Mysore: The Mysore Dasara celebrations will not be the same in the absence of the late maharaja, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, whose presence brought alive royal traditions that are so much a part of it.
While he will be missed, tourists will get to see his life size wax statue seated on a replica of the golden throne he ascended every Dasara for the Khas Durbar, which will be unveiled at the Melody Wax Museum in the city by his widow, maharani Pramoda Devi on September 20.
Mr Shreeji Bhaskaran, a Bengaluru techie and wax sculptor, says the maharani has accepted his invitation to unveil the statue. "Her Highness will unveil Mr. Wadiyar's wax statue on September 20 at 12 noon at the museum," he said, revealing that the statue was ready and only needed some finishing touches. "I have already transported it from Bengaluru to Mysore," he added.
Mr. Wadiyar will be seen dressed in royal attire in the statue sculpted from 150kgs of wax. "I decided to make a wax statue of the maharaja the day I heard of his death. He was the true custodian of the centuries'-old customs of the royal family. I just want to pay a wax tribute to him," Mr Bhaskaran explained.
The Bengaluru IT professional has in the past done a wax statue of another Mysore maharaja, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, based on a 100-year-old rare painting of Raja Ravi Varma.
18 info kiosks for Dasara tourists
This Dasara promises to be very tourist -friendly, with the tourist department setting up 18 temporary information kiosks and reopening the couple that are closed, and the KSRTC introducing special Dasara packages and increasing the frequency of its hop-on-hop-off service covering all tourist destinations in the city. And there’s more. Fifty students of the Vidyavardaka College and Mahajana’s College are being appointed tourism counsellors. Suitably attired in uniforms carrying Dasara logos, they will be stationed near the kiosks in two shifts to guide tourists.
Adding a special touch, foreign tourists will be given a traditional welcome with the Mysore peta and Mysore garland at the Mysore railway station on September 25. The tourism department is also planning to use some of the 1200 foreign students studying at the University of Mysore to help foreign tourists make their way around Mysore. At least two students from each country will be taken on a familiarization tour of various tourism destinations in and around Mysore.