Great Festivals of Mysore by:David H. Urmann
Mysore is in Karnataka. Chamundi Hills offers a very beautiful perspective of this magnificent place. Travelers stand at the foot of the hill to witness the breathtaking beauty of Mysore. At the top of this place is the famous Chamundi Temple. All the tourists who do pilgrimage in this temple never fail to pass by Mysore. All year round, there are a lot of tourists in the temple, so expect a full crowd always.
Mysore also regularly hold great festivals that most visitors time their travel on the date of these joyous celebrations. One of the festivals that make people flock in Mysore is the Dasara Festival.
Dasara Festival is a ten day celebration that includes the religious and cultural sector. There are a lot of programs done on this festival. This usually is celebrated within the months of September and October. It depends on the Hindu calendar but it really falls on these months. Vijaya Dasami has lost its original royal grandeur on the 9th and 10th day but despite of this, it still draws huge crowds of people who visit the place because of this celebration.
Many tourists come to India for the special programs made for these festivals. This is in particular for the last day because there is a Dasara procession. The ten days of the festival make the Mysore Palace open to the public to see the royal throne. There are even performances offered just in front of the palace.
The state government would always arrange competitions during the festivals. There is a sports category for those who want a good sweat. There is also entertainment shows arranged like serenading, folk dances and doll shows. There is a Dasara Exhibition that goes on for two months too, typically held in the Doddakere Maidan. Businesses like industrial houses take part in this exhibition.
The celebrations of this Dasara Festival include state organized and very colorful processions. There will be floats, band units, police, and armed guards seen during this timee. The traditional items from the royal family are also taken out to display to the audience while the queue lags slowly.
The main attraction is the idol of Goddess Chamundeswari. These idolhas decorated elephant placed on top of the golden howdah where this idol is placed. There are also real life elephants that strut their stuff during the procession. These animals come from the Forest Department.
Aside from the programs that have been prepared, there are also religious ceremonies conducted in different temples for a special way of worshipping their gods. The chief temple is the Chamundeswari Temple above the Chamundi Hills.
The Dasara Festival has a combination of mythological and historical background. Its origin is the Mahabharata epic. This festival is a way of retelling these myths and historical events that the locals never tire of hearing.
Another festival that attracts a good crowd is the Yugadi. This is a Kannadiga New Year day. This falls on March or April. This is a celebration that offers devotion and delight.
The National independence day of Mysore is also celebrated to commemorate the republic day and birthday of Gandhiji.
There are also religious festivals celebrated in Mysore usually done by religious devotees. Some of these are Sri Ramanavami, Makara Samkramana Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami, Eid-ul-Adha, Christmas, Eid-ul-Fitr and Deepavali. All these festivals, religious or non religious, are done harmoniously.
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