Aahara Mela at single venue; Total budget Rs. 15 crore; Festival open for sponsorships
Mysore/Mysuru: While focusing on maintaining tradition and avoiding extravagance in this year’s Dasara celebrations, District Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa expressed confidence that these festivities would capture global attention and put Mysuru in the spotlight. He made these remarks during a press conference at the Mysore Palace Board Office, where he officially launched the Dasara website https://www.mysoredasara.gov.in/ and unveiled the posters for this year’s festival.
Despite challenging drought conditions in Karnataka, the State Government has allocated Rs. 15 crore to the Kannada and Culture Department for Dasara. Dr. Mahadevappa commented, “Although this year’s grant is smaller than last year’s, we are committed to making these celebrations memorable while ensuring the safety of all participants.”
Efforts are underway to secure sponsorships from private companies in Mysuru and Bengaluru to manage the festival within the constraints of a reduced budget. Part of the preparations involves recreating the traditional Dasara procession to capture its essence.
As part of the festivities, the District Administration is distributing 250 ceremonial dresses to individuals who will walk ahead of the elephants during the procession, reminiscent of the Wadiyars’ era. The rural Dasara celebrations will emphasise soil fertility, mixed farming, alternative farming and economic development, according to Dr. Mahadevappa.
To ensure well-organised festivities, 18 different Sub-Committees have been established with the aim of restoring the grandeur of the event. These committees have been actively engaged in discussions with officials and members to plan various rituals and programmes, all of which will uphold constitutional values and promote social harmony.
This year’s focus is not only on preserving the traditional aspects of Dasara but also on making it an unforgettable and engaging experience for everyone, despite the challenges posed by a lack of rainfall, noted the Minister.
Additionally, there are plans for a food festival (Aahara Mela), to be held at a single location, reducing the number of food stalls while emphasising culinary diversity. The objective is to offer visitors a more meaningful and diverse dining experience. Discussions are also underway regarding cultural events that will showcase the rich heritage of North Karnataka to a wider audience.
Compared to last year when food festivals were held at two different locations, this year’s approach prioritises diversity and aims to reduce the number of identical food stalls, explained Dr. Mahadevappa.
Kannada and Culture Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi also shared insights into the preparations for this year’s cultural programs. He mentioned that, similar to last year, there will be a grand Dasara Rangotsava to showcase the cultural heritage of North Karnataka as part of the Dasara festivities. All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure the cultural programmes are conducted meaningfully.
During the previous Dasara celebration, the Dasara Rangotsava was a significant event, and this time, they intend to make it even more magnificent. Discussions have been held with various Dasara Sub-Committees to ensure the seamless organisation of cultural rituals and programmes, he added.
The press conference and poster launch were attended by MLC Dr. D. Thimmaiah, Kannada and Culture Department Secretary Dr. N. Manjula, Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra, City Police Commissioner Ramesh Banoth, Superintendent of Police Seema Latkar, Zilla Panchayat CEO K.M. Gayathri, Deputy Conservator of Forests Saurabh Kumar, Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya and others.