400th year of Dasara, and we can’t remember?

GOURI SATYA writes a small epitaph for our sense of history, in Business Standard:

“Dasara 2010 in Mysore due shortly will be historic. It was 400 years ago that the 10-day celebrations was conducted for the first time. After annexing Srirangapatna in the battle of Kesare, now a part of Mysore, one of the early and prominent rulers of the Wodeyar dynasty conducted the celebrations for the first time in AD 1610.

“But, the Karnataka government was caught napping. By the time the administration realised the significance of the event, it was too late.

“After annexing Srirangapatna, which was part of the Vijayanagar domain, Raja Wodeyar continued the tradition of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi-fame in this historic town near Mysore for the first time. Raja Wodeyar defeated Vijayanagar representative and royal chieftain Thirumalaraya at the war in Kesare and annexed Srirangapatna.

“The maiden Dasara was modeled after the Vijayanagar celebrations. It was held with great éclat of which a graphic description is available in literary records. He not only introduced the celebrations in the then Mysore province but also laid down how it should be conducted by the royal family in the days to come. The rules he laid down 400 years ago is faithfully followed till today by the Wodeyar family.

“The fact that 2010 will be historic, dawned belatedly on the organisers of the festivities and they have initiated steps to cover up their laxity.

A logo marking the 400th year, drawn by a young artist, has been accepted by Mayor Sandesh Swamy. However, the Dasara publicity posters released on Thursday in Mysore fails to take note of the eventful mark. Nowhere does it mention of the historic fact or carries the logo.

“After realising the historical significance just a fornight ahead of the Dasara celebrations, to commence on October 8, the district authorities are persuading the department of posts to issue a special stamp and a first-day envelope. Steps have also been initiated to have a silver coin specially minted for the occasion. The ‘Gandabherunda’ or the double-headed eagle, the insignia of the rulers of Mysore, is the proposed design for the silver coin of 10 gm.

“The 400th anniversary could have been turned into a significant event with grand celebrations with long-drawn planning. However, it will be again another state-sponsored Dasara just like those of the last couple of years.”

Photograph: courtesy U.B. Vasudev

Also read: Dasara in punya bhoomi vs Dasara in karma bhoomi

On the morning of the first day of the nine nights

What is so famous about “world-famous” Mysore Dasara?

All that glitters is gold for the next ten days

My daddy, His Highness, the Maharaja of Mysore

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8 Responses to “400th year of Dasara, and we can’t remember?”

  1. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Venerable Gouri Satya fails to mention the name of the young artist or to give credit to his organisation & its secretary who reminded us of this anniversary!

    Anyway, here is the blog post by that young artist featuring his creative contribution for the event:


    Hope you add the artwork into this post.

  2. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    We all know what happens when the govt gets involved in planning anything (Exhibit A: The CWG. Exhibit B: Dasara every other year)

    Better this than any planned event.

  3. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Why should a government underwrite and conduct Dasara celebrations? Is that the role of government?

    No other liberal democratic elected government takes over a festival like Karnataka’s does every Navarathri. Only the Communist nations organized such fake, self-important celebratory events on taxpayer dime.

  4. D P SATISH Says:

    BJP’s two years in power is much more important than the 400th year of Dasara for the present government.

  5. wineye Says:

    how many of us Mysoreans get involved in Dasara. Apart from being sad that the city would have a major influx of tourists and leave it a mess. After all aint it Nada Habba, n not govt function.

  6. Somebody Says:

    Good that you reminded. Now it is time for making money for everyone on this pretext. ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಕಾಲಕ್ ಗ್ಯಾಪ್ಸಿದ್ರೀ. ದುಡ್ಡ್ ಮಾಡಕ್ ಒಂದ್ ಅವಕಾಶ ಸಿಕ್ತು ಎಲ್ರಿಗೂ!

  7. Dushyanth Says:

    The expansion of Assembly was more important :D

  8. Dussehra Says:

    Shriram play by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. A celebration of Ramleela before Dussehra which is on 21st October.
    Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra enters its 51st year of the presentation of the story of ‘RAM. At the time when ‘RAM’ was first performed in 1957, there were practically no dancers in Delhi and had to be specially brought from Kolkatta and Kerala. Today it is a matter of pride that perhaps almost every school in Delhi – of which there are hundreds – have dance teachers who have performed in this production.

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