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Mysore shines as Dasara kicks off

Mysore Oct 5, 2013, DHNS: 2:21 IST
ff ROYALWELCOME Srikantadatta NarasimharajaWadiyar being ushered in to the durbar hall atMysore Palace for the khasgi (private) durbar on Saturday. The traditional event is part of the nine-day dasara festivities. DH PHOTO / PRASHANTH H G
Colourful Dasara celebrations marking the start of Navaratri began on Saturday in Mysore, with a series of events lined up for the next ten days promising to keep both young and old in festive fervour.

Jnanpith awardee Chandrashekar Kambar launched the festivities by offering floral tributes to Goddess Chamundeshwari at Chamundi Hill amid fanfare.

Apart from the government-sponsored programmes, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the scion of the Mysore royal family, holds “khasgi (private) durbar” in the evenings during the nine-day festivities. Special rituals are observed by Wadiyar during Navaratri.

Among other events, a dance ballet by actor and danseuse Hema Malini on October 8 and Hindustani concert by Pandit Jasraj on October 13 are expected to enthrall visitors .

The grounds opposite Maharaja College will host Yuva Dasara, which will feature singers Sonu Nigam, Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan, local talent Vijayprakash of “Jai Ho” fame, from October 7.

Having Mysorean Siddaramaiah at the helm of the state’s affairs this time, the festivities will have US ambassador to India Nancy Powell and Consul General from Chennai as guests for “Jamboo Savari” and “Torchlight Parade”.

Pandit Sampath Kumar Acharya, an authority on “dasa” literature, was conferred “Sangeetha Vidwan” award, an honour bestowed on achievers in the field of music as part of the festival.

Soon after the festival began at the hill shrine, several events got underway. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah witnessed the events, even as the film festival at Kalamandira turned out to be a star-studded one featuring actors- turned-politicians Housing Minister M H Ambareesh and Women and Child Development Minister Umashree.

Local hero Darshan, couple Upendra and Priyanka, yesteryear actors B Sarojadevi and Leelavathi, actor Vinodraj, music directors V Harikrishna and Gurukiran also graced the festivities.

Tourism Minister R V Deshpande launched the tonga and chariot rides, which are part of tourism initiative. He also inaugurated “Mythri,” an effort to provide tourist friendly services.

“Dasara” exhibition, the event that will continue even after curtains fall on the
festivities, was also opened.

Aerial joy rides at Mysore Airport, adventure sport and water sport at airport and Varuna lake respectively, wrestling at D Devaraja Urs Multipurpose Stadium, sport at Chamundi Vihar Stadium, cultural events at Palace will be among prime attractions during the next nine days.

During the festival, the city will also glitter in the night, as most of the prominent buildings and stretches will be illuminated.

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