All roads led to the City of Palaces on Friday. Thousands descended on Mysuru to get the first-hand experience of the majestic Jamboo Savari while millions from across the globe glued to their Television sets and took to internet to soak in the grandeur of the famed Mysuru Dasara.
The iconic Mysuru Palace, Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of the erstwhile Mysuru state, the elephants, especially Arjuna, the howdah carrier, and Raja Marga, the route of the Jamboo Savari, torch light parade at Bannimantapa, the last leg of Dasara festivities, were in focus.
Over 1.5 lakh people, including over 25,000 people on Palace premises, were witness to the events physically.
However, the Dasara tourist season would continue into Saturday and Sunday, as part of the extended weekend that began on Thursday.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy interrupted the procession to launch the Mysuru Dasara Jamboo Savari, the grand finale of the 10-day festivities, to complete the ritual within scheduled auspicious ‘Kumba Lagna’ at 4.13 pm. Thus the howdah carrier, which used to be at the end of the procession joined in the middle.
The chief minister was supposed to offer floral tributes to the utsava murthi of Goddess Chamundeshwari, placed inside the 750-kg golden howdah, mounted on elephant Arjuna during Kumba Lagna, between 3.40 pm and 4.10 pm, as per the invitation.
However, actually the lagna ended at 4.15 pm. Earlier, he offered puja to the ‘Jodi Nandi Dhwaja’ near Balarama Gate of the Palace, during the same Kumba Lagna at 2.46 pm.
After offering puja to the Nandi Dhwaja, in front of Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Kumaraswamy said, “I have inaugurated the Naada Habba on behalf of the people of Karnataka and prayed for the welfare of the state.
The government has planed a slew of programmes for the welfare of farmers. The government is committed to protect the interest of farmers, hence the farmers should not commit suicide.”
For the first time, a dignitary who inaugurated the Dasara festivities, spent all 10 days in the city, taking part in various programmes and events. Sudha Murty of Infosys Foundation, who inaugurated the festivities atop the Chamundi Hill on October 10, was present during the grand finale also, along with her family members and close associates.
The festivities commenced on September 2 with Gajapayana, the journey of Dasara elephants from their respective camps to Mysuru city. Arjuna, the howdah carrier, which was a major attraction, successfully discharged the responsibility for the seventh time. The erstwhile howdah carrier, 60-year-old Balarama, who has carried the howdah on 13 occasions, lead the procession as ‘Nishaane Aane’, the pilot. A total of 12 elephants participated in the procession.
A total of 43 tableaux and several art troupes moved along the procession, entertaining and enthralling the people, on the 5-km Raja Marga.
Kodagu Zilla Panchayat, which was not in the list of tableaux, due to the devastating flood in August, joined the procession on Friday. Higher Education department and Mysuru District Legal Services Authority also had their tableaux.
The tableau of Kannada and Culture department about Navarathnas of the state, and the one on various rescue operations of the NCC were the major attractions.
The Information and Public Relations department tableau highlighted the achievements of the Kumaraswamy-led government.
Congress ministers and MLAs of the region and also BJP MLAs of the city were absent, sending a message that the people’s representatives of non-JD(S) parties were not taken into confidence.