Mysore Dasara Festival

Mysore Dasara is the festival that celebrates the grandeur of Mysore’s royal heritage. Mysore is the city of royal palace, and is known for its age-old tradition of celebrating Dussehra or ‘Dasara’ in a majestic way. Celebrated for 10 days, Mysore Dasara celebrates the grandeur of the city’s royal heritage. According to beliefs, the festival celebrated the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari after killing the demon Mahishasura and the victory of good over evil.

History of Mysore Dasara
It is believed that Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hill killed the buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura here. This victory of good over evil is the driving force behind this festival. The festivities were first started by the Wadiyar king in the year 1610. Several deities are worshipped on the 9 days (Navratri) followed by Vijayadashami, which is the 10th day of victory.

Time of the Festival
Unlike other parts of India where Dussehra is celebrated for only one day, in Mysore it is celebrated during all 10 days of the Navaratri festival. Mysore Dasara is celebrated each year in the mid of October, according to the Lunar Calendar.

Mysore Dasara Celebration
Mysore is visited by tourists from all over the world at this time to experience the elaborate festivities. The ninth day of Dasara, known as ‘Mahanavami’ is considered auspicious. On this day, special worship for the royal sword is one, which is then taken on a procession with elephants, camels and royal horses.

On the 10th day, i.e, Vijayadashami, the procession is taken to the streets. The highlight of the procession is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, which is placed in a golden ‘howdah’ over a magnificent elephant.

The procession is highlighted with vibrant paintings and illustrations, dance groups, armed forces, music troupes, legends etc. The procession starts from the royal palace and stops at the ‘Bannimantap’ where the famous ‘Banni’ tree is worshipped. It is believed that during the old times, the warriors worshipped this tree before going for war.

On the evening of the Vijayadashami, an event is held at Bannimantap, which is known as ‘Panjina Kavayithu’ or the torch-light parade. The event involves some stunts by trained men of the Indian Army, laser show and some marvellous fireworks that light up the night.


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