In most parts of India, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm. But if you wish to witness its true grandeur, plan a trip to Mysore! The place is more than just alive for the entire duration of the 10-day-long fiesta that is popularly called Mysore Dasara.
Steered by the royal family of the city for over 400 years now, Mysore Dasara is a celebration of the city’s rich heritage and marks the victory of Goddess Chamundeswari (a Goddess Durga incarnation) over the evil demon king, Mahishasur. It also holds the honour of Nadahabba or the state festival of Karnataka and sees a public gathering on a scale that can’t be seen anywhere else.
This year’s Mysore Dasara started on 29th September and will last till 8th October.
What to Expect at Mysore Dasara 2020?
Like every year, the otherwise tranquil city of Mysore has transformed into a hub of celebrations and is all lit up and drenched in multi-coloured hues this Dussehra. The Mysore Palace is illuminated with a hundred-thousand light bulbs every evening from 7 pm to 10 pm and makes for a splendid sight to behold. Moreover, this is the only time of the year when you can see the magnificent Golden Throne out of storage and displayed in the Durbar Hall along with other royal possessions.
Other prime attractions during the course of Mysore Dasara include a food festival at the Scouts and Guides ground, exhibition at Doddakere Maidana, flower show at Kuppanna Park, film festival at the Mall of Mysuru and fine arts exhibits at Kalamandir. Sporting events at Chamundi Vihar Stadium and games competitions near Basaveshwar circle are also a major draw during the festival. Furthermore, cultural programs are held in different venues across the city like Jaganmohan Palace, Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Town Hall, Ganabharati, etc. A vintage car rally, wrestling event, yoga session and exclusive events and competitions for women and children are also in the schedule.
The highlight of this dazzling socio-cultural event is the grand procession that will be held on the last day of the festival. Known as Jumboo Savari, this spectacular parade will start from Mysore Palace at 2.45 pm and end in Bannimantap ground. It will feature twelve lavishly-decorated elephants, one of whom will be carrying an idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, marching through the streets of Mysore twice a day. They will be accompanied by colourful floats, folk bands, famous dance troupes as well as armed forces to guard the members of the royal families and other VIPs. The splendid procession will be followed by a Torch Light Parade, starting at 8 pm in Bannimantap ground. You will be left in awe after the daredevil stunts on bikes, fireworks and laser show during this parade.
- During Mysore Dasara 2019, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is offering special full-day tour packages to tourist destinations around Mysore like Madikeri, Shimsha, Bandipur and Ooty. The package cost ranges from INR 800 to INR 1600 per person.
- KSRTC and Department of Tourism have launched a special helicopter that will allow tourists to enjoy an aerial view of Mysore. The helicopter rides are available between 9 am and 5 pm and cost INR 2500 for 10 minutes. Tickets are available at the Lalitha Mahal helipad.
- In order to aid people to travel during the festive season and clear the extra rush, KSRTC and South Western Railway (SWR) have announced two Suvidha Special trains from Bangalore as well as 2500 extra buses for intra and inter-state services, from 4th to 8th