Uncertainty looms over Mysuru Dasara’s torchlight parade | Mysuru News

by karwar

MYSURU: The pandemic has not only truncated the 5km-long procession of caparisoned elephants, horses and cultural tropes, it has also impacted popular food festivals and Yuva Dasara events. Uncertainty still looms over the torchlight parade and equestrian sports that mark the culmination of the 10-day Mysuru Dasara festival.
Torchlight parade, with the governor as chief guest, is the cynosure of Dasara festivities. Drill by police personnel holding ‘panju’ (fire torches) and performance by steeds is considered an enthralling experience. Over 30,000 people watch the spectacle and fireworks every year.
The National Anthem is played before the commencement of the event – the only time where the anthem is sung after sunset. All these events are unlikely to happen for the first time in Mysuru Dasara’s history in the recent past.
One of the USPs of the festivities, which have a history of 410 years, is 21-cannon shots fired during the inaugural procession and at the culmination at Bannimantapa Grounds, venue for torchlight parade. With just over three weeks to go for the celebrations, decisions on several matters are yet to be taken, said officials.Elephants and horses participating in the events have to be acclimatised to cannon firing with a few rehearsals as they might react adversely otherwise.
Police commissioner Chandragupta confirmed to TOI that deliberations on the festivities have just begun and various issues concerning the celebrations are being considered.
According to government instructions due to pandemic-related restrictions, no programmes will be held outside Mysore Palace premises. As for cannon shots, the police commissioner said the matter is still being discussed.
“The decision to hold equestrian sports is yet to be taken but we’re training the horses as usual. We have started a special diet for them and regular exercise sessions to keep them fit. We have shortlisted 38 horses for the celebration,” said MG Nagaraj, commandant of KARP Mounted Company.

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