'Toned down', but still charming

Hues of Dasara

'Toned down', but still charming

Lakhs of people on Friday witnessed Jamboo Savari, the cultural pageantry of “Nada Habba” Mysuru Dasara, which was billed “simple and traditional” this year in the wake of drought and farmer suicides.

Continuing with the tradition, elephant Arjuna carried the fabled 750-kg golden howdah in the 405th edition of Dasara. The procession lasted 4 hours 27 minutes, with the elephants, 41 cultural troupes and 23 tableaux covering the five-km route without any chaos or confusion.

Raja Wadiyar started Navaratri in 1610 AD at Srirangapatna in continuation of the tradition set by Vijayanagar rulers. Even after Independence, Dasara has been celebrated as “Nada Habba” since 1971. It continuous to attract people and tourists in droves to the Mysuru, the City of Palaces.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accompanied by the erstwhile royal family's scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, Supreme Court Judge U U Lalit, Revenue and District In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad, Mayor R Lingappa, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha and Police Commissioner B Dayananda, offered the customary floral tributes to the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari inside the howdah.

However, by the time flower petals were showered on the deity, it was 3:07 pm.
Earlier, the chief minister offered puja to “nandi dhwaja” at 12:07 pm during the auspicious “dhanur lagna”, as a prelude to Jamboo Savari.

Dasara veteran jumbo Balarama, emblazoned for the D-day, set out as the “nishane” elephant at 12:40 pm, signalling the start of the grand finale of Dasara, during the auspicious “makara” lagna fixed between 12:30 pm and 2 pm. He was followed by elephant Abhimanyu as “Naufat”, and then elephants Gopi, Prashantha, Vikrama and Harsha as “Saalane” (row of elephants).

Then came Arjuna, the howdah-carrier for the fourth consecutive year, after succeeding Balarama in 2012.

He ambled along the “Raja Marga”, the name of the Jamboo Savari route after the Mysuru City Corporation took up a project to give it a new look with stone-carved balustrades on either side.

He started from the Palace to the Bannimantap, passing through the Chamarajendra Wadiyar Circle, Albert Victor Road, K R Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Visvesvaraya Circle (Government Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital), Old APMC market junction and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Circle (Highway Circle).

Balarama had for company Cauvery and Chaitra as “kumki” elephants.
By the time the procession culminated at Bannimantap, it was 5:07 pm.

2.5 lakh attendees

Meanwhile, despite Dasara celebrations being toned down this year, there was not much impact on the number of people visiting the city.

People, especially from Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Kodagu districts, came in droves to witness Jamboo Savari. However, the dip in the number of visitors compared to previous years was calculated at 50,000.

According to a rough estimate by the State Intelligence wing personnel, an estimated 2.5 lakh people witnessed the annual event.

 It included 25,000 people within the palace precincts, with 23,000 seating arrangements, including 3,000 seats for VIPs.

Outside the palace, flanking the roads were an estimated 2-2.5 lakh people witnessing the piece-de-resistance of Dasara.

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