COVID-19 casts dark shadow over Dasara-2020

COVID-19 casts dark shadow over Dasara-2020

May 6, 2020

By S.T. Ravikumar

Mysore/Mysuru: An estimated 10 lakh people visit Mysuru every year during the 10-day State-sponsored Dasara extravaganza. However, this year, dark clouds of COVID-19 have cast over the celebrations.

With strict norms of social distancing here to stay at least till the pandemic is brought under complete control, stakeholders are wondering how to celebrate Nada Habba Dasara which is just five months away and where the success of celebrations solely depend on surging crowds to see the caparisoned elephants and tourist footfall at Dasara venues.

Mysuru’s tourism revenues, employment and employability too depend much on Dasara and with no activity, stakeholders stare at bleak future. The State Government, on the other hand, has decided to wait till the end of May to take a decision in this regard. 

A lot of foreign tourists too flock Mysuru during pre-Dasara and continue their stay till December. This year, there is uncertainty over the arrival of foreign tourists due to large-scale deaths triggered by Coronavirus. COVID has already affected many international calendar events like Oktoberfest in Germany which has been cancelled for this year.  

Also, there are doubts about cash-strapped and COVID-hit State Government releasing handsome funds for Dasara. It might ask for a scaled-down celebrations just to keep the tradition alive without allied events for entertainment and tourist attraction. Officials, however, are optimistic that the pandemic will be over by the time Dasara season kicks in.

The State Government had planned a grand Dasara-2020 and had chalked out schemes to launch Dasara publicity blitzkrieg in April this year, six months ahead of Dasara, to attract local, national and international tourists. Minister for Kannada, Culture and Tourism C.T. Ravi had conducted a meeting in Bengaluru where officials were told to carry out publicity campaigns six months in advance.

READ ALSO  430 COVID-19 positive cases in Mysuru in a single day; 9 deaths

Advance publicity campaigns and the Government funding would give more time to officials to carry out Dasara development works instead of carrying them out in the last moment, the Minister had felt. But COVID has put cold water on the Minister’s grandiose plans.

Speaking to ‘Star of Mysore,’ Tourism Secretary Anil Kumar admitted that COVID has washed away the Government’s early Dasara planning. “We have not lost hope. We can still meet in June – usually the Dasara meetings start in September – and hopefully, by then, the pandemic will be in our control. We need to set some standard operating procedure in place when it comes to social distancing for major events like Dasara,” he said.

Anil Kumar said that meeting of Tourism Department is scheduled by the end of May to chalk out plans to revive the sector that has suffered major losses due to lack of international and domestic tourist movement. “We will discuss Dasara too then,” he added.


Mysuru’s favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 41 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it’s readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.


Academy News Papers Private Limited, Publishers, Star of Mysore & Mysuru Mithra, 15-C, Industrial ‘A’ Layout, Bannimantap, Mysuru-570015. Phone no. – 0821 249 6520

To advertise on Star of Mysore, email us at

Online Edition: [email protected]
Print Editon: [email protected]
For News/Press Release: [email protected]