Mysore Dasara or Mysuru Dasara is a 10 day festival celebrated in the state of Karnataka by Hindus. The festival signifies the victory of truth over evil. The legend behind the festival is that a Hindu Goddess namely Durga (Chamundeeswari / Chamundeshwari) defeated the demon Mahishasur or Mahishasuran on the 10th day of the festival which is called Vijaydashmi.
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About Mysuru Dasara
This 10 day festival, which comes to an end on the tenth day i.e. Vijaydashmi (Vijayadashami), marks the successful conclusion of the preceding 9 days. The preceding nine days of the festival are called “Navratri” (9 Nights), each of these days is dedicated to one form of the goddess Durga. The list of days and the incarnation of goddess Chamundeeswari it is dedicated to are presented below:
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The tenth day witnesses a spectacularly grand procession being held starting from the Mysore Palace and concluding at Bannimantap.
Mysuru Dasara is also called as Nadahabba or Nada Habba, and is recognised as a state festival in Karnataka. The major celebrations are organised by the royal family of Mysore. During the period of Mysore Dasara, the whole city is decorated, and illuminated.
The festival also witnesses the conduct of various interesting cultural programs, the prominent among it are as follows:
- Poet’s meet,
- Food Festival,
- Film Festival, etc.
Fairs and exhibitions are also conducted which lasts up to several months around the festival and attains its peak time on the day of the Dasara. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority organises the festival where in many businesses, government departments, public/private sector industries take part to promote their business by setting up stalls.
Mysore Dasara is just an another version of the festival which is celebrated all over the country in slightly different ways. The Navratri of Gujarat and Durga Pooja of West Bengal are also the other famous versions of this Hindu festival.
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After the Durga Puja of Kolkata was accorded the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Tag on 15th December 2021, the state government of Karnataka too is aspiring to bring the tag for its Mysuru Dasara festival which is unique in its own ways. Fresh efforts are being put to get the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Tag for Mysore Dasara. If the government succeeds in its ambitions, the festival will see added tourist activities which are already huge.
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