"The 10-day Dasara festival will be celebrated with grandeur as in the past at Mysore with greater participation and involvement of the people to showcase the rich cultural heritage and religious traditions of the state over centuries," an official told IANS Monday.
The world famous Dasara procession on the culminating day attracts thousands of people for its pomp and pageantry. Mysore is located 140 km from the state capital.
The state government is making elaborate arrangements to organise the event comprising a host of cultural, social and religious programmes.
"About Rs.10 crore has been earmarked for the event, which is celebrated as the state festival, marking triumph of good over evil, and a thanksgiving occasion for a bumper harvest in the kharif season," said the official from the state Kannada and Culture department.
Royal patronage for the festivities began during the Vijayanagara empire in the early 15th century. It became a dynastic tradition in the 16th century with the Wodeyars of the then Mysore kingdom joining the common folk to celebrate Dasara by performing rituals and holding an audience (durbar) for them.
The state government later took over the task of organising the mega event due to the logistics, safety, security and funding aspects.
The celebrations committee, led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has decided to invite noted Kannada writer and Jnanpith awardee Chandrshekara Kambara to inaugurate the Navarathri (nine nights) fest atop Chamundi Hills on the city's outskirts Oct 4.
As the chief minister, revenue minister and PWD minister hail from the old Mysore region, the state government has sanctioned an additional Rs.5 crore to the Mysore civic body for improving basic amenities and beautification of the city of palaces.
"The chief minister has directed the committee to make the fest a special one for various reasons, including gratitude to nature for blessing the state with copious rains on time and for rescuing the people, especially farmers reeling under drought for two years," the official said.
The celebrations committee has decided to enhance the grandeur of the "Jamboo Savari", the caparisoned elephant procession from the royal palace in the city centre to Bannimantap grounds, five km away, and make the victory parade a grand finale on Vijayadashmi day.
"The festivities should reflect the spirit of the people with their active participation than a mere official show. Make it a national and international event by inviting artistes to perform at the cultural shows during the celebrations," the chief minister told the committee.
Siddaramaiah has also directed the state transport corporation to give concession on bus fares to enable people from across the state to visit Mysore during the fest.
--IANS (Posted on 12-08-2013)