Ending the nine-day battle between Ram and Ravan, during Dussehra, effigies of the demon god Ravan were prepared and set fire to. People across India celebrated the symbolic final battle wherein good triumphs over evil in a grand way. But Mysore as always was one step ahead of the game and just like every year, this time too the Mysore Palace was being illuminated with around 100,000 light bulbs ahead of the grand Vijayadashami procession for Dussehra.
It is believed that every year nearly Rs10 million is spent on maintenance to provide people with a grand spectacle. Is it enthralling? Yes, you can feel the excitement in the air almost immediately with hundreds and thousands of people visiting the palace, which becomes a hub of cultural events and religious programmes during Dussehra.
The splendid elephant procession or Jamboo Savari becomes the main attraction and this year the crowd witnessed the magnificent elephant, Arjun, carrying a heavy howdah with the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari. According to legend, this is where Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur and at the Chamundi hill near the city of Mysore, it is believed that the giant body of a buffalo – the last form that Mahishasur took in his fight with Durga.
The titular Maharaja of Mysore Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar performed a puja and saw the procession off from the palace. A little different from the age-old tradition where the Maharaja would ride atop an elephant, but he still made his presence felt. However, this time, the crowd was a little less than last year. It seems protests over Cauvery waters have taken a huge toll on tourism.