Mysuru (Karnataka): A colourful victory parade, led by a dozen caparisoned elephants, from the royal palace in the city centre marked the grand finale of the 11-day Dasara fest here on Tuesday.
Unfazed by sudden rain and cloudy weather, thousands of people from across the state and country assembled along the 5km route to Bannimantap grounds where a torchlight parade in the night culminated the fest on Vijayadashmi, signifying triumph of good over evil.
As Dasara is celebrated as a state-sponsored fest (‘nada habba’) along with the royal family of the Wodiyar dynasty, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah flagged off the parade at the palace gates by worshipping goddess Chamundeshwari, whose deity was placed in the 750kg golden throne astride jumbo Arjuna.
Governor Vajubhai R. Vala was the chief guest at the torchlight parade on horse drawn carriages in the grounds where about 50,000 people were enthralled by fireworks and cultural show amid tight security.
Besides Mysuru’s titular Maharaja Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodiyar, Queen Mother Pramoda Devi and other royal family members, a dozen cabinet ministers, celebrities, film personalities and dignitaries watched proceedings.
Though the festivities have been subdued in view of the Cauvery river water crisis due to deficit rains, the spectacle of the Dasara procession was not affected, as evident from the presence of around 1.5 lakh people at the finale.
Pomp and grandeur marked the mile-long procession of jumbos, horse-drawn carriages and 40 tableaux depicting the state’s rich heritage and tourist spots, cultural troupes and folklore.
After the parade and feasting, hundreds of people, including tourists thronged the royal palaces, museum and Brindava Garden on the city’s outskirts near the KRS dam to watch the musical and well-lit fountains.