Mysuru: Festive atmosphere is pervading the entire city as the 409th Dasara celebrations entered the fourth day today. As if to reflect this feeling, the iconic nearly century-old Krishnaraja Boulevard (stretch between the Oriental Research Institute (ORI) and Mysuru Law Courts) turned into a total carnival mood this morning.
The occasion was a day-long ‘Mysuru Open Street Festival’, organised by the District Administration, Tourism Department, Mysuru Travel Agents Association and Mysuru Hotel Owners Association.
The festive spirit began right from early in the morning as loud music blared and brought alive the three stages with college and school-going crowd shaking their legs to groovy music.
In all there are nearly 100 stalls on the 1.5 km stretch. There are 20 food courts that includes nearly 13 food trucks (most of them from Bengaluru), flea market with 20 stalls, 10 art and handicraft stalls, 10 earth (related to environment) stalls and others 10 stalls, said Mysuru Travels Association President B.S. Prashanth.
Apart from this there is a mobile planetarium that displays a video on solar system for ten minutes. The Children’s Art Camp organised by Gallery Alternative is a big draw with many children showcasing their painting talent. “The Government has supported this initiative by giving free paints and colours,” said Azim Mohammad Khan, who owns the gallery.
True Nada Habba: DC
Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar told Star of Mysore, “This is a true Nada Habba in all its essence as the Government, elected representatives and people have come together to celebrate Dasara.”
Asked why Krishnaraja Boulevard was chosen as the venue, he said that the road right up to DC Office had everything that describes Mysuru as the heritage city.
It has many heritage structures like the Oriental Research Institute, DC Office, the iconic Crawford Hall, 150 year-old Maharaja’s College and Yuvaraja’s College, the Law Courts, a more than century-old house called the Margosa Lodge, the Maharaja’s College Hostel and also Zilla Panchayat Office, he said.
“Besides, there are two parks and since it is a boulevard, it is a picture-perfect place for holding the street festival and also for spreading the message of clean and green city,” he said.
“This is a festival which has attracted people from all ages. There are children as young as two to three year olds dancing to the tune of music as also seniors enjoying themselves. We hope that this will be real precursor to the regular street carnivals in the future for this city,” said Mysuru Travel Mart Chairman C.A. Jayakumar.
Asked about the decision of the move to shift the street festival from Devaraja Urs Road to Krishnaraja Boulevard this year, Tourism Department Deputy Director H. Janardhan said that this was a decision taken by the Dasara Executive Committee.
“Last year, on Devaraja Urs Road, shopkeepers were unhappy as they felt that it affected their business. Since the Boulevard is free from all obstructions, the committee felt that this was an ideal place,” he said.
There are three stages put up in the festival. The main one is near the Law Courts and the second near the Maharaja’s College entrance just behind ORI. The third stage on Ekalavya Circle is called the Coca Cola stage.
Nearly 30 students from Bahadur Institute of Management Sciences (BIMS), Manasagangothri including foreign students were all set to dance on the main stage near law courts.
They are focusing on the theme, “Banni Dasara Sambhramisona, Swachh Mysuruge Sahakarasi” (Come let us celebrate Dasara, Cooperate for a clean Mysuru), said BIMS Coordinator P.S. Prasad.
The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) National Institute of Engineering has set up a stall under Earth category where they speak about the advantage of bio-gas, rain water harvesting, composting.
Final year Environmental Engineering students of JSS Science and Technology University have also set up a stall where they give away cloth bags with slogan ‘Say no to paper and plastic use cloth bags.’
Three girls were seen getting their faces painted. Two of the girls Sharanya and Varsha were tenth standard students of JSS High School while the third Arpitha was a seventh standard student.
Nearly 50 artistes from Mogaranadu, Narikombu villages of Bantwal Taluk in Dakshina Kannada were a major draw. The Chande Balaga dance with six girls and as many boys had the audience roaring and applauding.
They also have the Janapada Gombe Balaga with boys wearing huge costumes, as well as Huli Vesha (painting their bodies in tiger stripes) boys. Simran Aiyanna from Mysuru also has put up a stall. She is also a singer and is set to perform this evening on stage one.
For the adventurous type, there is High Fly Adventures. Nine-year-old Mukul, with rope harnessed around his body and wearing a helmet, did a mock rock climbing effortlessly.
“We are expecting more than two lakh footfalls by the time the street festival ends at 9 pm today,” the organisers said.
Even as the day progressed, people started thronging the Boulevard. They came from all sides on their two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
The organisers however, had made adequate parking arrangements. There is ample parking space all around the venue right from the Crawford Hall Circle, inside the Maharaja’s College, the Vani Vilas Girls High School near Ekalavya Circle, as also the lanes and by-lanes near Chamarajapuram.