“Arjuna, Arjuna, Arjuna”, thousands of people were cheering out at top of their voice, falling over each other to get a glimpse of Arjun walking past. Arjun has been the star attraction of Mysore Dasara Festival since last 4 years. Still every year, people wait for hours under scorching heat to again see Arjun as he walks at the end of Dasara procession. Arjuna is the celebrity elephant who carries 75 KG golden howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari for Mysore Dasara Procession.
There are many programs and festivities that begin one week prior to Vijayadashami and go on till Dasara like Kavi Sammelan, launghter show, Dasara Trade Fair, flower show etc. but two key attractions are the Mysore Palace (decorated with 1 Lakh lights) and Dasara Procession.
Mysore Palace looks very beautiful, glittering with lights from 1 lakh bulbs used to decorate the Palace. Outside Mysore Palace gates, you will find a bustling crowd enjoying their time in the fair and posing for photographs. In the evening, area around palace gets too crowded and it appers as if the whole city is out there to cherish the moment.
Video of Mysore Palace decoration and Lighting during Mysore Dasara Procession
Mysore Dasara Procession
This is another key attraction of Mysore Dasara and lakhs of people wait in scorching heat for hours to witness the celebrations. Dasara Procession starts from Mysore Palace and ends at Banni Mantap after covering a distance of around 4 KMs. Both sides of the road get completely jam packed with people sitting on road side, on walls, on roofs of shops and vehicles. There are temporary pandals created at Mysore Palace Gate where you can buy tickets and sit (starting Rs 500) but even those are over crowded due to black marketing of tickets by auto-wallas. We avoided them and thankfully got a wall to hang on during 2 hours of procession.
Mysore Procession includes various Jhankis showing the culture of different parts of Karnataka and ends with Jambo Shavari (elephant royal march) where lead elephant (Arjuna) carries the golden howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
Dasara Procession, Jumbo Savari Video
Mysore Dasara Festival is fun but it is advised to go prepared as Mysore gets overcrowded during Dasara Procession and you will not find an inch of space. We actually were lucky to get a wall to hang on otherwise it would have not been possible for us to watch the procession.
Though we enjoyed our experience but somewhere, our joy was subdued by heat and crowd. We have listed 5 key things that you should take care if you are planning to visit Mysore during Dasara Procession. Do check them out here: Dasara Festival: 5 Things to take care
Do not miss the lights and spirit of Mysore Dasara next year 🙂