Embrace the melting pot of cultures that is Bengaluru. This Dasara, admire the Mangaluru dolls as you dance to bhangda music – and then go for a high-thrill experience.

Celebrate Mysuru Dasara with Panjabi tadka only at this Habba in BengaluruImage: Karnataka Government.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 18:57


“I remember the first time I went to the Mysuru Dasara,” recounts Vikram Pahuja, a senior IT professional based in Bengaluru. “I had never seen such grandeur before. The vibrant colours and bright lights, the elephants and dancers. It can be overwhelming for a person like me from North India. Yes, we have our grand festivals too, but I had never experienced anything as Royal as this,” he says.

It’s been more than 10 years since his first visit to the Royal Mysuru Dasara as a young professional, and he has returned almost every year since. “It’s an annual ritual for me and my new family now,” he says, beaming with happiness.

It’s not just the opulence of the Mysuru Dasara which mesmerizes visitors from all over the world, it’s also its legacy and history. The official version is that Raja Wadiyar ascended the throne in 1610 AD, in Srirangapatna, and inaugurated the Dasara Festivities which are still celebrated with grandeur.

During the 10-day festivities, the entire Mysuru Palace is breathtakingly lit up. Special pujas are performed for Goddess Chamundeshwari, and on the ninth day of Dasara, the Mahanavami, a grand procession is taken out, witnessed by thousands of visitors. Here is a clip from 1968. 

For a modern-day Kannadiga who has embraced the cultural identity of the entire state as their own, it’s not just the Mysuru Dasara which instills pride, but also the lesser-known Mangaluru Dasara. If elephants fill our imagination when we think of Mysuru Dasara, it’s the tiger which represents the Mangaluru Dasara. Except, it is not real tigers – it’s the Royal Tiger Dancers. During the Mangaluru Dasara procession, there are flowers, various bands, tradition and folk dances like the Yakshagana and the dolls, called ‘Gombe’. For people like Pahuja, witnessing this can be a culturally enriching experience.

Dasara at Kudroli Temple, Mangaluru. Image: Karunakar Rayker via Wikimedia Commons

Pahuja, however, is not a big fan of the food in Karnataka. So, every time he visits Mysuru, he drops in at the Jwala restaurant for Panjabi food, he admits sheepishly. “There is still a Panjabi in me,” he says.

But what if we told you that we could give you a taste of the Mysuru Dasara, the Mangaluru Dasara and also let you dance to the tunes of Panjabi bhangda, all in one place? And add some high-thrill rides to the mix?

If you like the sound of that, this Dasara in Bengaluru, Wonderla’s NaaDa Habba is the place for you.

Go to Wonderla and participate in the festivities this year as they blend in elements from the Mysuru and Mangaluru Dasara. Dance to the tunes of a band that will belt out popular songs, enthrall yourself with the grand processions, gorge on amazing cuisine from the region and, last but not the least, watch the best fireworks on display, right at the park.

The Nasik Band is going to be playing at different parts of the park, and just as you get done with them, you will have the Panjabi Bhangda troupe getting you into the groove. There will be some awesome Mangauru Dolls on display, and of course the food festival with something for everyone’s taste.

Apart from all the Dasara festivities, we also have more than 60 rides at the park that will ensure you have your share of thrill and amazement. If thrill is not your cup of ‘payasa’, enjoy in the wave pool or chill at the Jungle Lagoon or simply float around in the Lazy River. But, no matter what you do, they will make sure you #GetCloser to your loved ones this Dasara.

Book your tickets here.

This article has been produced by TNM Marquee in association with Wonderla.