The world famous Dasara festival began here amid tight security on a subdued note in view of the protests over the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.

Noted Kannada writer Chennaveera Kanavi inaugurated the 406th edition of the state festival by offering prayers at Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill on the city’s outskirts in the presence of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries.
Mysuru royal dynasty’s adopted scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodiyar held a private court  in the Amba Vilas Palace in the state’s cultural capital, about 150 km from Bengaluru.

Though the grand festival is held for 10 days every year, it will be 11 days this time due to an extra day in the Hindu (lunar) calendar owing to planetary movements.

The Chief Minister also participated in the inaugural function of the Dasara cultural celebrations and flagged off the festival’s sporting events at Chamundi hills.

As the state’s cultural capital, the city of palaces has been spruced and decked up for the grandeur of the fest that will culminate with a victory procession of caparisoned elephants, camels, horses and tableaux from the royal palace to the Bannimantapa grounds in the city for a torch-light parade on October 11.

The tableaux will showcase the state’s rich cultural folklore and socio-economic development of the state. Besides the royal palace, heritage buildings, temples and parks have also been illuminated for the 11-day long mega event.

The state tourism department is operating twice a day a charted service ‘Akasha Ambari’ to fly tourists and visitors to Mysuru from Bengaluru to witness the grandeur of the Dasara fest over the next fortnight.

Kairali Aviation Ltd will operate the twin-engine Beechcraft (B-300) with a capacity to fly nine passengers till October 15 at Rs 4,000 one-way fare.