony that includes - cultural programs from different
states, gymnastic and horseback rider events, followed by a torch
light tattoo and fireworks. Thousands of visitors throng the region
during Dussehra Festival and witness the ceremonies and the
¤ The Highlights of The Festival
Today, Dasara is marked by cultural events and musical performances
performed by world-renowned musicians at the Amba Vilas Palace, the
exhibition at Doddakere Maidan and the colorful Vijayadasami parade
are the main attractions of Dasara. The festival has also gained
importance as an advertisement of the cultural diversity and
achievements of Karnataka. By patronizing the event, the government
has attained a great success in exhibiting the rich heritage of the
region thereby giving a boost to tourism and folk arts.