The curtains came down on the 10-day Dasara festival here on Friday with the spectacular ‘Jamboo Savari’ procession of elephants marking the grand finale.
However, the Mysuru royal palace will continue to shine at night for the next nine days with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai ordering to light up the palace for the tourists.
Held under the shadow of COVID-19, there were many restrictions due to which the usual gathering of large number of people was missing as the administration had restricted visitors and issued limited passes.
However, in keeping with the centuries old tradition, all the rituals were held abiding by the COVID norms.
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At the auspicious hour, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, titular head of the erstwhile Mysuru Royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, Mysuru in-charge minister S T Somashekar and Mysuru mayor Sunanda Palanetra offered floral prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari.
The key attraction was the Jamboo Savari, a procession of caparisoned elephants, of the city’s presiding deity Goddess Chamundeshwari, an incarnation of Goddess Durga.
The gigantic Abhimanyu, a caparisoned elephant, carrying the presiding deity on the 750 kg golden howdah, marched and other decorated pachyderms too walked behind it.
Unlike marching for five kilometres, this time the length of the Jamboo Savari procession was reduced to just 800 metres within the Palace, authorities said.
”Earlier the parade used to take place for five kilometres. For the past two years, it is restricted within the palace due to COVID-19. The tableaux and cultural troupes were less compared to previous years this time,” a Mysuru resident told PTI.
Wadiyar’s family members too attended the celebrations, which is designated as Naada Habba (state festival).
While greeting the people of Karnataka on Vijayadashami, Bommai announced extending the lighting of Mysuru city and palace for the next nine days so that tourists from other parts of the state and country can enjoy the scenic beauty of the royal city bathed in light at night.
The traditional Dasara procession is held on Vijayadashami, signifying the victory of good over evil.
The rulers of Mysuru or the Wadiyars had been worshippers of Durga and had established their family Goddess atop a hillock, which has been named as Chamunda hills.
Raja Wadiyar I (1578-1617), first ruler of independent Mysore kingdom in 1610, had started the Dasara festivities which are held in all its glory since then.