Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, scion of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, in conversation with Shyam Sundar Vattam of Deccan Herald:
“You cannot compare today’s Dasara with the one that was conducted by my forefathers. The present Dasara is neither a festival nor an exhibition of military power. It is not held as mentioned in the Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana and according to me it is off-track.
“Mysore has a rich history and it is believed that 15 demons were vanquished by Goddess Chamundeshwari. These are mentioned in Kayaka Purana, Markandeya Purana and Padma Purana.
“In West Bengal, according to Bengalis, their region is known as Punya Bhumi and the Mysore region as Karma Bhumi. The only difference between West Bengal and Mysore in regard to celebration of Dasara is that there the celebrations are held as per the Puranas whereas it is not so in Mysore especially after the government took over the responsibility of holding Dasara festival every year.
“The last three days of Dasara is celebrated with pomp and pageantry in Bengal, whereas in Mysore it is a colourful celebration on all the 10 days. While Bengalis immerse the idol of Goddess Kali, in Mysore the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken out in a colourful procession on elephant.”
Read the full article: Royal Touch
Photograph: Karnataka Photo News