“A serene hill erupting into a dazzling volcanic eruption once a year.” Perhaps, this line best describes Mysore Dussehra because this otherwise serene city transforms into a frenzy of celebrations during Dussehra. Known as Dasara here, it is Karnataka’s state festival and they have been celebrating this festival for over 400 years. In fact, the Mysore Dasara celebrations started in the 15th Century by the Vijayanagar kings.
Enough of history? Well, here is a glimpse into some of the most gala Dussehra events Mysore is known for.
The Royal Durbar
It’s a blast from the past. The tradition of holding a special durbar at Mysore Palace started during Krishnaraja Wodeyar III’s reign way back in 1805. Till this day, the current symbolic king holds court during Dussehra. The king dresses up in traditional attire and ascends the throne, which is followed by performances by court musicians. However, the palace celebrations are private in nature and open only to a select elite audience.
Lighting up of Mysore Palace
Throughout the 10 days of Mysore Dasara, the Mysore Palace is brilliantly illumined by the glow of almost 1 lakh bulbs at night. The grounds in front of the palace come alive with charged cultural performances including dance and music shows. Artistes from different states enthral the audience with their feats. This is an opulent occasion and the maintenance of the lighting alone costs a whopping sum of nearly INR 1 crore.
On the eve of Vijayadashami, the streets of Mysore wear a festive look when the colourful Jumboo Savari starts from Mysore Palace and culminates at the Bannimantap where the Banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshiped. This colourful procession is led by beautifully adorned royal elephants along with camels and horses. The major highlight of the Jamboo Savari is an elephant carrying a huge idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari in a Golden howdah. The mood is exuberant with the State Police Band playing hearty music and folk dancers kicking up frenzied performances.
The Doddakere Maidan opposite the Mysore Palace is the venue for this mega event. Starting on the eve of Dasara, the exhibition offers non-stop entertainment for two whole months. It is an extravaganza of food, shopping and fun rides which witnesses the participation of numerous business and industrial houses.
Be a part of the grand festive celebrations this season!