Famous Mysore Dussera Festival
Fairs and Festivals In Karnataka - Exultation in Atmosphere
When it comes to celebrating a festival, only few states come close to the energy and enthusiasm which is possessed by Karnataka. Almost throughout the year, there is a festival or a fair going on in some part of the state. And people of Karnataka believe in making every event a special one. Most of the festivals are of religious nature. There are number of temples in Karnataka and almost all of them have their special day or festival. And they are celebrated keeping the complete sanctity of the festival. However many festivals like the Hampi Festival, are just another reason for celebrating life and its gifts. Karnataka is home to people of many religions and almost all religions have their own festivals. What is most heartening about Karnataka is that all the festivals are celebrated by people from all religion together giving life to the saying 'Unity in Diversity'.
Although Dussehra is a festival that is celebrated throughout India and Karnataka. But the best place to be a part of Dussehra celebrations is Mysore. Different legends are there behind the celebration of this festival but in Karnataka it is believed to be the day when Goddess Chamundi defeated Demon Mahishasura and killed him. Including Navaratri, this is a ten-day celebration. On all days, numerous visitors come to see the palace illuminated by thousands of bulbs making it exceptionally scenic. The main attraction of the celebrations is the grand procession that starts from the premises of Mysore Palace and ends at Bani Mantap. Decorated elephants, soldiers in their ceremonial dress, dancers performing and scintillating tableaux make this a hugely colorful event. The energy and enthusiasm of the performers and the onlookers, transform the procession into an unforgettable event.
Mahamastakabhisheka is one of the most revered events taking place in Karnataka. The festival is dedicated to Lord Bahubali in which monks bathe the world's largest monolithic statue with water and milk. Thousands of tourists visit Shravanabelagola, to witness the grand event, which is held every 12 years. The entire atmosphere is filled with the chanting of hymns by Jain monks. The 57 feet high statue is bathed with milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste along with showering of gold and silver flowers. Devotees rush up 618 steps to the statue, to reach a spot from where they can get the best view of all the proceedings. The last Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony was held in the year 2006 and the next one is supposed to be held in 2018.
Mostly falling in on 17th of October, this is a festival, most awaited by the people of Kodagu district. It is believed that, on this day, Goddess Cauvery visits them in the form of an upsurge of water in a small tank. It is considered a very sacred moment and thousands of devotees visit Kodagu to receive Goddess Cauvery's blessings. Taking a bath in the tank by devotees is the most important ritual of the day. It is said that, taking a dip in the tank purifies body and soul. Devotees also take the holy water to their homes as well.
Vijaya Utsav (Hampi Festival)
Held in the first week of November, Vijaya Utsav is one of the most fascinating festivals of Karnataka. It is held in the magnificent city of Hampi, which also earns the festival, the name Hampi Festival. The once glorious capital of Vijayanagara, once again comes alive and regains all its lost aura during the festival dedicated to the performing arts in Karnataka. The festival includes, dance performances, music, drama and puppet shows. Apart from talented upcoming artists, many renowned performers also perform on the stage during this festival. With all the lights and illumination, the World Heritage Site of Hampi, altogether gets a new look.