Many tableaux at the Dasara celebrations had COVID-19 related themes on display.

Mysuru Dasara celebration shows goddess Chamundeshwari slaying coronavirus
news Festival Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 18:02

Like every year, the Dasara festival celebrations in Mysuru's Amba Vilas palace grounds had stilt walkers and tableaux. However, the crowd was much thinner thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings. Even in the muted celebrations, there was one scene that brought cheer to the onlookers – when goddess Chamundeshwari slayed the novel coronavirus on Monday. "The stilt walking artists who displayed the slaying of the coronavirus demon by Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari drew a lot of applause," a district official in Mysuru told TNM.

Apart from the stilt walkers, many tableaux at the Dasara celebrations also had COVID-19 themed displays. The tableau of the state health department showed a nurse in blue personal protection equipment, wearing a mask and a head cap, holding a smaller structure shaped as a house, with a family inside. "The tableau of the state health department was also a major attraction in the Dasara finale in the palace grounds," an official from Mysuru said.

The 410th year victory parade of caparisoned elephants (jumbo savari) to mark triumph of good over evil was also subdued due to the COVID-19 restrictions on large gathering in public places. The parade saw 54-year-old pachyderm Abhimanyu flanked by elephants named Vikrama, Gopi, and kumki elephants Vijaya and Kaveri in the finale.

“As the 10-day annual event was held in the palace grounds, the victory procession had only two tableaux, with one of them being a replica of the elephant cart with police bands playing music," noted the district official.

Frontline workers involved in Karnataka's COVID-19 response were also felicitated during the celebrations. In view of the COVID-19 guidelines, the victory parade had only four folk art troupes, two platoons of the mounted police, and two tableaux.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said he prayed to Goddess Chamundeshwari to save people from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure peace and unity. "People across the state are in distress due to the pandemic and flash floods following heavy rains and the southwest monsoon extending. We are taking steps to help the people," said the 78-year-old chief minister.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.