Low-key Dasara fest in Mysuru

Mysuru has been spruced and decked up even as it will host a subdued 10-day Dasara fest from Saturday amid the Covid pandemic, which has turned the annual carnival into a largely virtual show due to curbs on people gathering in large numbers at public places.
“As decided by the state government, which organises the 10-day event, the Dasara festivities will begin on Saturday at hilltop Chamundeshwari temple and inaugurated at Amba Vilas palace in a simple way due to the Covid restrictions,” an official told IANS here.
Bengaluru-based, state-run Jayadeva heart hospital Director CN Manjunath will declare open the religious and cultural fest at the auspicious time between 7.45 am and 8.15 am in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Mysuru district in-charge minister ST Somshekar, Wodeyar royal family members and other dignitaries.
“About 300 people, including ministers, lawmakers, officials and select religious heads, will be allowed to witness the festival events in the palace grounds. The invitees have to carry a medical certificate that they are virus free. Wearing of mask, maintaining physical distance and sanitising hands will be mandatory,” a state Culture Department official said.
As visitors and tourists will not be allowed into the palace to see the religious and cultural programmes over the next 10 days, the ceremonies will be shown live on television channels and social media sites like Youtube and Facebook.
At the opening, Manjunath will felicitate six corona warriors on the occasion in recognition of their service in taking care of the infected people since the virus broke.
The festival is held every year to mark triumph of good over evil on Vijayadasmi, and known for the victory parade of caparisoned elephants (jamboo savari), which this year will be in the palace grounds, unlike in the past when the procession was allowed through the city to Bannimantap grounds with the grand finale of the night-time torchlight parade.
As part of the fest, Mysuru’s titular Mahaharaja Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar will hold a private ‘durbar’ in the palace hall under the guidance of queen mother Pramoda Devi after the formal inauguration.
The private durbar is held every year on the first day of the fest since it was resumed by Nalvadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar (1894-1940) in the tradition of the Vijayagara empire.
The 800-year-old 280 kg golden throne of the Wodeyar rulers will be brought out from the enclosure to hold the durbar on the occasion. (IANS)

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