Preparations for the world-renowned Mysuru Dasara festival in Karnataka have taken off. This year, the festival will be celebrated with the usual pomp and grandeur between September 29 to October 8. Chief Minister has zeroed down on award-winning novelist and litterateur par excellence, S L Bhyrappa to inaugurate the festival ceremonies this year.
Dasara festivities that have a rich history of more than 400 years, is celebrated for over 10-days and falls in the month of September or October. Mysuru Dasara is the ‘Nadahabba’ or the state-festival of the state of Karnataka called as ‘Navaratri’ means nine nights.
During the festival, which began in the 14th century, the Mysore Palace will be illuminated with around 100,000 bulbs. Various celebrations including a food mela will be organised in the Scouts and Guides ground. Various cultural programs are lined up at the Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Kalamandir, Kuppanna Park, Ganabharati, and Nadabrahma with artists coming from all over India to participate in the 10-day event.
Dr Bhyrappa, is a celebrated author in South India and is a recipient of Saraswati Samman Puraskar. He writes in Kannada and his novels are widely translated into various Indian languages. He is the bestselling novelist in Marathi over the past decade and is among the top-five bestselling authors in Hindi.
His books have found their way to the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses of the universities in the state of Karnataka, and have been the subject of about 20 Ph.D. dissertations. Bhyrappa has served as a professor of philosophy over three decades at NCERT. In March 2015, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship and was presented with Padma Shri in 2016 by the government of India.
This year, the festival will be organized at a cost of Rs 20.5 crore, the CM informed reporters after chairing a high-level committee meeting today. “The amount will be released immediately,” he confirmed.
When asked if the Mysuru Dasara will be scaled down due to the current flood situation, Yediyurappa asserted, “The festival will happen just the way it has been held in the past.”
While time is running short, the authorities of the forest department led by the deputy conservator of forests for Mysuru wildlife division Alexander, along with veterinarian Dr DN Nagaraju completed the task of examining the health of the elephants at Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, who are believed to be the show-stoppers of this grand event organised each year, at the beginning of this month.
Recently, the 39-year-old, legendary elephant ‘Drona’ which carried ‘golden howdah’ at Dasara procession in Mysuru for a record 18 consecutive years died at Thithimathi Elephant Camp in Nagarahole National Park. The tusker had collapsed while having water and said to have died due to a heart attack. This year around 15 elephants has been shortlisted to participate in the festival.