The aura of the presence of the towering figure of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar in the Mysore palace during the Dasara festivities will be missed forever from Tuesday.
Despite unification of the princely State of Mysore with the Indian dominion, the Mysore palace stands as a symbol of royal heritage and glory. As part of the Dasara festivities, Mr. Wadiyar used to ascend the golden throne during his private durbar. The golden throne or ‘Chinnada Simhasana’ or Ratna Simhasana comprises the main seat with a golden umbrella over it. A flight of steps leads to the main seat. The throne is carved out of figwood and decorated with ivory plaques. It is embellished with jewellery, gold and silver figurines.
The throne has a connection with the residents of Gejjagalli in Mysore taluk. Experts are called in from the village by the members of the erstwhile royal family to assemble and dismantle the throne during the Dasara festivities. It is more of a work in the service of the royal family for the Gejjagalli residents who come for the job.
“We come here only for 10 days in a year during Dasara,” Somashekar, one of them had told The Hindu during the recent Dasara festivities. He and 14 others had come to the palace from Gejjagalli for the job. He said he considered the honorarium paid by the ‘Maharaja’ for his work as a great privilege. Mr. Somashekar had said that his grandfather was paid Rs. 5 a day as honorarium for the service by the rulers then.
“It is a question of perpetuating a tradition more than anything else,” he had said.
Many people would come to the palace to render service to the family during the Dasara festivities. Among those were the nattily clad karatekas who formed a close cordon of security around Mr. Wadiyar. They would be present at the spot of the Vajra Mushti Kalaga (wrestling) inside the palace which precedes the Banni tree puja on the Sri Bhuvaneshwari temple premises.
The men, all black-belt karatekas from different karate schools in Mysore, specialising in Shito-ryu style, had “contributed their mite” to the success of the Dasara in October. They felt that Mr. Wadiyar should be protected and people unnecessarily approaching him should be avoided since he was a ‘Maharaja’.
M. Rambo Kiran from the Sports Karate Association of Mysore had said, “It’s our festival and we are pleased to offer this service.”