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Mysore palace private durbar on, but a change in tradition likely

Mysore, Sep 8, 2014, DHNS: 0:27 IST

'Pattada Katti' to be placed on the golden throne as symbol of royalty

The golden throne on which the royal scion used to sit during private durbar. This year, however, a sword will be placed on it as the royal family is yet to name the successor. DH photo
It seems the uncertainty over conducting private durbar, the prime attraction during Mysore Dasara, is nearing an end with the royals deciding to conduct the custom this year too, but with a change in set tradition.

Instead of the royal scion, who was presiding over the durbar from the golden throne, ‘pattada katti’ (sword handed over to the king during the anointment ceremony) will be placed on the throne, to complete the rituals.

According to the elders of the Jatti community (the community of traditional wrestlers who are serving the royal family as bodyguards) who met Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar recently, private durbar will continue along with Vajramushti Kalaga (the bloody fight).

There were speculations over holding the durbar earlier following the death of royal scion Srikantadatta Narasim haraja Wadiyar last December. Even though there is a delay in naming his successor, ‘pattada katti’, the symbol of royalty, will be taking the precedence. The royal priests will perform rituals related to the durbar.

The durbar came into practise ever since Raja Wadiyar launched the Navaratri festivities in continuance of the tradition set by Vijayanagar rulers, from Srirangapatna in 1610 AD.

The throne weighing around 275 kg is made of figwood and covered by gold plating. It has undergone renovation at times. During 1945-46, the seating part of the throne was widened further and the stairs to the throne was increased from five to seven, by a team of sculptors led by Shilpi Siddalingaswamy.

After the abolishment of princely rule, the throne was taken into possession by the government. Every year, during Dasara the throne is removed from the strong room inside the palace and assembled in the presence of both the officials and the representatives of the palace.

Though princely rule had been abolished, there was no dearth of curious people waiting for the durbar every year to witness yesteryear grandeur.

Vajramushti Kalaga, the bloody sport where two pairs of wrestlers from Jatti community will fight with an ivory crafted sharp objects in their fists, will also be conducted this year, but with change in rituals. Instead of Jamboo Savari day, it will be conducted a day before on Ayudha Puja day, at 3 pm at the Karikal Thotti.

Instead of the maharaja, the sword will be placed on the chair from where Wadiyar was witnessing the bout. As is the ritual, the bout will be conducted till the blood spills from the forehead of a wrestler, according to Ustad M N Tilak.

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