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Mysore Dussehra festival

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Following the tradition set by the Vijayanagar kings, the ten-day festival of Dussehra (Sept/Oct), to commemorate the goddess Durga’s slaying of the demon buffalo, Mahishasura, is celebrated in grand style at Mysore. Scores of cultural events include concerts of south Indian classical (Carnatic) music and dance performances in the great Durbar Hall of the Maharaja’s Palace. On Vijayadasmi, the tenth and last day of the festival, a magnificent procession of mounted guardsmen on horseback and caparisoned elephants – one carrying the palace deity, Chaamundeshwari, on a gold howdah – marches 5km from the palace to Banni Mantap. There’s also a floating festival in the temple tank at the foot of Chamundi Hill, and a procession of chariots around the temple at the top. A torchlit parade takes place in the evening, followed by a massive firework display and much jubilation on the streets.

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