MYSURU: The COVID-19 spike has forced the state government to resort to very low-key Dasara this year, as no more than 300 participants would be allowed inside the famous Mysuru Palace premises during the nine day celebration.
Amid COVID-19 cases in Mysuru, the 10-day Dasara festivities will be inaugurated on October 17 atop Chamundi Hills by noted cardiologist CN Manjunath.
The government has also decided to not allow more than 300 people in the palace premises during the famous Jambu Savari, when elephants carry "Golden Howda", belonging to the erstwhile royal family. Moreover, the event has been restricted to Mysuru Palace premises while earlier the procession used to be held from Mysuru Palace premises to Bannimantapa, covering a 6 kms distance.
Besides, Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri has decided to ban public entry to Chamundi Hills, either by road or through the steps, which would be enforced ahead of Dasara inauguration.
The Deputy Commissioner has banned the entry of public to the Hills from the midnight of October 14 till October 18. The entry of visitors to the Hills will again be banned between 5 am of October 23 and midnight of November 1. Chamundi Hills, about 12 kms from Mysuru city, has a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, presiding deity of Mysuru.
However, officers and personnel engaged in making arrangements for inaugural function will be allowed to enter the Hills and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) has been asked to monitor security arrangements to the Hills.
The order from the Deputy Commissioner said that there will be no distribution of prasada to the devotees nor any devotees can take to distribution of prasada.
Usually, over two lakh tourists from all over the world arrive in Mysuru during the Dasara season, which lasts for nine days during Navaratri. Besides, Dasara exhibition lasts for one month, which is another major tourist attraction during the season.
It has been customary to decorate entire city with lighting arrangements during nine days celebration, which go on from 6 pm to 6 am. However, this year, the lighting would only be around the palace between 6 pm to 10 pm. Major crowd pullers such as yuva dasara, food mela, farmers' dasara and other cultural programmes have also been cancelled.