Mysore (Karnataka), Oct 14 IANS | 2 years ago

Tens of thousands of people, including foreigners, Monday witnessed the grand finale of the world famous Mysore Dasara in Karnataka's cultural capital.

Marking the triumph of good over evil on Vijaya Dashmi day, the grand victory procession led by caparisoned elephants, began from the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty's Ambi Vilas Palace after a dozen priests performed rituals to goddess Chamundeshwari at the auspicious time (1.12 p.m.-1.40 p.m.) in the presence of Wodeyar scion Srikantadatta and his family.

Since Dasara is celebrated as a state festival, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah offered floral tributes to the mini idol of goddess Chamundeshwari after it was placed in the 750kg golden throne atop the caparisoned elephant Arjuna for the procession through the city's main thoroughfares to Bani Mantap grounds, 5 km away from the royal palace.

Recreating the grandeur of the past, the mile-long carnival had a dozen decorated jumbos, camels and cavalry on horseback, dance groups, music bands and 42 colourful tableaux depicting the various facets of the state, its culture and traditions.

"The Dasara fest is special as it is being held after rain gods blessed the state with bountiful rains during the monsoon to ensure a bumper harvest to farmers and prosperity to the 60 million people of Karnataka," Siddaramaiah told reporters.

The former royal family and their decked up palaces were the star attraction at the celebrations. The grand procession, which will culminate in a torchlight parade late Monday in the palace grounds, will be followed by a cultural fiesta, motorbike stunts by army personnel and a riot of fireworks and a laser show.

Security has been stepped up across the city to ensure peaceful celebrations with about 6,000 police personnel deployed on the procession route and CCTV cameras installed at intersections.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) monitored the procession from the sky.

(Posted on 14-10-2013)