Mysuru: The famous 10-day long Dasara celebrations commenced in this palace city on Monday with religious and traditional fervour, with President of India Droupadi Murmu inaugurating the festivities. Celebrated as ‘Nada Habba’ (state festival), the festivities will be a grand affair this year depicting Karnataka’s rich culture and traditions, coupled with reminiscence of royal pomp and glory, after muted celebrations for the last two years in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President inaugurated the festivities during the auspicious ‘Vrushchika Lagna’ by showering flowers on the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru royals, amid chanting of vadic hymns, at the premises of Chamundeshwari temple atop the Chamundi Hills here. Murmu is the first President to take part in Mysuru Dasara. She was accompanied by Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Shobha Karandlaje and several Ministers in the state cabinet among others at the inaugural.
The President also visited the Chamundeshwari temple and offered prayers to the goddess, who is referred to as the ‘Naada Devate’ (state deity), ahead of the inaugural. This is also her first visit to any state as the President of India. The 10-day event, like every year, is set to showcase Karnataka’s cultural heritage resplendent with folk art forms, and attracts large crowds and tourists, after it was scaled down for the last two years due to COVID-19.