Showcasing the best of the traditional and modern, Dasara will unfold to a sea of humanity on Saturday in what is a continuation of a tradition started in A.D. 1610.
Mysore, the heritage city, attracts huge crowds from across the world and is known for its jumbo savari or elephant march. The carnival of caparisoned elephant march has been the main attraction on the last of dussehra festivity to mark the celebration of victory of good over evil. Mysore, a part of the tourist circuit is attracting huge crowd for this jumbo savari.
Customs on Vijayadashami
Chief minister Siddaramaiah will inaugurate the procession at 2.30 PM at Mysuru Palace, the starting point of procession, after performing puja to Nandi dwaja, a customary practice, at the north gate of Mysuru Palace around 2.15pm. The final leg of the procession will be Arjuna carrying the deity in the howdah to which CM will offer puja by showering flower petals along with other dignitaries between 4.30pm and 4.45pm, as 21 cannon shots will be fired and the National Anthem is played.
Arjuna and team set for finale
Arjuna has donned the lead role of carrying the howdah since 2012. He also shouldered the responsibility in 1999 after the death of Drona, the then howdah elephant.
Besides Arjuna, three other elephants Abhimanyu, Balarama, Gajendra - are also fit to carry the howdah and have cleared all the tests during rehearsal.
Female elephants 39-year-old Kaveri and 60-year-old Vijaya will accompany Arjuna. While Balarama, who carried the howdah 13 times, will perform the role of 'Nishane' elephant, Abhimanyu will be the 'Noupath' elephant.
The 44-year-old Vikrama will be the pattadaaane for the royal family to perform Vijayadashami rituals and 35-year-old Gopi will join Vikrama. The other elephants, including first-time participants in Dasara, Bheema, Krishna and Drona, Varalakshmi, Prashanth, Gajendra, Harsha and Gopalaswami will be the 'Saalanes'.
According to the legend, goddess Chamundeshwari, a reincarnation of Durga, consort of Lord Shiva, eliminated demon Mahishasura after 10 days of fierce battle atop Chamundi hill. The 10th day is celebrated as Vijay Dashami (day of Victory). On Vijay Dashami the Mysore Dasara will conclude with Rs Jumboo SavariRs , a procession of 12 caparisoned elephants with the lead tusker carrying the idol of Chamundeshwari placed in the 750-kg golden howdah.
It began when Raja Wadiyar ascended the throne at Srirangapatna in 1610 AD and ordained that Navaratri be celebrated on a grand scale; a heritage and cultural practise inherited from the rulers of the Vijayanagar empire.
A state festival
The State government which has taken over the conduct of the festival after the abolition of the privy purse in 1971, has continued with the tradition which is a celebration of the cultural diversity of the State and the country.
A sea of humanity
Thousands of visitors from across the globe have thronged Mysore for the daily festivities apart from Ayudha Pooja and world famous Jumbooo Savari on September 30 being the main attractions. Many religious and cultural activities atop the Chamundi hill, a symbol of Mysore adds to all the glitter. The hundred year old illuminated palace in Mysore is the main attraction apart from great exhibition of golden howdah and other artifacts.
Security beefed up
The city police have beefed up security given the crowd the procession normally attracts and more than 5,000 police personnel have been drafted for duty. This includes 34 platoons of KSRP, 25 platoons of CAR, two bomb disposal squads among others.
The torch light parade will be held late in the evening.