Dasara off to a grand start

Dasara off to a grand start

Sri Sri kicks off festivities

Dasara off to a grand start

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and the Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravishankar  offered flowers to the ‘Utsava Murthy’ of the Goddess to mark the inauguration of Dasara Festival-2009 in the presence of large gathering including the disciples of Sri Ravishankar.

The entire Chamundi Hills was decorated with the colourful flowers and various cultural troupes added pomp and gaiety to the function. The foreign disciples of Sri Sri danced to the beat of ‘Dollu Kunita’ attracting everybody’s attention.

Attired in the white cotton ‘panche’ and ‘shalya’, the spiritual leader along with the CM lighted the lamp and offered prayers to the Goddess Chamundeshwari. The CM honoured Sri Sri with the traditional ‘Mysore Peta’ which the latter wore for some time, much to the delight of his disciples.

Addressing the gathering, Sri Sri said there was criticism as to why Dasara should be celebrated in a grand scale when many states in the country are reeling under severe drought. He said festivals like Dasara would equip people to face the challenges. From time immemorial, festivals are celebrated across the country as a symbol of unity and Dasara is an embodiment of Indian culture. The old Mysore State has enriched the culture and Dasara festival the best example.

Lauding the State government for holding ‘Grameena Dasara’ since last year, he said the ‘Naada Habba’ will have a real meaning if this festival is celebrated in taluks and hoblis. The celebration of ‘Grameena Dasara’ not only helps in bringing to the fore desi culture but also makes the rural population to involve in the festival.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa recalled that the erstwhile grand Dasara celebrations of the Vijayanagar at ‘Mahanavami Dibba’ in Hampi. This tradition was inherited by the Wadiyars of Mysore. The credit of popularising this festival goes to the rulers of Mysore, who made it as a biggest cultural event of Karnataka. With a view to carrying forward this rich cultural heritage, the State government has added several attractions for the younger generation and at the same time protecting the sanctity of the ‘Naada Habba’.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and District-In-Charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje, in her introductory speech, touched upon the steps taken by her, with the co-operation of the district administration, to make Dasara a colourful event.

As many as 22 sub-committees were constituted and people from all the walks of life have been included in the committees, she added.