Indians are all set to celebrate numerous festivals back to back in the coming month. Festive vibes begin with the advent of the nine-day long festival of Navratri. The festive mood for Diwali starts a month prior with Navratri. The nine days of Navratri ends with Dussehra or Vijayadashmi. The burning of the effigy of demon Ravana across India symbolizes as the victory of good over evil.
In a nation like India, which has so many states with diverse culture and customs, the celebration varies from state to state. In the northern part of the country, the festival celebrates the killing of demon king Ravan by Lord Rama; in the eastern part, it marks as the defeat of Mahisasura, the buffalo demon by Goddess Durga. The main festivities are associated with Dasara or Vijayadashami. According to the regional culture, every state celebrates Ravan Dahan in its own unique way.
Mysore in south India attracts the most number of tourists during Dussehra. Mysore reportedly organises a special exhibition on the occasion. The Exhibition transforms the city into one-stop-shop with numerous stalls. Folk dance and music bands are also organised in the exhibition to keep visitors entertained.
It is a popular belief that the Ravan Dahan is organised every year since the 15th century. The Vijaynagar Empire and rulers set this as a yearly ritual. It has become the state festival and known as Mysore Dasara among the locals of the city. Serving a visual feast to tourists, the Mysore Palace is lit up for ten days.
Thousands of people participate in the procession that is considered as the biggest attraction at the Mysore Dasara. It starts from the Amba Vilas Palace and travels about for 5 kilometres through Mysore. In the parade, 15 elephants are brought in an elephant camp. The idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari is also kept on a golden mandapa on top of a decorated elephant for the procession.