Mysore

Dusshera festival

Dusshera is a Hindu festival celebrated in commemoration of Sri Rama's victory over Ravana - or the forces of "good" over the forces of "evil". Ramayana, one of the great Indian epics, tells the story of Sri Rama and Ravana, the king of Lanka. Ravana kidnapped Sri Rama's wife Sita and took her to Lanka, but Sri Rama killed him and rescued his wife.

During Dusshera weekend (every year in late October), a lot of celebration and ceremonies is going on. In Mysore, the "capital of silk and sandalwood", a huge procession takes place on the last day of Dusshera (Tuesday). There are traditional music groups participating, dancing groups, military units in historic uniforms, and beautifully decorated elephants. Lot of people, not just tourists, are attracted by this event. So it is useful to plan out the accommodation early enough - or to have a colleague from Mysore (Dhruva) who kindly arranges a room.

Dusshera procession
Dusshera procession

The palace in Mysore is illuminated during the festival time (rumours telling that they use 96,000 bulbs - nobody is able to verify that figure). To see the interiors, one has to visit Mysore outside Dusshera time as the palace is closed during the festival.

Policemen

While sitting in the shadow and waiting for the procession, I started chatting with two policemen who also were resting in the shadow. They told me that they actually were from Bangalore and just transferred to Mysore during the festival. One of them assured several times that his colleague was a "strong man" who already has caught lot of thugs. How could I doubt? Finally I asked them for a snap, not sure if they would agree (in India, you always should ask before you take snaps of policemen etc.). They agreed but hurried to rearrange their belts and hats - and stood at attention like pathfinders.