Mysuru Dasara is Karnataka’s state festival and one of the most popular festivals people look forward to. Dasara is celebrated in a grand manner each year at Karnataka’s cultural capital, Mysuru. Dasara celebrations are spread over 10 days, held during the Navaratri period (usually falls in the month of October). Each year visitors arrive from all over the world to witness Mysuru Dasara celebrations.
Dasara celebrates victory of good over evil, marked by Goddess Chamundeshwari killing the demon Mahishasura. Dasara festival is said to have started during Vijayanagara rule in the 15th century and has seen 400+ editions so far. Entire Mysuru city decks up to be at its best during Mysuru Dasara. Visiting Dasara celebrations and Jamboo Savari is a must do activity for anyone visiting Karnataka.
Attractions during Dasara:
- Jambu Savari (Elephant Procession): During Jamboo savari, held on last day of Dasara, specially trained elephants carry the idol of Chamundeshwari in a howdah ( made of 750 kgs of gold) in a grand procession, starting from Mysuru palace and culminating at Bannimantapa. The grand procession usually includes several cultural performances comprising of art forms such as Dollu Kunitha, Veeragase, Yakshagana, Huli Vesha and other cultural art forms.
- Exhibitions: Several exhibitions showcasing artwork, handloom and other local traditional craftsmanship will be showcased during Dasara. Visitors can get to learn more about the craft and purchase them at cheaper than normal prices. The exhibitions are held at the Dasara grounds opposite the palace to keep visitors engaged.
- Mysuru Palace lighting: Mysuru palace is usually decorated with extensive lighting during Dasara and viewing it from a distance at night is a visual treat. It is said that about 97,000 bulbs are used to decorate the entire exterior of the palace making sure visitors and spectators inhale the splendor and maginificence of the palace.
- Events: Events such as Kite Festival, Sand sculpture show are often held during Dasara festivities
- Brindavan Gardens: Visit Brindavan Gardens and enjoy the musical fountain show.
- Food, Fun & Festivities: Joyrides, games and food stalls excite visitors during Dasara.
- Sale: Most shopkeepers offer special discounts during Dasara, making it an ideal opportunity to shop and save.
When is Mysuru Dasara:
Mysuru Dasara 2020 is planned from 17th to 27th October 2020 although the exact dates could vary each year. Planning your trip to Mysuru well in advance is strongly recommended as availability of hotel rooms, flight seats drop and rates go up as Dasara dates get closer.
How to reach Mysuru:
Mysuru is 150 kms from Bengaluru and is well connected by air, rail and road. Mysuru airport has flights from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Belgaum, Goa etc. Excellent rail and road network ensures convenient access to Mysuru.
Places to stay in Mysuru:
Mysuru city has accommodations suitable to all budget groups. Hotel Mayura Hoysala, run by KSTDC is available in Mysuru. Check out their website here for bookings and other details https://www.kstdc.co/.