Dasara, the festival that rejoices the victory of Good over the Evil. The demon Mahishasura is slain by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati or Durga. The other name for this celebration is Navarathri (9 nights) and Vijayadashami (victorious 10th day) brings about auspicious time for victory and prosperity.
According to Hindu mythology, in Ramayana, Dasara marks the puja for Goddess Durga which Lord Rama performed to acquire strength to fight Ravana. On the seventh day of Dasara marks the Saraswati Pooja, prayer offered to the Goddess of Learning and Knowledge. On this day all the musical instruments and learning material is worshipped.
On the eighth day is the Durga Astami, puja to Goddess Durga is performed. According to a legend of the Mahabharata, Pandavas used the banni tree to hide their arms during their one-year period of Agnatavasa (living life incognito). Before undertaking any warfare, the kings traditionally worshipped this tree to help them emerge victorious in the war. On the ninth day, Ayuda Pooja, prayer offering to all the instruments, machinery and vehicles. The tenth day marks the Vijaya Dashami, many new ventures and occasions are celebrated on this day as it very auspicious.
In 1805, the king started the tradition of having a special durbar in the Mysore Palace during Dasara and the same tradition continues to be a major event with the support of the Karnataka people and its Government. During the ten days of Dasara the entire city of Mysore is lit up with colorful lights and flower hoardings.
The Palace and other important buildings are illuminated. Cultural by famous artists, Literary programs, Poet’s meet and Sports, Wrestling,Food Festival, Film Festival are some of the events, arranged in the Palace.
Dasara Exhibition is arranged in the Doddakere Maidana, by the Karnataka Exhibition Authority, along with the sponsorship of public-private sectors. Government departments and business establishments put up their stalls to promote industrial and corporate business for months.
Mysore enthralls people from all over the world especially during the Dasara. The preparation for the Dasara begins nearly 2 months before the event. Traditionally bringing about the elephants and settling them at the Mysore Palace is an event by itself called the “Gajapayana” or the elephant march started on 18th Aug 08. Crores of Rupees are spent in arranging the lights(over 25000 nos) and decoration for the Dasara. Though the festival is for 10 days, the actual celebration starts from the sixth day. The sixth day is in honour of goddess Saraswathi.
Eight day is dedicated to Durga and Ninth day is for Lakshmi, goddess of wealth. On Vijayadashami, the Jumboo Savari, traditional Dasara procession goes onto the streets of Mysore city. Idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed on a Golden mantapa, on the top of a decorated elephant. Balarama, the elephant has been performing this great venture from the past 9 years.
The Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession, which is accompanied by colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands. Decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped. There will be the procession with the 12 Dasara jumbos route from Mysore Palace to Bannimantap twice a day. The pomp and show carries on for month in the city.
Dasara with a Gold Card
The Gold card , a ticket which gives the golden opportunity to participate in the Dasara celebrations at Mysore. The Gold Card has been released and available in Bangalore and Mysore and at selected tourist centers including the Department of Tourism and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) offices in the State. Gold Cards are available at D.C.Office, APMC Office.
Gold card is at priced Rs.6,000/*- each will enable tourists to witnessing the famous Mysore Dasara celebrations between 30th September and 9th October 2008. This card has free access for 2+1 persons to witness various programmes from an exclusive enclosure. Tourists with the gold card will avail discounts ranging from 10 to 25 per cent at selected hotels, shops like jewellery and handicrafts, and restaurants.
Gold card members have free access to the following locations:
- Mysore Palace
- Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysore Zoo)
- Ranganthittu Birds Sanctuary
- Nagarhole Wild Life Sanctuary
- Krishnarajasagar (KRS)
- G.R.S Fantasy Park (One time Entry) 50% on entry fee
- Dasara Exibition
- Chamundi Temple (VIP Darshan)
- Musical Programme at Mysore Palace
- Dance Programme at Jaganmohan Palace
- Film Festival in Film Theatres
- Natakostava at Kalamandir
- Dasara Sports at Chamundivihar Stadium
- Dasara National Level Wresting at D.Devraj Urs Multi Purpose Stadium (State Level Karate at Chamundivihar IndoorStadium
- Dasara National Level Wresting at D.Devraj Urs Multi Purpose Stadium (12th-18th October)
- Horticultural show at Curzon Park
- Food Festival at Town Hall Grounds
- Yuvadasara at Manasagngnothri Open Air Theatre (Assured seats with car parking)
- Kavigosti at Jaganmohan Palace
- Air show at Bannimantap
- Karanji Lake Nature Park
- Jaganmohana Art Gallary
- Rail Museum
- Regional Museum of Natural History
Jumbo Savari / Dasara Procession
Held on 9th October 2008 afternoon, assured seats for 2+1 with car parking facility for the Gold card holders. Entry through Jayamartanda Gate (Palace East Gate)
Free vehicle parking at Doddakere Maidana (Opposite to Jayamartanda Gate)
Torch Light Parade
Held on 9th October 2008 evening assured seats with car parking facility at Gate No.1for Gold card holders.
Note to Gold Card members
- Cost of Gold Card is Rs. 6,000/-
- Entry for 2+1 persons only permitted per Gold Card
- Please produce the Gold Card at the entrance.
- At business establishments, taxes as applicable
- 5% Discount for 2 persons one way on arranged trips by KSRTC for Gold Card Users
- Gold Card is Valid from 30th September 2008 to 9th October 2008