Low-key Mysuru Dasara, Jamboo Savari confined to palace | Mysuru News – Times of India

MYSURU/BENGALURU: For the third time in its over 400-year history, Mysuru Dasara will be a no-frills celebration with Jamboo Savari – the centrepiece of the state festival that involves a 5.5-km procession of caparisoned elephants carrying idols of deities through Mysuru’s main roads on the final day – confined to Mysuru Palace premises.
The Dasara events that started in 1610 were cancelled only once, in 1953, due to violent caste clashes. With Covid-19 casting its shadow on the 10-day event starting in the third week of October, the Karnataka government on Tuesday announced the festivities will be limited to Chamundi Hills and Mysuru Palace, without allowing large gatherings.
Jamboo Savari passes through main thoroughfares of Mysuru city that attracts large crowds on Vijayadashami, the last day of the festival.
Dasara to have only 5 jumbos this year
In 1994, the procession was similarly held within the palace premises owing to a plague outbreak in Gujarat. In 2002, the celebration was low key as Karnataka was facing severe drought coupled with the Cauvery crisis leading to law-and-order problems in Mysuru and Mandya districts.
In 1953, the public celebration of the festival was cancelled due to clashes between upper-caste and Dalit wrestlers outside the palace. Four men were shot dead by police. On October 3, 1953, 13 persons with bullet injuries were rushed to hospital. The festivities were cancelled on the inaugural day.
“We will have just five elephants for the procession this year,’’ said chief minister BS Yediyurappa after a meeting of Dasara high-power committee on Tuesday. With Arjuna (which carries the golden howdah) in the lead, Abhimanyu and two female elephants will be part of the procession.
Instead of eminent personalities, a team of corona warriors — doctors, nurses, ASHA workers, pourakarmikas and police personnel — will inaugurate the festival this year.
Kannada and culture minister CT Ravi said traditional events will be held at Chamundeshwari temple and Amba Vilas Palace premises by ensuring social distancing.
Illumination will be limited to major traffic islands in Mysuru. Film festival, adventure sports, food mela, exhibitions, Yuva Dasara and torchlight parade have been cancelled. Dasara wrestling will be a token event. The government decided to grant Rs 10 crore for the festival and ban sale of Chinese goods and toys at the event.

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Sagar Biswas

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