Land of unique culture and rich heritage, Karnataka observes many festivals throughout the year. Some of these festivals have their roots in religious devotion and others emerge from cultural legacy. Ganesha Chaturthi is observed widely in this state for ten days and Dussehra is grandly celebrated in Mysore.

Every October, Mysore gets ready for the Dasara Festival. Streets are decorated. The Palace is illuminated with thousands of tiny, shimmering bulbs. And the entire town wears a festive look.

The 10-day-long Dasara festivities in Mysore bring back the glory and grandeur of a bygone era.

For nine full days prayers are offered to the deities of learning, power and wealth, the nine sacred incarnations of Goddess Shakti. Music concerts, dance programmes, sports competitions and other cultural events are held. The Dasara Exhibition is another popular event.

Houses still follow the tradition of ‘Bombe Habba’, where children display their colourful and attractive dolls and invite friends over. Students worship Saraswathi, the Goddess of Learning.

Ayudha Pooja is also a part of the Dasara celebrations. All vehicles and implements are worshipped on this day. The nine-day celebrations culminate in the grand Dasara procession on Vijayadashami, the day of victory.

The Dasara procession begins at the Palace with uniformed soldiers, horses, caparisoned elephants, dancers and floats accompanied by brass bands playing evocative Indian melodies. The Palace Guard and Mysore Lancers march by as graceful folk-dancers twirl and swirl between the floats. The majestic Elephant adorned by golden anklets, bells and chains carries the city’s Patron Goddess Chamundeshwari in a bowdab. This extravagant celebration comes to an end with a torchlight parade by the State Police, as fireworks light up the night sky.