Dussehra 2017, Festival of Mysuru Dasara
The festival of Vijayadashmi or Dussehra is celebrated at the end of Navratri. In the eastern parts of the country, Vijayadashmi marks the end of Durga Puja. In other parts of the country, the day is celebrated to remember Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana, to mark the triumph of good over evil, and is known as Dussehra or Dasara. The Mysore Dasara is a 10-day-long celebration. Dussehra is traditionally celebrated by burning effigies of Ravana and lighting firecrackers to symbolize the destruction of evil. This year, the festival will be celebrated on Saturday, September 30.
Mysuru Dasara is the official state festival of Karnataka, held every year in the city of Mysore or Mysuru. Celebrated for 10 whole days, the festival begins at Navratri and ends on Vijayadashmi. According to Mysuru Dasara’s official website, festivities were first started in 1610 by the Wadiyar King, Raja Wadiyar I. Today, grandeur and pomp typically mark the festival of Mysuru Dasara (or, as it was called earlier, Mysore Dasara), and its highlight is the lighting up of the Mysuru Palace.
The city of Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with grandeur and pomp to mark the festival. The Dasara festival in Mysuru completed 400th anniversary in year 2010, while evidence suggests the festivities were observed in Karnataka state by the Vijayanagara Empire kings in the 15th century
Every year, the Mysuru Palace is lit up with 100,000 light bulbs every night from 7 pm to 10 pm for the duration of the 10 day long festival, making for a stunning sight.
To see the Mysore palace illumination no ticket is to be bought. Arrive a little early to settle at a vantage position. The charm is to be there when the palace is lit in one stroke, rather that arriving after the illumination is already on. For both daytime visiting and illumination, entry is through the southern gateway.
Also note that during the Mysore Dussehra festive days, the illumination is done on all the days, for extended hours.