Celebrating Victory With Royalty

Celebrating Victory With Royalty

Mysore Dasara ( ನಾಡ ಹಬ್ಬ ) 

Celebrating Victory With Royalty

The Mysore Dasara is celebrated in honor of goddess Chamundeshwari, a form of goddess Durga - ‘Chamundi’ is the fierce form of ‘Shakti’. According to legends, she is the slayer of demons, ‘Chanda’ and ‘Munda’ and also ‘Mahishasura’, the buffalo-headed monster, every year the celebration is held in honor of this triumph.

According to historians, the magnificent custom of the Dasara celebration known as the Mahanavami was started by the Vijayanagar rulers in the 15th century - the celebrations are also shown in the relief artwork on the outside wall of the Hazara Rama temple in Hampi.

In recent years, it is being practiced today by the royal family Wodeyars of Mysore. During the celebrations, a special durbar or a royal assembly was held. The first Dasara durbar was held in the Mysore Palace in 1805, under the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. Since Srikanta Wadiyar's passing in December 2013, this custom has been maintained by placing the "Pattada Katti" (royal sword) on the throne.

A grand inauguration and a cultural event kick off the celebrations on the first day of Navratri. Celebrations are done in honor of the goddess Saraswathi on the sixth day of the Mysore Dasara. On the eighth day, the goddess Durga is honored, and on the ninth day, the goddess Lakshmi is honored.

A bustling exhibition takes place on the Doddakere Maidana. It starts during Mysore Dasara and remains open till December. It showcases the cultural and religious heritage of the city where visitors can also buy clothes, kitchenware and other souvenirs. For visitors’ entertainment there are Ferris wheels and other thrilling rides, and one can also enjoy mouthwatering delicacies and authentic cuisine. Other attractions include traditional wrestling or ‘Nada Kusti’ and a special Dasara Flower Show that usually takes place in Nishad Bhag or Kuppanna Park.

The spectacular climax is celebrated with tremendous fanfare on the tenth day, which is known as Vijayadashami. There is an elaborate parade called the ‘Jambu Savari’ begins at the renowned Mysore Palace and ends at the Bannimantap, a significant historical site in the city. This is a spectacle consisting of 12 Dasara Jumbos (elephants) that are specially selected and trained particularly to participate in the show march in unison which is one of the procession's main draws.

This dazzling parade displays the grandeur of Karnataka’s glorious history accompanied with spectacular fireworks, bike shows, cultural programs, and laser shows. During this cultural extravaganza, the Mysore palace (the royal residence and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore) is illuminated with thousands of lights, making it a treat to the visitors. The beautifully embellished palace with around 97,000 bulbs is a rare sight to behold.