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Dasara festivities - a date with regalia for Mysoreans

Written by: Staff
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Mysore, Sep 17 (UNI) For Mysoreans, the golden throne and the golden howdah, the cynosure of all eyes during the famous Dasara festivities commencing from September 23 here, are a way of reconnecting with their culturally-rich regal past.

Monarchs may have no relevance in a democratic set up, but the throne, which has changed hands over centuries, is till viewed with awe as every year the common man gets a glimpse of it only during the religious event.

During the ten-day Dasara festivities, which will conclude on Vijayadasami day on October two, the scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar continues to maintain the traditional link by observing religious chores as per various texts, apart from the State-sponsored festivities.

Mr Wadiyar will ascend the throne during Navarathri in a private durbar inside the Mysore Palace from September 23. This year, the throne has been kept for public view from September 15 till October 26. It was opened with a traditional pooja by the royal family purohits and assembled by skilled workmen. The priceless throne was guarded by a huge posse of police personnel round the clock, besides closed circuit TV to monitor visitors.

The other objet d'art connected with the Mysore royal household was the golden howdah. The exact date of its making is not known.

The 750-kg-howdah, used in the 'Jumboo Savari' (elephant procession) on the Vijayadasami day, has two wide seats in rows, bigger than the interiors of a family car. The Rajas of Mysore used this howdah in the famous Dasara procession, which traversed through the thoroughfares of the princely city during the festival every year.

From the early 1970s, an idol of Goddess Chamundeswari, the principal deity of Mysore, is being carried in the howdah, atop a caparisoned elephant. For the ninth successive year, 48-year-old 'Balarama' will do the honours.

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