While there will be no celebrations in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19, Dussehra is going to be celebrated in a bigger and grander way this year.
Dussehra in Mysore is a tradition of the Vijayanagara emperors who ruled between the 14th and 17th centuries. The grandeur of Navratri celebrated by Vijayanagara rulers was described by medieval travelers like Abdur Razak of Persia who visited Vijayanagar between 1442 and 1443. The Portuguese Domingo Pius (1520-22) and Fernao Nunez (1535-37) gave eye-witness accounts of the “great feast of Bisnaka” at Vijayanagara.
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The tradition practiced today was started by the Wadiyars of Mysuru. Raja Wadiyar, who ascended the throne at Srirangapatnam in 1610 CE, ordered the celebration of Navratri on a grand scale.
After the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the kingdom passed back into the hands of the Wadiyars. Also the capital was shifted from Srirangapatna to present day Mysore.
It was during the reign of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who ruled from 1902 to 1940 that the grandeur of Mysore Dussehra reached its peak, and this grandeur is recorded in the murals of the Amba Vilasa Palace.
Navratri – Dussehra festival celebrated in Karnataka as Nada Happa lasts for 10 days. The whole city of Mysore is decorated and processions take place on the streets of the elephant. It is an event that attracts a lot of tourists.
In Mysuru, Dussehra marks the slaying of the demon Mahishasura by Goddess Chamundeswari and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. But apart from its religious underpinnings, the festival has emerged as a platform to showcase the state’s cultural diversity.
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A total of 290 cultural programs will be held over 10 days at eight locations in Mysore. On the final day, October 5, there will be a Jamboo ride of elephants carrying golden howdahs, followed by a grand torchlight procession.
President of India Draupadi Murmu will attend the Dussehra festival this year. He will tour Karnataka from today till 28th of this month. This is his first visit to an Indian state as the President of India.
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