The discipline in Dasara grandeur

Reflection of the Mysuru Palace, from Jayamarthanda Gate, on the Exhibition Grounds side, all decked up for the Dasara celebration, in Mysuru, on Tuesday. It rained for some time on Tuesday evening. (DH Photo/B R Savitha)

Madan Gopal Raj Urs, an octogenarian, a descendant of Prince Subramanya Raj Urs, and the biological grandfather of Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, says the grandeur and discipline of Dasara he watched when he was a teenager cannot be described in words. “Even if we describe it, youngsters now would not believe it,” he says.

Madan Gopal Raj Urs remembers being eight years old when Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar passed away. “I do not remember the Dasara durbar during the time of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. My maternal grandfather, Lt Col A V Subramanya Raj Urs, was close to him and served Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, too, till the early 1950s. Thus, I accompanied my maternal grandfather to the palace and watched the evening durbar of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar and his Jamboo Savari,” he says.

“My memories are clear from 1950, when Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was Rajapramukh. My grandfather led the parade as lieutenant colonel. The grandeur, discipline and joy of the Dasara of those days are incomparable. The whole city was spruced up for the festivities. It was a great feeling to go to the palace in durbar dress,” Madan Gopal Raj Urs recalls.

“Even though my grandfather went to the palace during the day, we would accompany him in the evening on all nine days of Navaratri, and also on Vijayadashami. The mechanical stage in the palace courtyard was lifted to the level from where the maharaja could comfortably view the festivities sitting on his golden throne. Musicians would go up in the lift and perform for around 15 minutes. There were bouts of Vajramusti Kalaga by wrestlers in the courtyard,” he reminisces.

“We would visit the Dasara exhibition held at Exhibition Building, between the Railway building and the Mysuru Medical College building, and at JK Grounds. At home, we would help our grandma in arranging the dolls for the pooja. It was then time to play and rejoice with our cousins,” Madan Gopal Raj Urs says. The son of Urs Sardar K Gopal Raja Urs and Amruthammanni, Madan Gopal Raj Urs is a mechanical engineer. He studied in Arasu Boarding School and Maharajas’ High School. He earned his BSc from Maharaja’s College and went on to do BE in Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (now University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering).
He joined Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Karkhane (PSSK) as a mechanical engineer, had a five-year stint in Germany, and returned as deputy chief engineer.

He was with PSSK as its chief engineer and manager. For a couple of years, from 1970 to 72, he served as Chief Engineer of Mysore Sugar (MySugar) Factory.

He retired from National Cooperative Development Corporation in 1991.

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