Dussehra 2017 is falling on September 30, and India is gearing up to celebrate the festival that commemorates the victory of good over evil in Hindu mythology. But Dussehra celebration in Karnataka is of a flavor different from the rest of the country, especially if you head down to the royal city of Mysuru. Here, the Mysore Dasara is a celebration that lasts throughout Navratri, and it is actually the state festival or Nada Habba of Karnataka. The ten-day festival actually ends on the day of Vijayadashami, when it is said that the goddess Chamundeshwari, a manifestation of Durga, destroyed the demon Mahishasura. ALSO READ: Dussehra 2017 Celebration in India: Heres How India Celebrates Dasara
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The history of Mysore Dasara, Vijayadashami and Mysuru itself is a fascinating one. In fact, Mysuru gets its name from the vanquished demon. It is a shortened version of Mahishasurana Ooru, or the abode of Mahishasura, and is closely associated with the mythological tale. Legend has it that the buffalo-headed demon once ruled the region with an iron fist. The gods and goddesses, seeing the plight of the people, turned to the goddess Parvati and prayed to her. The goddess headed their prayers, taking the form of Chamundeshwari and descending onto Mahishasurana Ooru. A terrible battle ensued, with the demon king finally being defeated. The goddess Chamundeshwari decided to stay and look over the people, finding her home on top of Chamundi Hill. The temple remains a major point of Mysore Dasara celebrations. Also Read - Flowers Made of Currency Notes Worth Rs 1.11 Crore Offered to Goddess On Dussehra at Telangana Temple
The royal Mysore Palace, India decked up for the festival of Dasara
While the mythological roots of Mysore Dasara come from this tale, the festival as we know it actually originated in the 15th century, during the reign of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire. Dasara celebrations were recorded as massive festivals in the records of Persian ambassador Abdur Razzaq from 1304 to 1470. As the Vijayanagar Empire diminished, the Wodeyar kingdom of Mysuru continued the tradition. Raja Wodeyar I was the first of this kingdom to conduct celebrations in 1610. CHECK OUT: Dussehra 2017: Whats Going to Happen During Mysore Dasara 2017 Also Read - Idols of Goddess Kanaka Durga, Lord Malleswara Taken For Boat Ride in Vijayawada
Mysore Dasara begins with a special ceremony by the Wodeyar royal family at the Chamundeshwari Temple. Since the 1805 Dasara celebrations by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, a special Durbar has been held at the Mysore palace as part of the festivities. While the Darbar has become a private event over the years, the public gets to enjoy the Mysore exhibition, first started in 1880 by Chamaraja Wodeyar X. To this day, the Wodeyar family that resides in the royal palace of Mysore play an active role in Dasara celebrations.