Dasara in Mysore


Goddess Durga holds a very prominent place in Hindu culture all across India. The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. This autumnal festival popularly known as Sharodotsav, recalls the power of FemaleShakti (power) symbolized by the Goddess Durga who slays Asuras (Mahisasur being the main). Notable the name of Mysore, Karnataka has been named after the very demon Mahisasur which was slain by the Goddess.

Durga Puja has different names and its celebrated traditionally in different states with different names ‘Navaratri Puja’ in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Maharashtra, ‘Kullu Dussehra’ in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Mysore ‘Dasara’ in Mysore, Karnataka and ‘Bommai Golu’ in Tamil Nadu and ‘Bommala koluvu’ in Andhra Pradesh.


No matter what the name is, the devotion and the purpose is the same i.e; the victory of Good (Ma Durga/ Chamundeshwari) winning over the evil (Mahishasur the demon). It is a worship of power of Good which always wins over the bad.

Dussehra is known as Dasara in Mysore and it is the State-festival (Nadahabba) of the state of Karnataka. As stated earlier it falls in between the month of September or October. It is also called as Navarathri (meaning nine nights) and it’s a 10 days festival the end being Vijayadashami.

If you think of this once that the name of the city Mysore was derived from the demon Mahisasur. It becomes very clear how important Dasara is for Mysore. The Dasara festival completed 402nd Anniversary in the year 2012.


The major attraction of Mysore Dasara celebration is the lighting display. The celebration attracts people from India and abroad and every year the number of visitors increases. Numerous cultural and religious programs highlighting music, dance and culture of the state are performed in front of the illuminated Palace of Mysore.

There is a traditional procession (Jumbi Savari) involving elephants, camels and horse which is another big attraction held on the streets of Mysore city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed on a golden mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant. This idol is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession.


Another big attraction is the exhibition held opposite of Mysore Palace in the exhibition grounds. This is in practice since 1880 to showcase timely developments to the people of Mysore. This is now handled by Karnataka Exhibition Authority starting during Dasara till December. Stalls of different kinds are setup to showcase the developments. Entertainment is a major component of the exhibition.

dasara exhibition

One must visit Mysore to celebrate or be a part of it to understand the vast cultural heritage and the auspicious way its celebrated. The city lights up showcasing the victory of light over the darkness in its own way. It’s an amazing experience to be around and experience past and the present all summed in one place.