(Last Updated on : 15-03-2013)
In many parts of India Dasara is known as Navratri. In Karnataka Dasara is celebrated in the month of October with great festivity. People from all over the state take part in this amazing festival. Mysore is the city of silk and sandalwood and till date it remains the center for traditions, culture and art. The city is often referred to as the 'City Royale' and Dasara is considered to be a Royal festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. In Karnataka Dasara is celebrated as Nadahabba. The celebration has its roots in the royal family of Mysore. They perform a special puja during this festival.
As a part of Navratri or the festival of nine nights Dasara is the last day of the festivity. In other parts of India it is also called Vijayadashami. According to legends on this day Goddess Chamundeshwari killed Mahishasura, the demon king. The name Mysore has been derived from his name. Dasara celebrates this auspicious moment. It is commonly believed that the goddess (Shakti) is the most powerful during this time. Hence rituals are also performed to appease Her.
The history of Dasara festival in Karnataka dates back to 15th century. It was the Wodeyars of Mysore who followed the tradition of celebrating Dasara. During their time the puja used to be held in the Chamundi Temple located on a hilltop. Today on this day a procession is taken out on the city streets. The decorated idol of the goddess is placed on an elephant back. Before going out on the streets the idol is worshipped by the royal couple. Dance groups, decorated horses, elephants, camels, music bands and colorful pictures are also a part of this procession.
The other interesting event that is organized during Dasara is the exhibition. It includes apparels, eatables, kitchenware, plastic items and cosmetics. The Dasara fair offers unadulterated fun for people of all ages. Abiding by the customs and traditions Dasara festival in Karnataka is still celebrated with a lot of fervor.