Mysore Palace gears up for Navarathri with flower pot arrangements and rose garden
By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
[Pics. by M.N. Lakshminarayana Yadav]
This Dasara, colourful flowers will add additional glitter to the illuminated streets, Circles and prominent structures within the city boundaries. Though it will be a low-key Dasara as decided by the State Government thanks to the COVID-19 contagion, stakeholders are planning to make the low-key affair a more attractive one.
While the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) has decided to illuminate prominent Circles and junctions with LED bulbs, serial lights, illuminated replicas of Gods and Goddesses, the Horticulture Department is planning to beautify the Circles and junctions by tastefully arranging flower pots.
Last Dasara, over 75 kms of the Heritage City and 91 Circles spreading up to Outer Ring Road junction were illuminated and was a visual treat. This year, however, the CESC has not yet come up with its illumination plans.
These arrangements will attract passers-by and they can make a brief stopover with social distancing and leave the place soon after. The Horticulture Department has come up with this plan as there will be no Annual Flower Show — the second main attraction after Vijayadashami procession — due to the pandemic.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Horticulture Department Assistant Director Rudresh said that they have reserved 6,000 flowering pots to be placed around Circles. “These pots will be placed in the surroundings of DC Office, Judges’ Quarters, Government Offices, Krishnaraja Circle, Chamaraja Circle, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle and other prominent landmarks.
“In the absence of Flower Show, we want tourists and local residents to get a feel of Dasara. At the same time we do not want people to crowd at places in view of the pandemic. Instead, people can just make a stopover at illuminated and flower-bedecked Circles and leave the place,” he said.
As part of the beautification, over 5,000 flower pots will be arranged in front of the Glass House at Kuppanna Park that is being made into a walkers’ paradise and a year-round activity park. “This year, we are forced to prepare well for Dasara in very little time. Usually, we arrange more than 80,000 pots for the Flower Show. This year, we have identified local flower varieties instead of bringing them from outside,” Rudresh revealed.
Plants that flower in 40 to 45 days are being selected this time including Felicia Daisy, Marigold, Zinnia and Cactus. “We have timed the flowering to Oct. 10 and the flowers will stay bright and blooming for at least 20 days. They will bloom in batches,” he added.
Since it is limited number of pots, they are being grown and readied at the Department Nursery at Zilla Panchayat premises, Ittigegud and the park near DC Office. Transportation to Circles and other Government offices becomes easy from these venues, Rudresh said.
At Mysore Palace
Meanwhile, the Mysore Palace Board is also preparing for attractive flower display for Dasara in the premises of Mysore Palace. The Board is buoyed by the number of visitors to the Palace as more than 23,000 tourists visited the iconic structure in August and September till date. Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya expressed confidence that if the Palace can get 23,000 visitors amidst pandemic and amidst national and international travel restrictions, the numbers are sure to increase in the coming days.
For the flower display, flower beds are being prepared and flower pots numbering 5,000 are being readied. The flower varieties include African Marigold Yellow, Anthurium, Aster, Calendula, Celosia, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Kuchia, French Marigold, Dahlia, Nasturtium, Phlox, Sun Flower, Petunia, Torenia, Tithonia , Zinnia, Palms, Lady Lace and Hollyhocks among others.
A rose garden is being readied inside the Palace and the plants have been pruned for the roses to bloom in 40 to 45 days coinciding with Navarathri. The top soil is mixed with manure and watered. Also, pesticides are being sprayed on the pruned plants.
“The walkways around the sprawling Palace, footpaths and lanes inside the compound will be lined up with flowering pots. A tourist coming to the Palace must not miss anything due to the pandemic situation. These flowering plants will enhance the beauty of Mysore Palace aesthetically,” Palace Board Deputy Director Subramanya explained.