Mysuru: The world-famous Dasara victory procession of caparisoned elephants (jamboo savari) marking the triumph of good over evil was held in the Amba Vilas palace here on Monday in a subdued manner due to the Covid-induced restrictions on large gatherings in public places.
“The 410th year of Dasara festival on Vijaydashmi (10th day) marked the grand finale of the annual event, with the victory parade by caparisoned elephants in the palace grounds under Covid guidelines,” an official told IANS here.
The city of palaces and the cultural capital of Karnataka is 150 km west of Bengaluru.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa conducted the welcome ritual at the auspicious time (makara lagna) between 2.59-3.20 p.m. and made floral offerings to the wooden replica of Goddess Chamundeshwari astride the elephant Abhimanyu on a 750 kg golden chariot during Kumbha lagna between 3.40-4.15 p.m., as per the Hindu calendar.
The former ruling Wodeyar family, including titular head Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja, queen mother Pramoda Devi, who adopted him as the scion, and princess Trishkiha Kumari were among the 300 dignitaries present on the occasion.
In normal times, the procession is staged from the palace in the city centre to Bannimantap grounds through a 5 km route for a torchlight parade at night as the culmination of the grand finale, watched by lakhs of people, including visitors and tourists from across the country and overseas.
As a legacy of the Wodeyar dynasty since 1610 when then ruler Raja Wodeyar began the 10-day festival, Dasara is celebrated every year by the state government as Nada Habba (state festival).
The finale was telecast live on the local channels and streamed in the social media like YouTube and Facebook for the people to watch from the safety of their homes.
The 10-day fest began on October 17 in the Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill on the city’s outskirts.
Earlier in the day, the Wodeyar scion concluded the Sharannavaratri celebrations by performing special pujas (rituals) at the Bhuvaneshwari temple in the palace and staged a victory march (vijaya yatre) in the grounds.
The police were on high alert to guard against any untoward incident.