Colourful procession of elephants ends Mysore Dussehra fest


Mysore : A colourful procession of caparisoned elephants or ‘jumbo savari’, watched by thousands of people including those from abroad, marked the end of the 10-day Mysore Dussehra celebrations here Monday.

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The highlight of the jumbo savari was elephant Balarama carrying the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed on the 750-kg golden howdah (carriage) mounted atop him.

Legend has it that on the tenth day of Dussehra, Chamundeshwari slew demon Mahishasura. The day is celebrated as Vijaya (victory) Dashami (tenth day).

Flanked by Sarala and Mary, two other brightly decorated elephants, the 52-year-old Balarama, weighing over 5,000 kg and standing 2.7 metre tall, strode majestically through the five-km route to the cheers of spectators.

Folk dancers, drummers and tableaux depicting various facets of the state added glitter to the show. One tableau was on the H1N1 virus flu asking people not to panic but take precautions.

The jumbo savari took off from the illuminated Mysore palace after Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, his cabinet colleagues and the scion of the Wadiyar family, the former Kings of Mysore, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar worshipped the idol of Chamundeshwari.

The procession passed through the main roads of Mysore, about 140 km from Bangalore, and ended at Bannimantap grounds.

Tight security was in place with around 6,000 police personnel deployed along the procession route.

The Central Industrial Security Force personnel were on duty at the Amba Vilas palace during the procession flag off ceremony.

The Mysore Dusshera fest dates back to 1610 AD when King Raja Wadiyar-I began celebrating the victory of Chamundeshwari over demon Mahishasura.