The Mysore palace’s Royal Golden Throne or ‘Chinnada Simhasana’ (also Ratna Simhasana), is the royal seat of the Wadiyars of Mysore.

The main seat has steps leading up to it and an umbrella for shelter. It is carved from fig wood and decorated with ivory plaques, beautified by gold, precious stones and silver figurines.

What does any of this have to do with the residents of Gejjagalli in Mysore taluk? The village comes into the limelight during the 10-day Dasara festival every year as ‘experts’ are called in by the royal family to assemble and dismantle the royal throne.

Years of service

The 65-year-old turban-clad Somashekar makes for a grave figure with his long black overcoat and sash; he has the bearing of someone who works in the royal palace. A resident of Gejjagalli, he says his grandfather and father have also served in the palace.

“We come here only for 10 days in a year during Dasara,” Mr. Somashekar told The Hindu .

The residents of his village are experts in dismantling and reassembling the golden throne. Asked whether others in his village were as proficient in the intricacies of the golden throne, he said, “Our village is known for this.” The black overcoat and sash being the palace uniform for someone in his position, the Gejjagalli experts will have to hand theirs back when they leave.

As many as 25 people were invited every year by the palace authorities; that number has dwindled to 15.

According to Mr. Somashekar, his grandfather was paid Rs. 5 a day as honorarium; he and his men get Rs. 250 a day. “It is a question of perpetuating the tradition more than anything else.”

‘We come here for the 10 days of Dasara to reassemble and later dismantle the golden throne’