Mysore Dasara - A Festival of Royal Origin


Kemmannu News Network, 12-10-2018 14:51:58


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Mysore Dasara - A Festival of Royal Origin

The festival can be traced all the way back to 1610, when it was started by Wadiyar King, Raja Wadiyar I. The king and his wife performed a special puja to worship Goddess Chamundeshwari in Chamundi Temple, situated on top of Chamundi Hill in Mysore. Later, in 1805, Krishnaraja Wadiyar III started the tradition of holding a special durbar (royal assembly) at Mysore Palace. This continues today. However, it was during the rule of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (from 1894-1940) that the celebrations became grand. The highlight was a royal procession with the king riding in a golden seat on a decorated elephant.

The festival lost some of its pomp after India attained Independence in 1947, which resulted in royal rulers losing their kingdoms and authority. Some of it has been regained in the last few decades though.

How is the Festival Celebrated?

Mysore Palace is dazzlingly illuminated by almost 100,000 light bulbs, nightly from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m., during the festival.

In addition, the palace’s magnificent Golden Throne is taken out of storage and assembled in the Durbar Hall for public viewing. This is the only time it can be seen throughout the year.

The main event takes place on the last day of the festival. A traditional procession (known as Jumboo Savari) winds its way through the streets of Mysore, starting at 2.45 p.m. from Mysore Palace and ending in Bannimantap. It features an idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari, which is worshiped privately by the royal family beforehand, carried atop a lavishly decorated elephant. Colorful floats and cultural troupes accompany it. In the evening, from 8 p.m., there’s a torch-light parade at the Bannimantap grounds on the outskirts of the city. Highlights include fireworks, daredevil stunts on motorcycles, and a laser show.

Other popular attractions include Yuva Dasara (an event targeted at the youth), food festival, cultural programs at various venues, sound and light show, sporting events (such as wrestling), heritage cycling, a shopping festival, a flower show, vintage car rally, kite festival, and film festival.

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