Named after Mahishasura, the city of Mysuru puts on a magnificent display for Dasara

19th Oct 2018
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Mysuru, or Mahishur as it was called in the past, traces its history back to the mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hill killed Mahishasura, the wicked buffalo-headed demon. This event that marked the triumph of good over evil is the inspiration behind Dussehra festivities.

For a city whose name is derived from ‘Mahishasura’, it little surprise, therefore, that Mysuru takes this season quite seriously. The ten-day Dussehra is celebrated with pomp and grandeur, and the entire city participates in a majestic procession, dance, music, varieties of cultural activities and a torch light parade. The festivities here are an elaborate affair and attract a large audience from all over the world.
Sudha Murthy inaugurated the Mysuru Dasara, 2018, atop Chamundi Hills. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018

Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami. As the legend goes, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of good over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura.

Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped in Karnataka during this festival. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
Special pooja is performed to Dasara Elephants on the occasion of Ayudha Pooja at Mysuru Palace. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
Mysuru Palace that is fitted with one lakh bulbs and is illuminated daily for two hours in the evening during Dasara. Image Credit: Lawrence Milton
A bird's eye view of Mysuru during Dasara. Image Credit: G A Ramesha

The legacy continues

The festivities in Mysuru date back to 1610 when the Wadiyar king, Raja Wadiyar I, lit the entire Mysuru Palace on all the 10 days of Dasara. The festivities begin with the Wadiyar royal couple performing a special puja to Goddess Chamundeshwari in the Chamundi Temple located on the top of Chamundi Hill at Mysuru. This was followed by a special durbar (royal assembly).

This tradition continues with the current scion of the Wadiyar family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, will hold a private durbar at the grand Mysuru Palace during Dussehra. Image Credit: Bala Raajeva.
Image Credit: Apurva Sridhara
The entrance to the Mysuru Palace. Image Credit: Nethraraju
A homeless mother and child watch the illuminated Mysore palace. Image credit: Nethraraju

The ninth day of Dussehra, called Mahanavami, is also an auspicious day on which the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession involving elephants, camels and horses.

An elephant getting ready for the grand procession. Image Credit: Rekha
Dasara lighting at Ramakrishnanagar, Andolana circle in Mysuru.

Grand festivities 

On Vijayadashami, the traditional Dussehra procession (locally known as Jamboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysuru city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, which is placed in a golden howdah on the top of a decorated elephant.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy offers prayers to Goddess Chamundi, who is placed on top of the elephant. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi


Jumboo Savari Rehearsal at Mysuru Palace. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
People getting ready for the procession. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi

This idol is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession.

The priest offers prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi

Colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, armed forces, folklores, the royal identities, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession, which starts from the Mysuru Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap, where the Banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped.

Street performance. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
As many as 1,000 yoga enthusiasts of all age groups, including women and children, took part in the Yoga Trek to Chamundi Hill. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
Farmers Dasara rally in Mysuru. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018

Another major attraction during this time is the Dussehra exhibition, which is held on the exhibition grounds opposite the Mysuru Palace. This exhibition goes on till December. Various stalls that sell items like clothes, plastic items, kitchenware, cosmetics and eatables are set up and they attract a significant amount of people. A game area containing attractions like the ferriswheel is also present to provide entertainment to the people.

The Mysuru Dasara flower show will be on exhibition till December. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi
Image Credit: Ranga Suddi
The streets of Mysuru are adorned with puppetry, crafts, sculptures. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
Aero show in Mysuru. Image Credit: Mysuru Dasara 2018
Mysuru also hosts sports and games like the parameter ride for the visitors. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi
On the eve of Dasara, district in charge Minister GT Devegowda as part of veterans age group 2k run in Mysuru. Image Credit: Nagesh Panathale
The statue of Kuvempu is showcased in the Dasara museum this year. Image Credit: Ranga Suddi

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