Bangalore, October 6: The 10-day Bangalore Dasara kicked off on Saturday at Munireddypalya. Organised by the J.C. Nagar (Munireddypalya) Dasara Festivities Committee, the Bangalore Dasara this year promises to be bigger and better than last year’s.
The 10-day festival will culminate in a grand procession of 80 chariots. Though not many people attended the inaugural event, the organisers are confident that the number of people visiting the venue and attending the cultural programmes will increase ove r the coming days. “We are expecting participation of around two lakh people on Vijaya Dashami when the chariot procession will be taken out,” said Dasharath Singh, vice-president of the organising committee.
Though Dasara is a Hindu festival, the celebrations at Munireddypalya are unique as they involve people from all communities and all walks of life. “The celebrations are akin to a Nada Habba or community festival. People from all communities participate in the festivities and we try to keep the events secular and entertaining. The rituals are kept to a minimum,” he said.
Assuring that the celebrations are bigger this year, the organisers said that the number of chariots taken out in a procession had increased from 60 to 80. T. Prabhakar, working president of the committee, pointed out that a single chariot cost around Rs. 5 lakh. “However, we have the support of the local community. That apart, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has sanctioned Rs. 20 lakh for the celebrations,” he said.
Space constraints are also posing a problem for the organisers who had to give up the land where the programme was originally organised a few years ago. “We are planning to utilise the space adjacent to Fun World Theme Park next to the J.C. Nagar Police Station to start the procession from next year onwards once we have the permission for the same,” he says
This year being the centenary year, the organisers are planning to install a statue of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in Munireddypalya. It was Mr. Wadiyar who initially started the tradition of Dasara celebrations in the city, which are in a smaller scale compared to the festivities in Mysore.