The countdown for the grand ten-day 'Mysuru Dasara' has already begun in Mysuru, the State's cultural capital. Endless cultural extravaganza soaked in history and traditions is a sure treat for tourists visiting the heritage city from September 21. The City looks like a bride what with every street decked up to celebrate the 'Nada Habba' that is over 400 years old.
But the same zest to celebrate the Dasara at Srirangapatna, the place where it all began is almost missing. History has it that Dasara was the long-held celebrations of the Vijayanagar kingdom. However, after Srirangapatna was captured by Raja Wodeyar 1 from Sriranga Raya (of Vijayanagar dynasty) in 1610, he continued the tradition as 'victory parade'. Srirangapatna was the capital of Mysuru rulers then. However, after Mysuru rulers shifted their capital to Mysuru in 1799, the celebrations too shifted to Mysuru, and it began to fade in Srirangapatna and almost came to a stop, till a decade ago.
Since then it has come to be known as Mysuru Dasara. So much so that the state government allocates separate fund for the grand celebration in Mysuru, completely neglecting the Srirangapatna. The Dasara budget for this year is Rs 13.5 crore, and there is no dearth of sponsorships for Mysuru Dasara. But it is not the case with the Srirangapatna Dasara, which is mostly a low-key affair. In fact, the celebrations in this Fort Town were restarted in 2007 after the media began highlighting the importance of the Srirangapatna Dasara.
Here, the celebrations would not be ten-day long but have been restricted to three days. The celebrations will begin here from September 24, and senior writer K Marulasiddappa will inaugurate the event. The Mysuru Dasara Committee has allocated Rs 50 lakh to celebrate the event in this fort town.
In Srirangapatna Dasara too, the Chamundeshwari idol will be taken on a decorated elephant in a procession but does not cover the distance of the Vijayadashami procession in Mysuru. In Srirangapatna, the procession is taken out from Bannimantap on the outskirts of Srirangapatna till the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. Although the cultural and folk troupes accompany the procession, it is almost devoid of the pomp that one gets to witness in Jamboo Savari in Mysuru. This low-key Dasara also conducts cultural programmes, wrestling and other competitions.