Mysuru decks up to host Dasara festival

Mysuru (Karnataka): The City of Palaces has been decked up to host its world famous 10-day ‘Mysuru Dasara’ fest starting Thursday with pomp and pageantry and an increase in the number of tourists is expected this year, officials said.

“This year’s festival is expecting at least 30 per cent increase in the footfall. We are making all the necessary arrangements to make this year’s fest much bigger than the last year,” Additional Deputy Commissioner T. Yogesh told IANS.

Mysuru, located about 150km from Karnataka capital Bengaluru, attracts visitors from across the world during Dasara, which has been celebrated over centuries to mark the triumph of good over evil.

The fest includes a multitude of cultural celebrations and the iconic Mysuru Palace built in 1912 is lit up with thousands of light bulbs during the evening. This spectacle draws at least 10 lakh visitors from the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra among others.

According to officials, at least 10,000 tourists from across the world also gather in the city to witness the festival celebrations.

Security in the city has been beefed up with the inflow of lakhs of visitors.

“At least 5,000 police personnel have been deployed in the city for the coming 10 days,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) N. Vishnuvardhan told IANS.

The celebrations will be flagged off by renowned poet K.S. Nissar Ahmed along with other state officials on Thursday atop Chamundi Hills, located 13 km from Mysuru.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will inaugurate the Dasara flower show, one of the main attractions of the fest. The flower show is expected to have over 3.5 lakh visitors, according to officials.

Cultural events, also to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister in the evening, will include several dance performances by the likes of Padma Shri Shobana, folk performances, Hindustani and Carnatic music concerts, farmer Dasara exhibition, food melas, film festival etc., that would be held across various venues in the city.

Visitors can also take a helicopter ride for a panoramic view of the illuminated city.

A procession by caparisoned elephants around the lanes of the royal palace is also one of the much-awaited sights during the fest each year.