Chamuneshwari temple and Mysooru palace
The divine mother Chamundeshwari would be worshiped on all these nine days of Navaratri in her different forms as believed in the Hindu tradition. On the first day, the king, after having a ceremonial bath, would perform purificatory rites. He would then worship his family deity, goddess Chamundi, and would wear the ceremonial, sacred wrist – band which signified his intention to perform the sacred rituals with devotion and dedication.
He would then enter the durbar with the accompaniment of sacred chants and music. He would also worship the throne as per the ancient injunctions. He would then circumambulate the throne thrice and ascend it at an auspicious moment. Later royal insignia and sword were presented to him amid prayers to the goddess. At that moment all the lights in the palace would come alive, and there would be the royal 21- gun salute.
Royal palkhi, weapons, umbrella
After this the king would sit on the throne and receive royal guests. Soon after this, the royal elephant and horse would receive ablutions and worship. The court would present the king with the offerings received from various temples and religious centers (mathas). This was followed by Vedic chants, sprinkling of holy waters and blessings by the royal priests. The vassal kings [or feudatory], dewans, army chiefs and other royal staff would come and offer their respects to the throne in earlier times. Musical instruments would start an ensemble accompanied by dance performance, and the blowing of conch es and trumpets with the parade of uniformed soldiers and other staff.
The tradition of the durbar, an adoption from the Mugal emperors, was first introduced by Mummadi[lit. The Third] Krishnaraja Wadiyar, and it is an assembly of the royal court, attended by the invitees, chief citizens, members of the royal family, palace officials, royal priests, and the intelligentsia.
Royal elephants, camels, horses,cows
The beautifully decorated royal elephant would arrive showering roses on the assembled guests; and the royal horse, equally well – decorated, would bend down on its knees in salutation to the throne.
Mysore Dasara Jambu savari
The same procedure would be followed on all the Navaratri evenings with the addition of acrobatic feats, wrestling bouts by champions, fireworks display and other entertainment’s, watched by the teeming masses everyday. While the durbar would be held in the outer court the worship would be done within the palace.
Durga pooja and Audh pooje
Mysore Dasara exhibition
The Navaratri celebrations would reach their culmination with the grandest Vijayadasami celebrations, also called in popular parlance as Jambu Savari. The grandeur and magnificence of this event has popularized the Navaratri celebrations of Mysore both in India and abroad. On this day, after ablutions, the king would worship the royal sword again and place it in a palanquin, would offer an ash gourd smeared with vermilion as sacrifice to it. He would follow the grand procession, seated on the historically famous golden howdah bedecked with the rarest gems and pearls, which was carried by the royal elephant.
Mysore Dasara exhibition
After a mile – long walk, the procession would reach the Banni mantapa site, where the king, after a bath, would worship the sami tree(or banni in Kannada).
Worshiping this tree before embarking on any war adventure was customary for kings of this dynasty. The Wadiyar king would return to his palace after viewing the wonderful torchlight parade and the grand fireworks display at Banni mantapa.
The next day, after the goddess Chamundeshvari would be worshiped with great devotion, the king would honor distinguished personalities by conferring titles on them. That would mark the close of the grand ten – days long celebrations during the days of the kings.
The beginning of the traditional Vijayadashami procession, which is continued even today with the same – if not more – fervor and devotion, would be announced with a 21- round gun salute. The important streets of Mysore city would be decorated beautifully with electric bulbs. Millions of people from everywhere would stand on both sides of the route – as they do today also – to witness the grand procession
- ಸುಬ್ಬಾರಾವ್ ಎಚ್.ಎಸ್., 1980, ‘ದಸರಾ ಟ್ರೆಡಿಶನ್ ಅಂಡ್ ಮೈಸೂರ್’, ದಸರಾ
- ಸಾಂಸ್ಕøತಿಕ ಉತ್ಸವ ಸ್ಮರಣ ಸಂಚಿಕೆ, ಮೈಸೂರು, ಪು. 39-40.
- ಹಯವದನರಾವ್ ಸಿ., ಹಿಸ್ಟರಿ ಆಫ್ ಮೈಸೂರು (3 ಸಂಪುಟಗಳು) [Hayavadana Rao C, History of Mysore], 1943, chapter 1-4
- Gayathri J.V., 2013, The Mysore Dasara, The Cultural Heritage of Karnataka, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, Government of Karnataka, Mysore.
- ಎಚ್ಚೆಸ್ಕೆ, ‘ನಾಡ ಹಬ್ಬ ದಸರಾ’’ ದಸರಾ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕøತಿಕ ಉತ್ಸವ 1980 ಸ್ಮರಣ ಸಂಚಿಕೆ
- Mysore Royal Dasara Tracks :1) Track from Mysore Palace to Banni Mantapa
2) Track from Chamundi Hill to Mysore Palace