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Dasara concludes with colourful procession

The famous and historic Mysore Dasara 2006 celebrations concluded on October 2 in Mysore with a colourful procession of Goddess Chamundeswari.

The majestic Balarama carried the idol of the presiding goddess of Mysore in the royal golden howdah on his back. The procession was inaugurated by Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy by worshipping the Nandi Kambha, the Nandi flag staff, at the western entrance to the palace, the Balarama gate at the auspicious Dhanur Lagna at 1-14 p.m

Fifteen minutes later, he drove in a bus with his cabinet colleagues, MPs and MLAs into the Palace courtyard. Standing on a specially erected platform, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa, scion of Mysore Wodeyar's dynasty Srikanta Datta narasimharaja Wodeyar and his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy, Kumaraswamy offered flower petals to the Goddess, marking the march of the procession. A 21-gun salute was offered to mark the inauguration.

Colorful ProcessionThe procession consisted of 21 floats and a dozen folk dancers' troupes, drawn from different districts, elephants, horses, police and other contingents. Two female elephants, Revathi and Kanthi, kept company with Balarama in the procession. Proceeding through the crowded Chamarajendra Circle, K.R. Circle, and Sayaji Rao Road, it reached the Banni Mantap parade grounds around 6-15 p.m.

Governor Chaturvedi took salute at the colourful marchpast. Equestrian events, laser show and other attractions marked the torchlight parade.

The finale attracted huge crowds as on the other nine days of Dasara. Official estimate put the number of visitors at 2.5 lakh, in addition to the local population. Visitors came in large numbers to Mysore from different States and aborad particularly on Ayudha Pooja and Vijaya Dasami days.

IT majors like Infosys, Wipro and others, who have set up their units in this fast growing Tier II city offered opportunities to their overseases clients, trainees and staff to visit Mysore.

During the festival evenings, the Palace was brilliantly illuminated. Music concerts were arranged in front of it. The roads around it ended up in traffic jams.

Around 12,000 VIPs, invitees and pass holders were accommodated in the specially erected shamians in front of the Palace. Huge crowds thronged the police. All vantage points at high-rise buildings, trees and pillar tops were occupied on the procession routes.

According to Deputy Commissioner Selva Kumar, who headed the arrangements, all the 1,000 gold cards were sold out well in advance. The number of visitors exceeded the figures of previous years.

21 home stay accommodation was fully taken by tourists, Tourism Sub-Committee Chairman G.N. Srikantaiah said adding he estimated at least 5-6 lakh visitors during the last ten festive days to Mysore.

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