The famed Mysuru Dasara is set to take off on Saturday amidst a slew of precautionary measures and curbs in the light of the pandemic.
In contrast to the usual bustle of tourists and grand festivities and cultural programmes, it is going to be a muted affair and the focus is only on keeping the tradition alive. Strict enforcement of SOPs for a safe celebrations has been the focus with Mysuru being a “COVID-19 hotspot”.
The inauguration atop Chamundi Hills on Saturday will be simple with less than 200 participants and the Jamboo Savari will be confined to the palace environs with limited invitees. Palace cultural events are restricted to an audience of less than 50 members. The erstwhile Mysuru royal family too has decided to celebrate Navarathri at the palace only as a ritual in keeping with the tradition.
In recognition of the untiring services of frontline warriors combating COVID-19 all these months, Dr. C.N. Manjunath, Director, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, who is part of the State’s expert committee, has been chosen to inaugurate the festivities. Six warriors – a pourakarmika, a medical officer, a staff nurse, an ASHA, a police constable, and a social worker – will be felicitated.
As recommended by the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee, only 200 persons are being permitted to the inaugural event, including Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. With the curbs on public entry, arrangements for a virtual fete have been made.
The palace, where the music and dance events will also unfold on Saturday evening and where the Dasara elephants are camping, is also geared up for the annual fete. The cultural events in the illuminated palace backdrop are limited to two hours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for an audience of only 50.