Festivals in Karnataka
Dussehra festival is celebrated in a big way in Karnataka or more precisely in Mysore. In fact Dussehra in Mysore is renowned for the way it is celebrated.
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It is called “Nadahabba”. Its importance is further enhanced by the fact that the Royal family of Mysore takes a special interest and is actively involved in the celebrations. Dussehra is a ten day festival of which the first six days are celebrated in honor of Goddess Saraswati.
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The eighth day is dedicated to Durga and on the ninth day the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi is invoked. On the final day a grand procession is started from the Mysore Palace and terminates at Bannimantap.
During the Dussehra festival,
the entire Mysore basks in the flood of lights. The Mysore Palace and other important buildings are illumined with lights. The city is bedecked in such a way that the tourists from faraway places flock to Mysore just to be a witness to the majestic beauty of the city. On the first day the King begins his day with a ceremonial bath followed by the worship of the family deity in the palace.
He then worships the navagrahas or the nine sacred deities and the sacred `kalasa'. He sits himself on the throne which is followed by the lighting the palace lights, a 21 -gun salute to the royal emblem and the presentation of the sword to the king. The king receives his guests and accepts the blessings of the palace priests.The Dussehra procession is by far the grandest event in the Dussehra festival.
It takes place on Vijayadashami or the tenth day. The procession is led by gaudily decorated elephants that carry idol of goddess Chamundeswari seated on a golden throne placed on an elephant seat. Hundreds of decorated horses, folk dancers, courtiers, nobles, soldiers, and visitors take part in the procession.
The procession initiates from the Mysore palace and proceeds through the city to the backdrop of the Chamundi hills Dussehra in Karnataka. The Dussehra celebrations are wrapped up by a closing ceremony that includes - cultural programs from various states, gymnastic and horseback rider events.
A two-month long Dasara Exhibition is held at the Doddakere Maidan, in which several business and industrial houses take part. Apart from this a Food and Film festival is also organized. During the festivities special religious ceremonies are held at different temples in Mysore especially the Chamundeshwari Temple on top of the Chamundi Hills Dussehra in Karnataka. The high point of the Dasra celebrations is the Vijayadashami procession held on the tenth day. The finale of the celebrations is the state organized procession consisting of floats, the police and their bands, mounted guards in royal livery and folk artists and musicians.
Some traditional items of the royal family form part of the procession. The main attraction of the procession is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari kept in the golden howdah on top of a decorated elephant. The procession begins at the Mysore Palace and ends at the Banni Mantapa grounds, traveling a distance of about 2.5 miles. The procession is followed by a torch light procession in the evening and a stunning display of fireworks.
These are followed by a torch light tattoo and fireworks. Innumerable visitors witness this grandeur of the Dussehra in Karnataka.
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