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The renowned 10-day Dasara celebrations began on Thursday with religious fervor in Mysuru palace city. In the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic for the second year in a row.
Inaugurating the celebrations
The festivities began with senior political leader and former Chief Minister S M Krishna and Chief Minister B Basavaraj Bommai, along with other dignitaries, showering flowers on the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru royals, atop Chamundi Hill, as part of the ‘Nada Habba’ (state festival).
The administration chose Krishna, who had previously served as Union External Affairs Minister and Governor of Maharashtra, to kick off the Dasara celebrations.
Among those present at the inaugural were Mysuru in-charge and Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar, Revenue Minister R Ashoka, Kannada and Culture Minister V Sunil Kumar, Religious Endowments, Wakf, and Haj Minister Shashikala Jolle, and Mysuru MP Pratap Simha.
With the COVID-19 epidemic looming, the administration opted to organise the 412th Dasara festivities in a “simple” manner, mostly to adhere to customs.
The 10-day event, which every year displays Karnataka’s cultural history and attracts large audiences and tourists, has been trim back for the second year in a running due to COVID-19.
The administration of Mysuru has restricted attendance at most events and has arranged for live telecasts.
The state government has set guidelines for Mysuru’s Dasara celebrations, limiting the number of participants to 500 at key Dasara events. Such as cultural programs in front of Amba Vilas Palace, the iconic Dasara procession (Jumbo Sawari), and the Torch Light Parade.
‘Jumbo Sawari’ parade
On Vijayadashmi, or the 10th day of the festival, which marks the finale of celebrations on October 15, the ‘Jumbo Sawari’ parade of caparisoned elephants carrying the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed in a golden Howdah has been restricted to the Amba Vilas Palace precincts.
Furthermore, cultural events that were previously host at more than a dozen locations have been restrict to the royal grounds.
During the 10-day celebrations, Mysuru’s palace, prominent streets, turnarounds or circles, and buildings will be light with lights in the nighttime. The royal family will also celebrate the festivities at the palace in accordance with tradition.
The Navaratri celebrations at the palace include a number of rituals, the most notable of which is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the scion of the Mysuru royal family, dressed in grand attire, conducting Khasagi durbar (private durbar) by ascending the golden throne, amidst chanting of vedic hymns.
Dasara was celebrated by the emperors of the Vijayanagar kingdom, and the Wadiyars continued the practice.
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