The Mysore district authorities have stepped up preparations for the Mysore Dasara festivities as it is less than 40 days away.
The first batch of elephants led by howdah elephant Balarama which left their forest camp at Nagalapura in Hunsur taluk amidst a colourful function at the weekend, reached Mysore later in the day. They were brought for temporary shelter to the Aranya Bhavan of the Forest Department in trucks. They were given a ceremonial welcome on Saturday.
It will be the first time that the ceremonial welcome was being conducted at the Aranya Bhavan instead of the Mysore Palace. The change of venue follows the desire of Pramoda Devi, wife of the last scion of the royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, on account of the year-long mourning following her husband’s demise.
District In-charge Minister V Sreenivasa Prasad said here, Pramoda Devi had offered to co-operate for the 2014 Dasara celebrations as ‘Nada Habba’ or the state festival, when he and the deputy commissioner met her a few days ago. Taking cognisance of her feelings, the venue for welcoming the Dasara elephants was also changed.
While the arrival of the Dasara elephants marks the initial programme of the Dasara, authorities have set up around 20 sub-committees of officials comprising of 20 working chairmen and secretaries. Eight deputy special officers have also been appointed and have been asked to begin preparations immediately.
The 2014 Dasara logo has been released. A website highlighting the Dasara’s past, activities and programmes will be launched shortly. According to Prasad, the Dasara Reception Committee will formally invite Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad to inaugurate this year’s celebrations.
Among the Dasara-related programmes will be an airshow, film show in select theatres, food festival among others.
Grounds, flower show at Kuppanna Park, light and shade, and cultural programmes by top artistes at selected venues.
Hurried repairs to roads and work on Rajpath have been taken up around the palace and other major spots.