With the COVID-19 pandemic
casting its shadow, it has been decided to organise the world famous Dasara celebrations in the palace city of Mysuru in a "simple" way, Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi said on Tuesday.
At the Dasara High Power Committee held today, it was decided to organise all traditional events in Chamundeshwari Temple and Amba Vilas Palace premises by ensuring social distancing, while the world renowned Jambu Savari (procession of caparisoned elephants) will be restricted to the palace premises.
"In the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic it has been decided to organise Dasara in a simple way, by following the traditions," Ravi said.
Speaking to reporters after the Dasara High Power Committee meeting headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, he said the celebrations will be simple and limited to Chamundi hills and Mysuru palace, without allowing large gatherings, but following the traditions.
"This time jambu savari will be only limited within the palace premises following the traditions, with only five elephants. Five Corona warrior representatives-a doctor, nurse, civic worker, ASHA worker and police- will inaugurate Dasara festivities this time," he added.
Celebrated as "Naada Habba" (state festival), the 10- day event every year showcases Karnataka's cultural heritage resplendent with folk art forms.
This year Dasara festivities are likely between October 17-26, the last day being Vijayadashami.
Stating that Chief Minister has assured Rs 10 crore and Rs 5 crore from Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) for organising Dasara festival, Ravi said how much ever is required will be utilised as this will be a simple Dasara and suggestions have come to utilise remaining amount for hospitals among others.
He said in today's meeting what all activities will be allowed during Dasara have been decided, and now a committee headed by Mysuru district in-charge Minister S T Somashekar will hold a meeting there and decide on modalities to be followed for organising it.
Ravi, also the Tourism Minister said, programmes that are usually held in the palace premises during Dasara have been permitted with restrictions on the number of people attending it, while other cultural programmes have been cancelled.
Light decoration in Mysuru during Dasara will be limited to major circles in the city, he said, film festival, adventure sports, food mela, exhibitions, children Dasar, torchlight parade among other events usually held during ten day long celebrations will not be there this time, however, Dasara wrestling will be limited to traditions.
With 'Jamboo Savari' on the last day- 'Vijayadashami', that marks the end of the 10-day long Dasara festivity in Mysuru being restricted to the palace premises, the government is only sticking to the tradition.
Jamboo Savari usually attracts large crowds, as it is the most awaited event.
According to officials, the earlier incident when Jamboo Savari was restricted to Palace compound was in 2003, as the state had witnessed the "worst" drought that year.
Ravi said the decision on a simple Dasara has been taken also keeping in mind that no additional burden should be put on the health and security staff, who have been engaged in COVID management for the last five to six months.
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