Mysore, Oct 20: A slice of ancient tradition unfolds on the world famous Mysore Palace premises during the nine day Navaratri festivities bringing alive memories of a bygone era.
The Mysore Royal family had always played a significant role in the rituals and festivities, even today the family members performed the Ayudha Pooja inside the courtyard of the palace.
Scion of the Mysore Royal family and former MP Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar completed his private pooja and offered pooja to weapons and followed by a pooja 'Kusmananda' (cutting of pompkin) inside the Palace. This was followed by the procession to the Bhuveneswari temple with the weapons are carried in a golden planquin.
The initial nine days saw the private durbar of the Mysore Royal family held to commemorate Dasara festivities, the genesis of which was traced to the celebrations observed by the Vijayanagar emperors in Hampi. The baton was passed to the Wadiyars who kept alive the tradition with customary rituals adding a dash of colour with the caprisoned elephants, horses, and soldiers participating in the pooja celebrations. In the past, the maharaja used to ascend the royal throne on all the nine days and hold a durbar while the subjects used to pay their obeisance to the ruler.
On the Mahanavami or Ninth day, 32 weapons were taken on a procession to temple inside the Palace premises for Ayudha Pooja.
Tomorrow Mr Wadiyar will compete his rituals with a procession contingent, seated in a exquisitely designed silver planquin drawn by the cows and proceeds to the temple inside place premises which was attended by a large number of family members and other special invitees including foreigners. He would also offer pooja to the shammi tree.
Later return to the palace and worships the family deity goddess Chamundeswari and complete his religious observance. This shammi pooja was to be held at Bannimantap grounds, but the changing times, the pooja was now being performed at the temple inside the Palace premises.
Reckoned to be a time honoured tradition, the dasara celebrations in Mysore conjure up romantic images of a bygone era replete with the kings and the caparisoned elephants, palaces, and foot soldiers. The image has blurred of late, but the myth continues to linger.
Though Navaratri was celebrated throughout the country, the private durbar, the golden throne, the caparisoned elephants, and the illuminated palace with its array of cultural programmes have combined to make dasara in my sore a unique experience.