In continuation of a tradition bequeathed by rulers of the Vijayanagar empire, Dasara will unfold in all its glory in the city of palaces from September 19 to 28, showcasing Mysore as the cultural capital of the State.

Cultural programmes to be held on the occasion will carry the flavour of “Naada Habba”. The Mysore Palace, built in the Indo-Saracenic style in 1912, will be the cynosure of all eyes as it will be illuminated by over one lakh bulbs during the festival.

The event will also help reinforce Mysore as a tourist destination for all seasons.

The grandeur of the festivities, started by Raja Wadiyar in 1610 at Srirangapatana, reached its zenith during the period of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1902-1940). Though Dasara is celebrated across the country, the Wadiyars lend it a royal touch and equated Mysore with Dasara the world over.

Over the years, Mysore Dasara has evolved beyond religious rites and become a fulcrum to promote tourism. This time, though it is being held in the backdrop of economic slowdown and uncertainty over arrival of tourists owing to various factors, the authorities have added new events and more venues.

So during the next 10 days there will be classical music and dance performances, Indipop shows, Indian Air Force orchestra and folk performances, among other events. According to the organisers, the Dasara Air Show will be bigger this time and cultural events, with participation by artistes and troupes from across India, will reflect the diversity of the country. There will be a flower show at Curzon Park, Kavi Ghosthi, food mela, devotional music, theatre festival at Rangayana, film festival, heritage walk, heritage cycling rally and wrestling competition.

Heritage buildings and monuments in the city will be illuminated on the occasion. Apart from the 19 venues in the city, Dasara programmes will be held in all taluk centres.

Jamboo Savari or the Vijayadashmi procession, which is the highlight of the festivities, will be held on September 28.

Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar will hold private durbar, complete with regal paraphernalia, during the festival.

The “Naada Habba” will be inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation between 10.38 a.m. and 11.05 a.m. on Saturday in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and other dignitaries atop Chamundi Hills.

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