Rain God spares procession, lakhs witness grand finale

Rain God spares procession, lakhs witness grand finale

Artistes performing ‘Somana Kunita’ during the procession. DH PHOTO

 The procession went off peacefully, with elaborate security arrangements made all over the City.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa offered pooja to Nandikambha at 1.10 pm, at the western gate of the palace.

Later, the Chief Minister, accompanied by Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the scion of Mysore royal family, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and District-In-Charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje, Mayor Purushottam and Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao, offered flowers to idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed inside the golden howdah carried by the caparisoned Balarama, to mark the  beginning of the Vijaya Dashami procession.

A 21-gun salute was given, and the palace band played the National Anthem.
Onlookers were thrilled to see the decorated Balarama, flanked by female elephants, Mary and Sarala.

Braving the scorching sun, a large number of people had occupied vantage positions, on the jamboo savari route, from noon itself to catch a glimpse of the procession. Even tree tops were not spared.

Pass holders and ticket holders had the shelter of shamiyana on both sides of Chamaraja Circle up to K R Circle, and also inside the palace premises.
The district administration had put up separate enclosures for the VVIPs, gold and platinum card holders and other pass holders.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) stood guard at the magnificent Amba Vilas Palace.
As many as 101 contingents - including 42 tableaux, folk dancers, drummers, Armed Police, Mounted Police, Police Band - added colour to the procession.

Of course, 51-year-old Balarama was the cynosure of all eyes, majestically making his way. He was carrying the golden howdah for the eleventh year in succession.
Many foreign visitors were seen in the palace premises, taking pictures of the caparisoned elephants, which were moving majestically.

Security around the howdah-carrying elephants was tightened with the police commandos protecting them.

Except the mahouts, kavadis and a few officers of Forest Department, no one was allowed to walk along with the elephants up to Bannimantap Grounds.