2005 Dasara Inauguration
The 10-day-long age-old Dasara celebrations began in Mysore on October 4 on grand scale. This year a mix of traditional and new events have been launched to make the celebrations attractive and colourful.
The celebrations began in the morning atop the Chamundi Hills, in a shamiana specially erected in front of the majestic temple of Goddess Chamundeswari, the reigning diety of Mysore, whom the Mysore Maharajas have been worshipping since seven centuries.
Veteran Kannada writer and rationalist Prof. Baragur Ramachandrappa inaugurated the celebrations by lighting the traditional lamp, by skipping the worship of Goddess Chamundi in the temple. Later the Dasara film festival at Kala Mandira was declared open by veteran Kannada actor K.S.Aswath. Around 32 selected films are being screened as morning shows at four centres in Bala Bhavan, Kala Mandira, Lido and Gokul theatres.
Later, Mysore BJP MP C.H.Vijaya Shankar inaugurated the Indian style wrestling at the Devaraj Urs Stadium in the Exhibition grounds. Veteran wrestlers from all over Karnataka are competing for top Dasara titles like Dasara Kantirava, Dasara Kesari Dasara Kumar and Dasara Kishore in bouts spread over six days.
Then began the famous Dasara Exhibition at Doddakere Maidan. The main event of the priod, the nine-day long cultural programme by country's renowned musicians on the specially erected platform in front of the Palace was inaugurated by President-award winning film actress Tara.
Besides the Palace, cultural programmes like music, dance and drama performances are arranged at Jaganmohan Palace, Kala Mandira, Town Hall and Rangayana for a period of nine days.
The Yuva Dasara, meant to entertain the young, began at the Manasa Gangotri Open Air Theatre on October 6. State level sports competitions are commencing from October 7 to be inaugurated by international sportsperson Anju B.George, pet animals show at Kuppanna Park on October 8 and 9 and a poets' meet on October 8 at Jaganmohan Palace where poets will recite their poems. The poets will be brought in procession from the Palace in Mysore's once famous horse-driven 'Tongas'.
An additional feature this year is the adventure sports carnival from October 4 to 13, a mix of terrestrial, aqua and aero sports at Mandakalli airport, Doddakere Maidan, Chamundi Vihar Stadium and KRS backwaters, which is receiving good response from sports lovers.
Apart from these, tourists are enjoying rides in 25 selected and specially decorated Mysore's famous Tongas with Tonga drivers dressed in the traditional Durbar dress.
The 10-day-long Dasara concludes on October 13, the Vijaya Dasami day. The procession of Goddess Chamundeswari, kep in the golden howdah on the back of en elephant will mark the finale. The Vijaya Dasami procession will start from the Palace with Nandi Dhwaja (Nandi Post) Pooja at 12 and the procession from inside the Palace some 15 minutes later. This will be followed by a torchlight parade at Banni Mantap from 6-30 p.m. Seating arrangements will be made for 6,400 invitees, ticket holders and guests.
For the first time, scion of Mysore royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar will attend the torchlight parade. Around 15,000 people can witness the parade at Banni Mantap.
Also for the first time, a CCD screen will be erected at a prominent place in the city to show the two procession and the parade programmes. Similarly, four multimedia screens will be erected at Kuvempunagar, Town Hall, Udayagiri Park and Cheluvamba Park for direct display of the torchlight parade.
The three local TV cable channels have agreed to directly telecast the Dasara programmes and the Doordarshan, the procession and parade, it is stated.
Apart from Rs. 75 lakh for the celebrations, the government has released Rs. 2 crore for improvement of PWD roads and Rs. 3.5 crore to the City Corporation. About a dozen companies have contributed Rs. 65 lakh and sponsored some programmes. Another Rs. 10-12 lakh is expected from others. State Bank of Mysore and TVS Company top the sponsors with Rs. 15 lakh, followed by Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mangalore, Rs. 10 lakh, MSIL, Canara Bank, Kirloskar-Toyota Rs. 5 lakh each, Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Rs. 3 lakh, and Infosys Rs. 2 lakh each, according to District Minister Tanveer Sait.
The 1,000 gold cards of Rs. 5,000 each are on a brisk sale. So also the KSRTC's special circuit tourism plan and tourism passport for tourists. Some house owners have come forward offering 'home-stay' hospitality for tourists during the season.
While the Palace is being illuminated in the evenings on all the 10 days, entry into the Palace is restricted because of Wodeyar's private festivities. Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar has begun his traditional celebrations inside the Palace.
The authorities have launched a Dasara telephone helpline and a website www.mysoretourism.org to enable tourists access all information required relating to Mysore .