While Dasara conjures up images of Ram Leela in the north to signify slaying of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama, in Mysore it is associated with the slaying of the demon Mahishasura by Goddess Chamundeshwari, who is another form of Durga worshipped widely in West Bengal and eastern India. The famed Mysore Dasara (Nada Habba of the State) will begin on Thursday, showcasing the best of the traditional and modern, and continue till October 4. It marks the continuation of a tradition started in 1610 A.D.
This year’s event is also the first in recent history when the private Dasara of the royal family of the Wadiyars will be held without a male heir to perpetuate the family traditions inherited from the rulers of the Vijayanagar. However, for the public at large, it is the State-funded Dasara with a slew of cultural and popular programmes.
With nearly 150 events scheduled to be held at different venues over the next nine days (for schedule visit www.mysoredasara.gov.in). The grand finale is the famed Jumboo Savari or the Vijaydashmi procession (October 4) featuring cultural and folk troupes from across the State to depict its diverse traditions. Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad will officially inaugurate Dasara at Chamundi Hills between 8.37 a.m. and 9.05 a.m. in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.