Mysuru: Celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the victory parade here on Saturday evening marks the grand finale of the 10-day world famous “Dasara festival” on Vijayadashmi.
About a million people from across the country have flocked to the cultural capital of the southern state to witness the spectacle of caparisoned elephants, horse-drawn carriages, cultural troupes, folk artistes and 40 tableaux marching from the royal palace to Bannimantap ground through the city, about 150 km from Bengaluru.
In line with the hoary tradition, cultural spirit and religious fervour of the region’s erstwhile princely rulers since the 17th century, Hindu deity “Chamundeshwari” will lead the procession in a 750 kg golden throne, astride a decorated jumbo “Arjuna” and flanked by elephants “Balarama” and “Abhimanyu” as “Nishane” and “Noupath”.
As the state government hosts the fest, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will offer floral tributes to the goddess replica and flag off the 407th parade at the Amba Vilas Palace gates along with Wodeyar dynasty scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja, queen mother Pramoda Devi, other royal family members and dignitaries.
According to a legend, the goddess had slain demon “Maisasura” and freed the people from his tyranny. A temple dedicated to her is atop the Chamundi hill on the city’s outskirts.
With bountiful rains blessing the state after a severe drought last year, thousands of rural residents, including farmers and their families, have thronged the city to celebrate the religious event and participate in its cultural fiesta.
The three-hour long parade will culminate in the night with a torchlight parade and fireworks in the sprawling Bannimantap ground where Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala will be present along with celebrities and special invitees.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the city to ensure peaceful celebrations and prevent any untoward incident.
“About 6,000 security personnel and 1,600 home guards have been deployed around the palace on the five km parade route and at the ground to regulate crowds, prevent vehicular traffic and maintain law and order,” a police official told.
The tableaux showcase the state’s cultural diversity, its flora and fauna, life of its rural folk, artisans and tribes and welfare schemes of the state government and activities of its various departments.