Mysore Dasara is the ‘Naada Habba’ (State festival) of Karnataka State, and Mysore is well known for the festivities that take place during the Dasara period. Dasara festival can be traced back to the Puranas and is widely observed across India, in the south it achieved its special prominence under Vijayanagar Kings in 15th Century. The Wodeyars of Mysore continued this colorful & religious celebration under the leadership of Raja Wodeyar in the year 1610 at Srirangapatanam. Dasara is also known as the 'Navarathri' (meaning nine-nights), where nine days of worship & celebration culminate on the 10th day, known as 'Vijaydashami', that usually falls in the months of September-October.
Dasara palace ceremonies are largely a private affair of the royal family, witnessed by a select audience. Clad in royal attire and traditional headgear, His Highness Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, the scion of the royal family, ascends the seven steps to the golden throne - which is assembled according to religious instructions - at a preordained hour and receives obeisance from the public. Court musicians then play the signature tune composed to commemorate the assumption of power by the Wodeyars.
During Dasara, the brightly illuminated Mysore Palace and the entire city is a sight to behold. Various cultural and religious programs highlighting the dance, music and culture of the State of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Palace. Musicians and dancers from other States are also invited to give performances. Dasara celebrations commence with a pooja performed to the Goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi Hills in the presence of the Wodeyar royal couple, Ministers & high-ranking officials in the Government of Karnataka, and other invitees.
The State Government arranges music, dance, and folk dance performances, flower and doll shows. Another attraction is the wrestling tournament which is held in the Devraj Urs stadium adjoining the Dasara exhibition grounds. Wrestlers from around India participate in this tournament, which attracts a sizable audience. And also a Food and Film festival is also organized.
One of the main attractions of the festival is the Dasara exhibition which starts during the Dasara and continues for around two months. It is held at the Doddakere Maidan opposite to the Mysore Palace, and contains stalls selling articles like clothing, plastic and glass ware, food stalls, stalls highlighting the various departments of Government of Karnataka, and also a play area where people can participate in games and amusement rides.
The conclusion of the Dasara celebrations is marked by a colorful Dasara procession, popularly known as Jamboo Savari. The grandeur and magnificence of this event has popularized the Mysore Dasara world over. The main attraction of the Dasara procession is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari which is carried in a Golden howdah weighing over 750 kg on top of an elephant. Pre-independence, practice was that the king himself would lead the procession seated upon Golden howdah on the royal elephant back.
Colorful tableaux created by different State organisations participate in the procession. Musical bands belonging to State Police lend music to the procession. Folk dancers, decorated elephants, horses and camels also form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and adjourns at Bannimantap where the Banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshiped. The culminating program of the Mysore Dasara festivities is the Panjina Kavayatthu (torch-light parade) held on a grand note at the Bannimantap grounds on the outskirts of the city. Exotic fire works and daredevil stunts on motorcycles by a team of the Indian army add to the excitement. A Laser show has been added recently to the program.
- 02nd October 2016 to 11th October 2016
Mysore Dasara 2016 Main Events
- Mysore Dasara Procession (Jumbo Savari) - 11th Oct 2016 Afternoon
- Mysore Dasara Torchlight Parade - 11 Oct 2016 Evening