Photo: Women wrestlers taking part in the traditional ‘Nada Kusti’ - Wrestling competitions (national level) during Dasara Festivals at D. Devraj Urs mutlti-purpose stadium, Mysore.
Mysore Dasara (Dusshera), also called as Navaratri, is the state festival Karnataka. It is a 10-day festival, the last day being Vijayadashami, which symbolizes victory of truth over evil and it was the day when Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. According to legend, the name Mysore has been derived from the name Mahishasura. The Dasara celebration was first started by the Vijayanagar Kings in 15th Century.
The Mysore Palace is lit up on all the 10 days of Dasara. On Vijayadashami day, Jumboo Savari, the traditional Dasara procession is held on the streets of Mysore city.
Colorful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from Mysore Palace and ends at Bannimantap where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped.
Another major attraction during Dasara is the Dasara exhibition which is held in the exhibition grounds near the Mysore Palace. This exhibition goes on till December. Various stalls in the exhibition which selling articles such as clothes, kitchenware, cosmetics, souvenirs, and art items attract a significant number of visitors from India and foreign tourists.
On all the 10 days of Dasara various music and dance concerts are held in auditoriums in Mysore city, in which musicians and dance groups from all over India perform. Another attraction during Dasara is wrestling competitions which attract wrestlers from all over India.