Dussehra Festival in Mysore
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with grandeur with much enthusiasm in various parts of India. But the city of Mysore is very unique in its Dussehra celebrations. This festival is celebrated of good over evil. The Mysore city in Karnataka has long tradition of celebrating the Dussehra festival where the celebrations touches the peak during the ten days of the festival.
In Karnataka state, the Mysore palace is the most glorious place where Dussehra festival begins its celebrations with great royal. During the ten days of Dussehra festival the whole Mysore city is beautifully decorated with decorating lights on trees and streets that attracts the world with its immense beauty. As the main celebrations starts from Mysore palace, it is decorated with thousands of bulbs that increases the beauty of the palace.
According to the history the Mysore kings, Wadiyars, were subordinates of the Vijayanagara emperors. They declared independence at the decline of the empire in 1610 AD and tried to retain the latter’s goodwill by continuing the traditions started by them. Raja Wadiyar, the founder of the Mysore kingdom, started the Navaratri festivities in order to celebrate his new – found freedom, and issued an order that the days be observed with piety and splendor by one and all.
The Dussehra festival celebrations starts with a pooja performed to Goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi Hills by the Royal family of Mysore. On the first day of Dussehra Navrathri festival, the king performs pooja to their family deity in the palace and then enters the hall with the echoes of sacred chants and music and worship the Navagrahas (nine sacred deities) and the sacred kalasa . Then he takes his seat on the throne at an auspicious moment after going around it three times. The palace lights are lit and a 21-gun salute is given as the royal emblem and swords are presented to king.
Then the king will be seated on the throne and receives guests. Then the palace priests give blessings to the king by chanting Vedic hymns and sprinkling holy water. Then by blowing of conches and trumpets announces the beginning of a royal parade of uniformed soldiers and elephants which are decorated beautifully especially for Dussehra festival which is worth seeing.
During the ten days of Dussehra festival the Karnataka state Government makes all the arrangements of music, dance performances, food festivals, film festivals and wrestling matches are organized at the Mysore palace. On the tenth day of Dussera festival i.e. on Vijayadashami a grand Procession (Jamboo Savari) a parade of beautifully decorated elephants starts from the palace which is the main attraction of the Dussehra procession with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari carried in a Golden howdah weighing over 750 kgs on top of an elephant. And the parade ends in Bannimantap, where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshiped. The Dussehra festivities conclude on the night of Vijayadashmi with the torch light parade held in the Bannimantap grounds.
There helds a Dussehra exhibition during this festive season and continues for around two months in the Doddakere Maidan which is opposite to the Mysore Palace. In this exhibition, enormous kinds of stuff are sold. The Dussehra festival in Mysore is a significant of its cultural diversity and achievements of Karnataka state in south India.