One of the most prominent festivals of the state of Karnataka, Mysuru Dasara is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. The festival of Dasara has a centuries-old association with the palace of Mysore. It falls in the months of October or November and has been celebrated for the last 400 years. The 10-day festivities end with a grand procession, which takes off from Mysore Palace and culminates at Bannimantap. Observed as the state festival of Karnataka (Nadahabba), Dasara witnesses the Mysore palace illuminated like never before. The celebrations start with the royal couple offering worship at the Chamundi Temple, situated atop the Chamundi Hill. After prayers, a special gathering is organised at the palace.

The Mysore Dasara exhibition is present all year round near the palace, and sometimes has Ferris wheels and other rides, delighting children and adults alike. Small curio shops also pop up at this time, where visitors can buy memorabilia like jewellery, handicrafts and other knick-knacks. During the festivities, dance performances and musical concerts are also organised in the city.

However, what makes the festival a mesmeric display of culture and tradition is the fleet of elephants, camels and horses, walking steadily in a procession. They are decked to the nines and one of the elephant gets the honour of escorting the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari, housed in a makeshift golden mantapa (temple). The procession stops at Bannimantap, where the royal couple worships the 'Bann' tree.

It is said that the first of the celebrations was started in the 15th century by the Vijayanagar kings. Legend has it that the region was ruled by demon king Mahishasura, who punished people for worshipping gods. Goddess Durga or Chamundeshwari then took birth and killed the demon on top of a hill, which is now called Chamundi Hill. The goddess then

Other Attractions in Mysore