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Dussehra torchlights, fireworks lit up Mysore sky
Mysore, Oct 21 Mysore, the cultural capital of Karnataka, celebrated Dussehra Sunday with a torchlight parade and a dazzling display of fireworks marking the grand finale of the festivities at the royal grounds after sundown.
An estimated half a million people, including hordes of Indian and foreign tourists, who descended on this city of palaces, were treated to a spectacle of lights at the Bannimantap grounds after the jumboo savari or grand elephant procession entered the venue to the sounds of trumpets and drum beats by cultural troupes and folk artistes.
As the torchlight parade and fireworks lit up the night sky, royal palaces, heritage buildings, main bazaars and spruced up thoroughfares in downtown began illuminating with thousands of decorative lights.
The victorious day of Vijayadashmi, signifying the triumph of good over evil, was solemnised with religious fervour, gaiety and a gala feast by the formerly royals as well as the common folk. The renowned Mysore pak sweet was the flavour of the auspicious day.
Earlier, the world famous Dussehra pageant rolled out from the royal palace in the heart of the city on a sunny afternoon, with the caparisoned 'Balarama' jumbo carrying deity Chamundeshwari in the 750kg golden howdah (throne).
Dozens of decorated pachyderms, camels and horses, forming the main cavalcade with mounted mahouts and royal guards put up a splendid show, beckoning spectators to join the jamboree all along.
Scion of the former royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, his consort Pramodha Devi and other members were the star attractions, recreating the grandeur of the Mysore maharajas who ruled the princely state from the 18th century till Independence.
With the state under the president's rule, Governor Rameshwar Thakur had the honour of inaugurating the grand ceremony by invoking goddess Chamundeshwari, amidst hymns and devotional songs renting the air.
A 21-gun salute by the state police and home guards heralded the five-km victorious parade. Gun carriers, palace guards, elite personal guards of the erstwhile royal family and the state police contingent formed the mile-long the procession.
Thousands of people lined up on both sides of the procession for a glimpse of the rich art, culture and heritage of Karnataka showcased through 28 tableaux, while about 80 troupes from across the state performed folk dances, enacted street plays and displayed martial arts.
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