Imperial elephant march, fusion of lights, musical performances put rich culture on display
Mysore/Mysuru: After low-key Dasara festivities for two successive years, a grand Dasara finale unfolded in the City of Palaces last evening and lakhs of people watched the celebrated Jumboo Savari, marking the end of ‘Nada Habba’ celebrations.
The ruling dispensation had decided to celebrate this Dasara in a grand manner and the celebrations were indeed grand from the beginning to the culmination. With the Jumboo Savari, the 10-day cultural extravaganza of Mysuru Dasara came to a colourful close.
According to the District Administration, at least five lakh people participated in the celebrations and more than 5,000 Police personnel were deployed for security. The entire city was decked up with special lighting arrangements exhibiting the rich cultural heritage of the State and country.
The festival was inaugurated on Sept. 26 by President of India Droupadi Murmu.
The elephant procession was organised after two years of restricted celebrations inside the Palace and the grand spectacle moved from Mysore Palace to Bannimantap covering five kilometres.
Even when the celebrations were confined to the Palace, there were thousands of people in the vicinity of the Palace trying to catch a glimpse of the procession. The grandeur spilled onto the streets this year and lakhs of people had gathered along the sides of the road to watch the grand-scale celebrations where caparisoned elephant Abhimanyu effortlessly carried the 750-kg Golden Howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
Abhimanyu was accompanied by other decorated elephants including Nishane elephants led by veteran Arjuna and comprising Gopalaswamy, Bheema, Mahendra and Dhananjaya who also performed the jobs assigned to them with ease.
Clear skies add to festivities
Crowds had gathered along the Raja Marga, the procession route since morning and the places to sit, squat or stand were booked in advance. Fortunately it did not rain and the crowds had a full and clear view of the Jumboo Savari. Even the treetops along the route were dominated by people and crowds stood on all the buildings along the route including dilapidated ones, despite the warning from MCC authorities.
The procession got off to a start with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai performing Nandi Dhwaja puja at the North Gate of the Palace, a custom being practised since generations, at 2.40 pm in the auspicious Makara Lagna as devotees shouted Jai Chamundeshwari.
He was accompanied by his wife Chennamma, family members, Ministers S.T. Somashekar, B.C. Patil and V. Sunil Kumar, MP Pratap Simha and many other MLAs and MPs.
The CM, Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar, Kannada and Culture Minister V. Sunil Kumar, Mayor Shivakumar, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham and the scion of erstwhile Mysore royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar showered flower petals on the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari inside the Golden Howdah at 5.37 pm while City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta saluted the presiding deity.
Though the auspicious time between 5.07 pm and 5.18 pm was decided for this event in Meena Lagna, the ceremony was delayed by 19 minutes. As flower petals were showered on the Goddess, National Anthem was played and a 21-round cannon firing salute was accorded to the Goddess who was adorned in a green saree.
When the firing began, Abhimanyu raised its trunk as a mark of respect. As the procession began, lakhs of people greeted Abhimanyu and the Goddess with folded hands and many bowed from wherever they were standing.
Abhimanyu walked majestically accompanied by female elephants Chaitra and Kaveri. The procession marched on the overcrowded route from the Palace through Sayyaji Rao Road, Bamboo Bazaar, New Sayyaji Rao Road, Abul Kalam Azad Circle and reached Bannimantap at 8.05 pm. There were tableaux from 31 districts, four from the tableaux committee and 12 from various Government Departments and institutions. In total, the procession had 120 participants, including tableaux and diverse cultural troupes drawn from various parts of the State.
Prayed for prosperity: CM Bommai
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that he prayed for the prosperity of the people and the country. “Karnataka has received good rainfall this year. May there be good yield and prosperity in the coming days,” he said.
The CM was speaking to reporters after offering puja to ‘Nandi Dhwaja’ before the Dasara procession. “Dasara had to be scaled down during the last two years due to the pandemic and as there is no such fear this year, the festival is celebrated on a grand scale,” he said.