The private Dasara of the Wadiyars on the palace premises which came to a close on Wednesday marked the continuation of an unbroken tradition that is in vogue since 1610 CE.
It was a full-fledged event this year and the ‘’Vajramushti Kalaga’’ which was not conducted for two years due to a low-key celebrations owing to the pandemic, was also held in front of a sizeable gathering.
Bringing the curtains down on the 10-day festival, the scion of the erstwhile royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar performed the prescribed rites which was officiated by the palace priests.
The royal elephant (Pattada Aane), the royal horse (Pattada Kudure) and the royal cow (Pattada Hasu) were duly decorated and were part of a mini-procession from the palace to the Bhuvaneshwari temple. The procession was accompanied by an ensemble of musicians including the palace band and a retinue of durbaris clad in traditional attire.
Mr. Yaduveer was not seated in the silver chariot as is the norm but came in a motor vehicle which was part of the procession and completed the ceremonies including the worship of the weapons at the Bhuvaneshwari temple. After the completion of the rituals the weapons were placed in the palanquin and taken from the temple to the palace, signifying the victory procession.
A tradition inherited from the rulers of the Vijayanagar empire who celebrated Navaratri on a grand scale, it was a show of political and military might. But under the Wadiyars, the celebrations assumed cultural connotations and was less a display of political and military might.
Dasara of the Wadiyars was first celebrated in 1610 CE when Raja Wadiyar ascended the throne at Srirangapatna. The celebrations shifted to Mysuru after the capital of the princely Mysore kingdom shifted from Srirangapatna to the present city after the fall of Tipu Sultan in the 4 th Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 CE.
The grandeur of Dasara reached its peak during the regime of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and is evident in the paintings in the Kalyana Mantapa of the Amba Vilas Palace.