Mysuru Dasara is the Nada habba {state-festival} of the state of Karnataka in South West India and is celebrated with a lot of pomp, gaiety and joy in the city. Travel enthusiasts all over the county and abroad throng the city in great numbers to witness the annual ten day festival. Here are a couple of things that might come handy while you prepare your itinerary for Mysore Dasara this year! And it’s just a three hour trip away from Bangalore.

What’s In A Name? Everything

Dasara is the best time to visit Mysore as the city get its name from Mahishūru referring to Mahishasura, a mythological demon who could assume the form of both human and buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by Mahishasura until he was killed by Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mahishūru later became Maisūru and eventually the government of Karnataka renamed Mysore to Mysuru in 2014. On Dasara, the entire city reminisces this ancient folklore and rejoices good over evil, reaffirming their faith that no harm can befall in the land of Goddess Chamundeshwari.

Witness Mysore Palace Brightly Lit Up With Thousands Of Lights

The Dasara festivities have become an integral part of the culture and life in Mysore and the main attraction of the 10-day Mysore Dasara festival is the Mysore Palace which is illuminated daily with nearly 1,00,000 light bulbs from 7pm to 10pm on all days of the festival.

Catch A Glimpse Of His Highness

The Mysuru Palace recently hosted the wedding of the new titular head, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Trishika Kumari. The world-renowned Mysore Dasara is incomplete unless the royal family presides over the royal court at the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore. Although Dasara palace ceremonies are largely a private affair of the royal family, you could very well catch a glimpse of the royal couple reveling in festivities!

The Hills Come Alive At The Chamundeshwari Temple

Named after goddess Chamundi, the Chamundeshwari Temple sits atop the main hill. The main hill itself features an ancient stone stairway of 1,008 steps leading to its summit. Dasara celebrations commence with rituals performed for the Goddess Chamundeshwari in the presence of the Wodeyar royal couple, Ministers & high-ranking officials in the Government of Karnataka, and other invitees. Chamundi Hills are a must visit if you’re there for the festivities!

Take Part In A Carnival To Remember

Various cultural and religious programs highlighting the dance, music and culture of the State of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated palace. Another attraction is the wrestling tournament which is held in the Devraj Urs stadium adjoining the Dasara exhibition grounds. Amidst fireworks, folk dances and doll shows, you can also enjoy a spectacular torch light parade, laser show and a food and film festival. Some of the other attractions include the Dasara Exhibition {starts during Dasara and continues for around two months}, held at the Doddakere Maidan opposite the palace, and is filled with stalls displaying trinkets, food, clothing, and kitchen and glass ware. A makeshift amusement park is also present to entertain tourists.

Check Out The Dasara Doll Displays

Dasara Festival is synonymous with the arrangement of dolls in South India. Dasara dolls are an integral part of the festival where young girls and women display dolls, figurine, court life, and every-day scenes along with the divine presence of Goddesses Saraswati, Parvati and Laxmi in the households during Navaratri. If you are staying in a local homestay, Dasara would be an excellent opportunity to witness your homestay owner gearing up for a grand home décor with these dolls!

Watch The Royal Jamboo Savari

Dasara celebrations are concluded by a colourful processions, popularly known as Jamboo Savari. The grandeur and magnificence of this event has popularised the Mysore Dasara world over. The main attraction of the Dasara procession is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari which is carried in a golden howdah weighing over 750 kg on top of an elephant.

Take A Bus Ride On The Palace On Wheels

Apart from the iconic Mysore Palace, some of the other eminent palaces include Jaganmohan Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace and Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace among others. While preparing your itinerary, you should definitely consider Palace on Wheel — a special and exclusive one day bus tour that will take you to all the eminent palaces of Mysore.

Get A Bird’s Eye View Of The Festivities

This year, you could also sign up for a breathtaking aerial view of the palace in Hot Air Balloon Rides and Helicopter Rides. This would definitely be an experience to remember for a lifetime!

Stay And Celebrate Local

The best way to experience the festival is to live with locals in Mysore. There are a number of homestays around the city that are open to hosting travellers during the festive season. From farmhouses overlooking Chamundi hills to sprawling bungalows near the city palace celebrations, there is no dearth of comfort once you reach Mysore.

Feature Photo: Ananth BS


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