The ten-day festival of Mysuru Dasara has become synonymous with Mysuru, the cultural capital of Karnataka, thanks to the grand celebrations held at the Mysuru Palace. Celebrated with aplomb and joy, Mysuru Dasara is the “Nadahabba” or the State-Festival of Karnataka. With fairs, cultural events, dance performances and musical concerts, the ten-day festival is celebrated with pomp and pageantry. The tenth day, Vijayadashami brings a spectacular procession led by the image of the deity. Bedecked elephants, cavalry, foot soldiers, folk dancers, musicians and tableaux wend their way through the city. The extravagant celebrations come to an end with a torchlight parade as fireworks light up the night sky.
Attractions during Dasara:
- Jambu Savari (Elephant Procession): During Jambu savari, held on last day of Dasara, specially trained elephants carry the idol of Chamundeshwari in a howdah ( made of 750 kgs of gold) in a grand procession, starting from Mysuru palace and culminating at Bannimantapa. The grand elephant procession usually includes several cultural performances comprising of art forms such as Dollu Kunitha, Veeragase, Yakshagana, Huli Vesha and other cultural art forms.
- Exhibitions: Several exhibitions showcasing artwork, handloom and other local traditional craftsmanship will be showcased during Dasara. Visitors can get to learn more about the craft and purchase them at cheaper than normal prices. The exhibitions are held at the Dasara grounds opposite the palace to keep visitors engaged.
- Mysuru Palace lighting: Mysuru palace is usually decorated with extensive lighting during Dasara and viewing it from a distance at night is a visual treat. It is said that about 97,000 bulbs are used to decorate the entire exterior of the Palace making sure visitors and spectators inhale the splendour and magnificence of the Mysuru Palace Lighting.
- Events: Events such as Kite Festival, Sand sculpture shows are often held during Dasara festivities
- Brindavan Gardens: Visit Brindavan Gardens and enjoy the musical fountain show.
- Food, Fun & Festivities: Joyrides, games and food stalls excite visitors during Dasara.
- Sale: Most shopkeepers offer special discounts during Dasara, making it an ideal opportunity to shop and save.
When is Mysuru Dasara:
Mysuru Dasara 2020 is planned from 17th to 27th October 2020 although the exact dates could vary each year. Planning your trip to Mysuru well in advance is strongly recommended as availability of hotel rooms, flight seats drop and rates go up as Dasara dates get closer.
How to reach Mysuru:
Mysuru is 150 km from Bengaluru and is well connected by air, rail and road. Mysuru airport has flights from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Belgaum, Goa etc. Excellent rail and road network ensures convenient access to Mysuru.
Places to stay in Mysuru:
Mysuru city has accommodations suitable to all budget groups. Hotel Mayura Hoysala, run by KSTDC is available in Mysuru. Check out their website here for bookings and other details https://www.kstdc.co/.