Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dussehra @ the royal city- Mysore

Whenever the word Dussehra is mentioned only two things come to  my mind,  one the Dussehra in Mysore and the other is the eagerly awaited Dussehra vacation.  So, what better time to make a post  with  Dussehra and vacation around the corner and the world celebrating Tourism day today.

Mysore Dussehra is  a Dussehra with a difference. Though Dasara is celebrated all over the world, the rulers of mysore, the wodeyars lent a royal touch and celebrated it with grandeur. Today  Dussehra is synonymous with Mysore and goes beyond religion and promotes tourism by showcasing it is a socio-religious- cultural extravaganza.
In continuation of the tradition bequeathed by the Vijayanagar empire,  The wodeyar king  Raja wodeyar  started the grandeur of the festivities  in 1610  and this year 2011 marks its 401st year. The festival is basically to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. On this day the Goddess Chamundeswari, the presiding deity of  Mysore  killed the resident demon of Mysore ‘Mahishasura’ after whom the city is named Mysore, an anglicized corruption of ‘Mahishasurana   ooru’ meaning the city of Mahishasura.
The city's  royal heritage ensures that the festival is celebrated in a manner befitting its  regal status and hence the  city looks electrifying in the evening with  all its  heritage buildings and streets  illuminated, especially the Mysore palace  looks all the more majestic with all those dazzling  one lakh lights.

 An eclectic mix of cultural and sports events like classical music and dance, folk , fusion,Kavi  goshti (sammelan), , Air show, motor cycle stunts, martial arts, heritage walk, food festival, wrestling completion, Air shows adds colour  to the Dussehra. Apart from this is the horticulture exhibition besides the  Dussehra exhibition which has stalls for handicrafts, dresses and ornaments and lasts for two months beginning  Dussehra.

However, the main attraction is the last day of the festival called Dussehra.  A traditional procession called jumbo savari  in which goddess Chamundeswari is carried atop a  decorated elephant, makes its way through the roads and lanes of Mysore from the Mysore palace and ending in Bannimantap( to worship the banni tree).  In the beginning years, the elephant carried the King of Mysore  now replaced by the Goddess.   On this day, a parade of tableaus depicting the rich heritage of Karnataka are showcased like the republic day parade in New Delhi, amidst dare-devil stunts and fireworks.

This was telecast live in the afternoon, during the Doordarshan days when transmission was restricted to evenings and much before Doordarshan we children used to surround the radio to hear the commentary of the festival broadcast.  So magnetic is Dussehra here, that it  is recognized as  'Naada Habba' meaning state festival.

I have witnessed the celebrations twice. For me, Mysore and its Dussehra  have a special place in my heart.  Mysore Dussehra - A beautiful experience.

                           The illuminated Jagan Mohan palace (courtesy: wiki)

The resident demon Mahishasura after whom the city is named, you can catch this statue  atop the chamundi hill in mysore

                                                   Jumbo savari on Dussehra

Check out major events of mysore dussehra 2011 here.


  1. :) lovely I love dussehra .. I remmeber going to the mela and the fireworks when they set fire to the statutes of the three brothers ..


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