Mysore Dasara (Dussehra) is the most glorious state festival of Karnataka. It is one of the biggest festivals of Hindu religion and celebrated for 9 nights before the fall of Dussehra on tenth day. It is believed that on this day Lord Rama killed evil Ravana which is marked as a victory of good over evil. People have been celebrating this festival for the last 600 years and it has become a great tourist attraction because of its grandeur and historical significance.
The festival includes many fairs getting organized all around the city which sees the visits of thousands of foreign and local tourists. Large numbers of people visit from Bangalore which is the nearest metro city. Bangalore to Mysore cab is the most preferred mode of travel.
The main attraction of the ten day festival is the magnificent Mysore Palace which is illuminated beautifully every evening with more than 1 lakh light bulbs. The estimated cost of decorating the Mysore Palace is more than Rs 1 crore every year. The grand festival exhibits the great cultural richness of Karnataka state and talents of various dancers and artists.
An exhibition is held in the ground opposite the Mysore Palace. Various stalls are set up which sell items ranging from clothes to food items. You can also see some of the best handicrafts and antiques on display, few of which are available for sale. Various dance and music shows and cultural events are also conducted across the city in different auditoriums. The opulent theme of the festival is a total delight for the visitors.
In addition to the Mysore Palace the whole Mysore city is decorated in a wonderful and elegant manner. All parts of the city are brimming with happiness and festivities during these days. To welcome all guests, a huge ‘Welcome’ sign is created by bulbs on top of Chamundi hills which is visible from all parts of the city.
A grand procession called Jamboo Savari is held on the streets of Mysore. The idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari after being worshipped by the royal family is placed in a seat which is made of 750 kgs of Gold. The seat is placed on top of an elephant called Arjuna and the procession is taken. Many other well trained elephants accompany Arjuna in the procession.
The procession showcases tableaux of various districts, music bands, dance groups, decorated horses and elephants etc, all of which make the whole event spectacular.
The procession starts from Mysore Palace and ends at Banni Mantapa, a place where the Banni tree is worshipped. The event and festivities end with a Torch-Light Parade event called Panjina Kavayathu. It is a highly entertaining event in which you can see the amazing bike stunts, laser show and the fire cracker show that lights up the night sky.
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