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Curtains down on Dasara 2007

Mysore famous Dasara celebrations concluded on October 21. With the cancellation of the scheduled programmes on the opening day, October 12, because of the demise of former Chief Minister S.R. Bommai, it was cut down to nine days.

The 2007 Dasara was an all-official celebration, with no people’s representatives participating in it. While the Karnataka Assembly is kept under suspended animation because of the failure of the Janata Dal (S) to hand over power to the Bharatiya Janata Party after the first 20 months of the agreed period and the resulting political imbroglio, the elected council of the Mysore City Corporation is yet to be officially constituted.

See Dasara 2007 Procession Photos

As a result, the Vijaya Dasami procession was inaugurated by Governor Ramesh Thakur, instead of the Chief Minister as is the general practice. The Governor worshipped the Nandi Dhwaja in front of the Anjaneya Temple at the twin Balarama and Jayarama gates at 2-05 p.m., some 10 minutes behind schedule. At 2-25 p.m., he offered flowers to Goddess Chamundeswari idol placed in the golden howdah atop Balarama and inaugurated the procession in front of the Palace, while huge crowds watched the march. Thakur’s wife, scion of Mysore royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, Deputy Commissioner N.S.Channappa Gowda and Police Commissioner Bhasker Rao were with him on the platform specially erected for the purpose.

The Dasara procession was a colourful cultural pageantry, tableaux and folk troupes forming a major mix of the march from the Palace to the Banni Mantap grounds.

Unprecedented security of CCTV cameras, metal detectors, sniffer dogs, check points, video recording by some 50 videographers and some 4,000 police personnel drawn from different units marked at all places on all the nine days.

Srikanta Datta Narasimharaj Wodeyar conducted his 10-day rituals and astivities inside the Palace, with a procession on the Vijaya Dasami morning within the Palace fortwalls. This too attracted a number of invitees and pass holders.

Left with very little regal splendour, the tableaux focussed the rich historic and traditional background of Karnataka. Contingents from mofussil parts re-embhasised the rich folk culture prevailing in different parts of the State. The half a dozen royal items from the Palace added glitter to the procession, the chief being the 750 kg golden howdah carried by the richly decoratd tusker Balarama for the 10th year. The other items of the past pageantry were the elephant carriage, gun carriages, the silver palanquin, palace honours, and the painted elephants, including the sacred elephant.

Dasara 2007 Procession Photos

‘Soil to sericulture’ by the Sericulture Department, ‘World peace message’ by the BEML Kannada Sangha with a model of BEML’s sophisticated item, agricultural activities of the State Agricultural Marketing Board, ‘Women empowerment’ by the Department of Information, ‘Literacy feast for 13,000 children’ by Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt, and ‘Survarna Vidhana Soudha’ by Belgaum Zilla Panchayat highlighted the State’s progress in different sectors.

Some organizations tried to build up awareness among the spectators on ‘Safety awareness’ by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, ‘Vitamin A’ by Swami Vivekananda Movement, ‘Yoga training’ by Pathanjali Yoga Shikshana Samithi, and ‘Pollution control’ by the State Pollution Control Board and ‘Horse Heritage’ by Mysore Heritage Centre on ‘Making environment clean’ were among them.

‘Narasimharaja and Hampi Temple’ by Bellary, ‘Tradition’ by Mysore, ‘Amrutheswara Temple’ by Chikmagalur, ‘Santhe Bennur’s Tank’ by Davanagere, ‘Dharwad’s famous artistes’ by Dharwad, ‘Rajaveera Bichhugathhi Barmanna Nayaka’ by Chitradurga, ‘Mahayogini Mathe Manikeswari’ by Gulbarga, and ‘Bababudangiri Hills’ by Chikmagalur were among the zilla panchayat tableaux focusing on the rich historical and cultural traditions of Karnataka.The folk troupes comprised of over 300 artistes. They exhibited folk arts of their areas like ‘Beesu Kamsale’ ‘Veeragaase’, ‘Pooja Kunitha’, ‘Somana Kunitha’, ‘Onake Kunitha’, ‘Keelu Kudure’, ‘Gaarudi Gombe’, ‘Huli Vesha’, ‘Hejje Kunitha’, ‘Karadi Majalu’, ‘Kolata’, and ‘Dollu Kunitha’.

See Dasara 2007 Procession Photos

The procession was followed by the torchlight parade, which had to be abandoned halfway because of the rains, and with that the curtains were down on the 10-day celebration.

Despite a good number of cultural programmes like violin by Kunnukudi Vaidyanathan, dance by Hema Malini, musical evening by Usha Uthup, Sonu Nigam and C.Aswath 2007 Dasara attracted a lesser crowd. The response from tourists, more so from abroad, was comparatively less than the previous years.

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