Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced on Wednesday that the Mysuru Dasara festival will be held traditionally but without any extravagance due to the situation of floods and drought in the state. "While there has been floods in some districts, there has been drought in others. In this context, Mysore Dasara should be traditionally celebrated without any extravagance", Yediyurappa said.
The decision was announced after a committee meeting making preparations for the festival. The festival will be held from September 29 to October 8 at a cost of Rs. 20.5 crore.
Award winning Kannada author SL Bhyrappa has been chosen to inaugurate the Mysuru Dasara festival this year, Yediyurappa said.
"Mysore Dasara is a festival that highlights the culture and heritage of our country. During this time a large number of tourists visit Mysore and surrounding tourist destinations. This will benefit the economy", he added.
The committee meeting was earlier scheduled on Friday but later postponed after heavy rains caused floods in Mysuru and other parts of Karnataka. More than 7 lakh people have been evacuated in the state due to floods and landslides affecting 21 districts.
Eventually, the meeting was held on Wednesday and Bhyrappa was chosen as the guest for the inauguration of the festival in Mysuru. The noted author's works including Vamshavruksha, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Matadana and Nayi Neralu, have been turned into films that received critical acclaim.
"I am happy to hear this. I was at the Mysuru Dasara in 1949 and I have visited a few times since then. There was a festive atmosphere in Mysuru and many would come to the city from outside", Bhyrappa said speaking to reporters.
Dasara is observed from the day of Navarathri till the day of Vijayadashami and is celebrated with pomp in Mysuru. The city has a long-standing tradition of celebrating the festival and preparations generally begin months in advance. However, due to the rains this year, preparations for the festival have been delayed.
"We had requested the Mysuru Dasara Authority to not scale down the festival and speed up preparation works", BS Prashanth, Chairman of Karnataka Tourism (Mysuru Chapter) said. With the announcement of the festival, preparations are now set to begin in Mysuru.