Ahead of the Vijayadashmi day fest, the city of palaces, about 140 km from Bangalore, was gripped by religious fervour and gaiety.
The scion Srikanta Datta Narasimaharaja of the Wodeyar dynasty performed rituals and worshipped the royal armoury in the majestic durbar hall of the century-old Ambi Vilas Palace in the city centre.
Dressed in royal robes and sporting the king's headgear, the 60-year-old prince performed the ritual Ayudha pooja in the majestic durbar of the century-old palace amid chanting of Vedic hymns.
Present were his family members and hundreds of people who thronged the hallowed precincts for a glimpse of the grandeur that marked the auspicious ninth day (Mahanavami) of the fest.
The armoury, a treasure trove of about 1,000 weapons, some dating back to 14th century, is a priceless collection of the Wodeyar rulers.
Thousands of people from across the state and country and about 1,000 foreign tourists have descended here to witness the elephant carnival, which will be flagged off by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the palace for a five-km march across the city's thoroughfares.
As Dasara is celebrated as the state festival with royal endorsement, elaborate arrangements have been made to recreate the grandeur of the past when the mega event used to be held by the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire and Wodeyar dynasty since the 16th century.
Before the caparisoned jumbo Arjuna steps out of the palace, carrying atop the deity (Nandi Dhwaja) of Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari in the 750 kg golden chariot, a dozen priests will perform rituals at the auspicious time between 1.12 p.m. and 1.40 p.m..
This will be followed by floral tributes to the idol by the scion and the dignitaries between 1.55 p.m. and 2.23 p.m.
The victory procession will also have a dozen decorated jumbos, camels and cavalry on horseback, dance groups and music bands followed by 42 colourful tableau depicting various facets of the state, districts and state-run enterprises.
The royal family and its well-lit palaces are the star attraction for the pomp and pageantry during the grand occasion, which will culminate in a torch-light parade late Monday followed by a cultural fiesta, motorbike stunts by soldiers and a riot of fireworks and a laser show.
--IANS (Posted on 13-10-2013)