Mysuru: With just 38 days left for Mysuru Dasara, the Dasara highpower committee meeting, led by Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, has at last decided to celebrate this year’s festival in a simple manner due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Minister has announced Rs 10 crore for the celebration apart from Rs 5 crore, which will be released by Mysuru Urban Development Authority.
The ten-day Dasara festival would begin with the pooja of Goddess Chamundeswari atop Chamundi hills on 17 October. It is considered a huge honour to be chosen for the inauguration of Dasara every year. This year, the honour would go to five corona warriors, including representatives of doctors, nurses, Asha workers, Paura Karmikas (cleaners) and the police.
The major attraction of the ten-day cultural extravaganza, the world famous jumbo savari procession on Vijayadashami on 26 October, where the elephant carries Goddess Chamundeswari housed in a 750 kg golden howdah, has been restricted to Mysuru Palace premises to avoid gathering of crowd. Usually, it is a 4.8km-long procession route from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap grounds.
While the elephants form a major part of Dasara jumbo savari procession and they are cynosure of all eyes, this year just five elephants will be employed for the procession on Vijayadashami. Two major events to herald the beginning of preparations for Dasara, including “Gaja Payana” (to fetch Dasara elephants from their forest camps to Mysuru city) and “Gaja Aagamana” (to welcome Dasara elephants to Palace courtyards where they stay along with their care takers until the end of Dasara) will be held traditionally in a simple manner.
In addition, cultural programmes are hosted in front of the illuminated Mysuru Palace every evening on the first eight days as a mark of patronage extended by Kings to art, culture and music. Minister for Kannada and Culture and Tourism, CT Ravi said, “It has been decided to host those cultural programmes (classical music and dance concerts) infront of illuminated palace every evening will be telecast live via electronic or social media. Dasara poets meet will be carried out symbolically at palace premises. Dasara sports is also dropped and it is just restricted to receiving sports tattoo. Dasara wrestling will also be restricted. Rangoli chiththaara event where women come up with colourful rangoli designs has been restricted to the palace premises.”