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Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014
Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014 is an alluring destination for tourists, particularly at the time of Mysore Dussehra. The amazingly illuminated Mysore Palace attracts the attention of a large number of tourists from all over the world during this celebration. Approximately 1 crore Indian rupees are spent every year only to maintain the illumination and over 25,000 bulbs are replaced each year prior to the start of Dussehra celebration. The significance of Mysore Dussehra is evident from this.
The state festival, Nadahabba, Mysore Dussehra is celebrated every year with much gaiety and grandeur in the royal city of Mysore, Karnataka. Commemorating the victory of good over evil, the festival is celebrated every year to honor Goddess Chamundeswari who destroyed the demon Mahishasur. While Dussehra is celebrated as one day festival in other parts of India, Mysore Dussehra involves 10 day long celebration during the Navaratri festival.
History of Mysore Dussehra
The auspicious festival of Mysore Dussehra holds major significance among the Hindus, especially in Mysore, Karnataka. The city of Mysore got its name from Mysooru, the word derived from the word Mahishur or Mahishasurana Ooru, which means the towm of Mahishasura in Kannada. The city has been related to a story found in Devi Bhagavatha.
As per the story, Mahishasura, a buffalo headed demon ruled the city of Mysore. As an answer to the prayers of various Gods and Goddesses, the Goddess Parvati came on to the earth as Goddess Chamundeshwari and executed the demon on the top of Chamundi Hill nearby Mysore. After destroying the monster, it is believed that Goddess Chamundeshwari lived on top of the hill. This is how the city and the hill got their names and the festival is celebrated every year with immense pleasure and joy to honor the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
The celebrations of Mysore Dussehra first began in the 15th century by the kings of Vijayanagar. After their empire fell, Raja Wodeyar I, the Wodeyars of Mysore, revived the festival in 1610. The festivities started with the Royal couple of Wodeyar performing a Puja of Goddess Chamundeshwari within the temple premises, located on the top of Chamundi Hill at Mysore. It was in 1805 under the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III that the tradition of holding a special darbar or royal assembly was started in Mysore Palace at the time of Mysore Dussehra. A large number of cultural and religious events are celebrated at different locations, like auditoriums, exhibition grounds and Mysore Palace since then. These exciting events attract the attention of a large number of Indian and Foreigner audiences.
Grand celebration of Mysore Dussehra
A 10 day long festival of Mysore Dissehra culminates on Vijayadashami, the tenth day of festivity. The day represents the successful wrapping up of the previous nine days. Vijayadashami also symbolizes the triumph of the King, whether it is a battle or day-to-day governance. The celebration gets underway from the sixth day when Goddess Saraswati is honored. Eighth day is devoted to Goddess Durga and the ninth day commemorates Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. A splendid extravagant procession is held on the tenth day, which begins from the Mysore Palace and ends in Bannimantap.
The festival of Mysore Dussehra is steered by the regal family of Mysore. The family performs special pooja on this auspicious occasion. During the celebration, the entire city is decorated and illuminated. Apart from the Mysore Palace, other buildings are beautifully adorned with colorful lights. A variety of cultural programs, such as food festival, poet’s meet, film festival, sports and wrestling are organized in the Palace and are enjoyed by a large number of people. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority arranges Dasara Exhibition in Doddakere Maidana where top business establishments, private sector companies and Government departments, along with other people, put up their stalls for months to advertise corporate and industrial trade.
Highlights of Mysore Dussehra
The festivity of Mysore Dussehra has a variety of highlights, some of which include the following.
Lighting at Mysore Palace
One of the main attractions of Mysore Dussehra is the Mysore Palace, situated at Chamindi Hill at Mysore, which is well-lit with around 1 Lakh light bulbs throughout the duration of the celebration from 7 pm to 10 pm. In 1805, during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, a tradition was started where a durbar, royal assembly, was put up and was attended by the special officials, masses and officials along with the members of the family. The tradition is followed even now by the present Wodeyar family who holds a private durbar during Mysore Dussehra. Various other religious and cultural programs including dance and music representing the culture of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Mysore Palace.
The Grand Procession
On the auspicious occasion of Mysore Dussehra, the traditional procession, popularly known as Jumboo Savari in the local area, is carried out on the streets of the royal city of Mysore. Although, the procession itself is one of the major highlights of Mysore Dussehra, the main attraction of the procession is the statue of Goddess Chamundeshwari which is positioned on a golden mantapa, constituting approximately 750 kg of gold, on the top of a bedecked elephant. The regal couple along with other followers worships the icon before it is taken in procession. Varied music bands, dance groups, beautifully festooned elephants, camels, horses and colorful tableaux form a part of the parade which begins from the Royal Mysore Palace and culminates at Bannimantap where a tree called Banni is worshiped. As per Mahabharata legend, Pandavas used Banni tree to hide their arms during Agnatavasa. Prior to commencing with any war, the kings used to worship the tree as it was believed to help them in emerging as champions in the warfare. The Mysore Dussehra celebration comes to an end on Vijayadashami night with an occasion called Panjina Kavayatthu, meaning torch light parade, which is held in the grounds of Bannimantap. Stunning laser show, fireworks and acrobatic show and equestrian show can be experienced here during this time.
The event of torchlight parade is famous from the time of Royal King who used to change to his riding attire to make grand entry on horse and was saluted by his military units. During the dusk, the lights were lit to welcome the Maharaja and military officials. Only military units were allowed to participate in the parade at that time. The main aim of the parade was to introduce confidence in people and also to unveil the military potential of the reigning King to the unknown rivals.
In Mysore, the elephant procession held during Mysore Dussehra is known as Jumbo Savari. However its original name is Jumbi Savari. Even though the Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken on an elephant during the procession, the name “Jumbo” is still intact.
Two month long Dasara Exhibition
Another main attraction of Mysore Dussehra is the Dasara Exhibition which is held in Doddakere Maidan. Chamaraja Wodeyar X, the Maharaja of Mysore started the exhibition in 1880 with an objective of bringing timely developments in the city. The responsibility of holding the exhibition is now undertaken by the Karnataka Exhibition Authority. Commencing during Dasara, the exhibition lasts until December. A variety of stalls are set up in the exhibition, selling items like kitchenware, clothes, plastic items, eatables and other accessories, attracting a myriad of people. Ferris wheel and other attractions are included in the exhibition to entertain the individuals.
When talking about the highlights of Mysore Dussehra, Dasara Gombe certainly cannot be missed. The occasion where the dolls are used for the festivity is popular among the local residents. This clearly indicates there are diverse ways when it comes to celebrating Mysore Dussehra.
Known as Gombe Thotti, the ceremony involves worship of dolls during the celebration of Mysore Dussehra. At the time of this ritual, it is easy to see beautifully decorated and carefully positioned dolls in every house. During this festival of dolls, the idols are arranged in a specific order in rows according to the requirement. While the story of Ramanaya is exhibited in one row, the play of Mahabharata is narrated in the other. These idols are even used by the people now-a-days to spread crucial messages like save the environment. Each house has diverse kinds of dolls for different roles, each symbolizing a different individual.
The dolls also signify the unique art of the state, something which requires a lot of creativity and innovation on the part of the performer. The plays narrated using the dolls are not limited to Ramayana and Mahabharata, but a number of other stories are also scripted to make the occasion even more exciting.
Dasara Gombe, when organized in Mysore Palace during the festival of Mysore Dussehra draws the attention of a lot of people who gather to enjoy the show. The event of Dussehra procession is also enacted with the help of dolls which mesmerize every individual present in the Palace. The idols are available for sale and many people purchase them to have a collection of such dolls. Simply speaking, there is a lot to enjoy in Dasara Gombe.
When to celebrate Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014
The grand festival of Mysore Dussehra will be celebrated from 7 October to 15 October in the year 2014.