The high-power Dasara Committee meeting under the leadership of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was held at the conference hall of the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Thursday. The festivities will begin on October 1 and will conclude on October 10. Vijaya Dashami procession will be held on October 11.
The meeting finalised the dates and discussed for more than one hour to arrive at a conclusion. According to the Panchanga, the Dasara festivities would begin on October 1 and end on 11. It will be inaugurated on October 1 at 11:45 am.
Usually, it is a 10-day festivities and this year, as the 10th day star signs are not auspicious, Vijaya Dashami will be celebrated on October 11. The torchlight parade will be held on the same day in the evening.
Sources said that the dates have been confirmed with the priests and matches with the Vontikoppal Panchangam that is regarded as the authentic Panchanga. It will neither be a simple Dasara nor an extravagant one. It will be a people’s festival with a host of attractions.
Mayor of Mysore B L Bhyrappa has requested a grant of Rs 20 crore and the Deputy Commissioner C Shikha has placed a proposal before the government for a grant of Rs 10 crore. The final decision of the exact amount to be released would be decided at another meeting to be held in Mysuru on August 9.
A list of four eminent personalities have been prepared who will inaugurate the Dasara festivities. They are cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, poet Chennaveera Kanavi, poet Nissar Ahmed, Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamy, noted Kannada writer S L Bhyrappa and freedom fighter Doreswamy Iyengar. The chief minister has asked the officials to finalise the name at the August 9 meeting.
Minister for Cooperatives and Sugar H S Mahadeva Prasad, PWD and District In-charge Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa, Industries Minister R V Deshpande, Women and Child Welfare Minister Umashree and Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge and officials were present.
Meanwhile, the Forest Department has finalised a list of 12 elephants to participate in the grand finale of Dasara festival.
According to senior forest officers and veterinarians in Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu districts, they visited various camps where the elephants were being looked after and zeroed in on Bheema (19) and Krishna (54).
Usually, the forest department officials keep elephants on standby as only 10 elephants make it to the Dasara procession. However, all elephants will be part of the daily rehearsals. Krishna and Bheema may get training and can be part of the procession next year if they don’t make it to the procession this year, they said.
Bheema was captured at Bheemanakatte in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. He was two years old when he was found abandoned and captured. He is fearless and has adjusted to people as his is living amidst humans since his birth.
Gajendra that had gored tusker Srirama, a celebrated Dasara elephant, and his Kavadi to death in BRT sanctuary in March last year has been dropped this year too.
The 12 elephants which would be participating in the camp are Arjuna, Balarama, Abhimanyu, Prashantha, Kaveri, Durga Parameshwari, Harsha, Gopi, Gopalakrishna, Bheema, Krishna and Srinivasa.
The journey of elephants to the city from the forests, is expected on the third week of August from Nagapura at Nagarahole National Park.
The elephants will participate in the rehearsals and stay in the Sandalwood Yard at Ashokapuram in the city temporarily and will be given grand reception at Jayamarthanda Gate, the entrance of the Mysore Palace, by the district administration.
In the first batch, six elephants — Arjuna, Balarama, Abhimanyu, Prashantha, Kaveri, Durga Parameshwari, would arrive. The remaining pachyderms will come a few days later in the second batch.
Arjuna will carry the golden howdah this year too on Vijaya Dashami, the last of the 10-day festivities which is considered as the ‘Nada Habba,’ that draws lakhs of tourists from around the world.