Last week, a lot a volunteers from FSL India went to Mysore for the Dushara Festival. I was one among them, and I am happy that I’ve not have missed it!
I arrived on the last day, called Vijayadashami, which is the most impressive and colourful day of the festival. In the legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura, who gave his name to the city of Mysore. That’s why on this day, every year, thousands of people, including foreigners like us, come to this city in Karnataka to watch the parade. And this tradition has taken place for 405 years from now.
So when you arrive on this great day, you first have to find a good place where you can watch the parade. You can either choose to pay for seats next to the Mysore palace from where the parade begins, or you just use a lot of persuasion to ask people sitting on the ground to leave you a small space on their blanket. With two other volunteers, we got a very good place, in front of a bags store where we could stand and see the parade perfectly. We were pretty lucky… After a long time of waiting under the sun, the parade began, and we could hear the noise of the musicians and dancers for very far. A lot of colours came at the same time, with the elephants which inaugurate the parade. They were impressive with the colourful blankets on their backs, and the draws on their faces. People were riding them, while dancers and musicians were dancing and playing around. After that, a lot of different carts with groups of dancers came, and had their own show.
I really enjoyed watching all the parade, but it was maybe too long if you count the time of waiting between the different
carts. Anyway, I will never forget all these colours and entertainments, it was a real dive into the Hindu culture!