Mysuru (Karnataka): Marking ‘Navami’ (the ninth day) of the world-famous Dasara festival in Karnataka’s cultural capital, Mysuru’s titular Maharaja Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodiyar worshipped vintage weapons and treasure of the royal family amid chanting of Vedic hymns, a palace official on Monday.
“The head of the Mysuru royal family performed the rituals to worship the royal arms including swords, guns and daggers in the Amba Vilas Palace to mark the ‘yudha pooja’,” the official told IANS here.
Various types of weapons, including weapons and firearms, were brought out of the royal treasure-trove, placed in a golden palanquin and carried around the palace for viewing by the royal family members and the public.
Attired in heavy traditional robes and sporting royal headgear, the 26-year-old began the day with an oil bath and offered floral prayers to the family deities in temples located in the palace precincts.
“Hen also worshipped the royal palace elephants, horses and cattle to mark the occasion. A fleet of flower-decked old and new cars were driven slowly on the palace front where the prince made floral offerings,” the official added.
Queen mother Pramoda Devi, who had adopted Yaduveer as the scion, his consort Trishkiha Kumari Wodiyar and their family members watched the colourful proceedings from the palace balcony and through its windows.
“Ascending the golden throne, he also greeted the public and blessed his wife in the durbar hall, re-enacting the royal practice of the Wodiyar dynasty over the past seven centuries,” the official said.
Reviving fond memories of the bygone era, the city of palaces has been decked up for the grand finale on Tuesday when the famed Jamboo Savari (procession of caparisoned elephants), horse-drawn carriages and tableaux across the city’s main thoroughfare will mark the triumph of good over evil on Vijayadashmi, culminating with a torchlight parade at the Bannimantap grounds in the night.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will flag off the procession at the Palace gates between the auspicious 4.31-4.57 p.m. Kumbha Lagna, as per the Hindu calendar in the presence of Yaduveer as the chief guest.
Though heavy rains and partial flooding in August and September affected the flow of tourists, pilgrims and visitors from across the country, pleasant climate and cloudy weather have made them to throng the heritage city in droves over the last nine days since the 10-day fest began on September 29.
The 409th year Dasara fest, popularly known in Kannada as “Nada Habba” (state festival) began with the worship of the presiding deity — Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari Devi in the temple atop the hill on the city’s outskirts amid nine days ago.
As chief guest of the state-sponsored festival, eminent Kannada writer S.L. Bhyarappa inaugurated the celebrations on September 29 by invoking Devi for blessings in the hallowed precincts of the temple arena.
A replica of the goddess was taken in a silver chariot to the royal palace from the Devi temple for worshipping and public display.
As the grand festival has historical relevance dating back to the 16th century when the Wodiyar kings used to celebrate it with grandeur, Yaduveer held a private (khasagi) audience seated on the Golden Throne in the darbar.
About 10,000 police personnel have been deployed in the city to ensure safety and security of the people, including tourists and visitors for the festival till Wednesday.
“In addition to 3,500 police force from the city, we have drawn 6.500 more from the neighbouring districts to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident, especially stampede during the victory parade,” Mysuru Deputy Commissioner of Police M. Muthuraj told reporters.