Mysore Dasara – A celebration of legend, tradition and royalty

Mysore is a riveting destination for travelers, from around the world. During Dasara its beauty increases manifold’s as the city decks up to celebrate the State festival – Nadahabba, with great pomp and festivity. According to the legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is the demon from whose name; the name Mysore has been derived.

Mysore has a long tradition of celebrating dasara as an elaborate affair. Initially started by Raja Wadiyar 1 in 1610 at Srirangapatna, this festival of more than 400 years still continues to be celebrated with equal fervor and joy. Preserving the tradition, even today the current heir to the throne visits the Chamundeshwari temple and performs a special pooja, marking the beginning of Dasera festival.

This year’s Dasara celebrations began with His Highness Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar worshipping the family deity Chamundeshwari. In the year 1805, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III started the tradition of having a special durbar in the Mysore Palace during Dasara; which was attended by members of the royal family, special invitees, officials and the masses. This tradition has been continued even today with the current scion of the Wadiyar family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar performing a special pooja of the golden throne and holding a private durbar during Dasara. On the ninth day, or Mahanavmi as it is popularly known, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession involving elephants, camels and horses.

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