Monday, October 5, 2020

Dasara

   In Karnataka, Navaratri is observed by lighting up Hindu temples, cultural sites, and my regal processions. It is locally called Dasara and it is the state festival (Nadahabba) of Karnataka. Of the many celebrations, the Mysuru Dasara is a major one and is popular for its festivities.



The contemporary Dasara festivities at Mysore are credited to the efforts of King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of decorated elephants and horses. The day after Navratri, on the Vijayadashami day, the traditional Dasara procession is held on the streets of Mysore. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden saddle (hauda) on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels.

Ayudha Puja is dedicated to the Saraswati goddess, on the ninth day of Dasara, where military personnel upkeeps their weapons and families upkeep their tools of livelihood, both offering a prayer to Saraswati as well as Parvati and Lakshmi. Another Navaratri tradition in Karnataka has been decorating a part of one's home with art dolls called Gombe or Bombe, similar to the Golu dolls of Tamil Nadu. An art-themed Gaarudi Gombe, featuring folk dances that incorporate these dolls, is also a part of the celebration. 

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