Mysuru: The world famous Mysuru Dasara festival in October would be low-key, with restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Friday.
"The 10-day Dasara festival from October 16-26 will be celebrated in a simple but traditional way under Covid-induced curbs to maintain social distancing and prevent large gathering in public places for containing the virus spread," said Yediyurappa after praying and worshipping the Cauvery river at the nearby brimming KRS dam.
With no let-up in the number of infections across the southern state even 5 months after its outbreak in mid-March, the state-sponsored Dasara fete will be held on the lines of the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Odisha's Puri on June 23 without people and tourists gathering to witness the grand spectacle.
On the 10th day of the grand fest, a victory parade on caparisoned elephants is held from the Amba Vilas royal palace in the city centre to Bannimantap ground, to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
"The Dasara nada habba (state festival) will be held with adherence to traditions and respecting the sentiments of the people. The modalities will be worked out in consultation with the Union Ministries of Home Affairs and Health in view of the Covid contagion," said Yediyurappa.
Though an estimated 10-lakh people visit Mysuru during the Dasara fest, the restrictions in Covid times are likely to keep less footfall this time.
As the city of palaces and cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysuru also attracts thousands of tourists from across the country and overseas during Dasara and Deepavali festivals every year.
"Dasara is the peak tourist season for Mysuru, with maximum number of visitors on the 9th and 10th day of the festival for ayudha (armoury) puja and Vijayadashami. A subdued festival will affect the tourist and hospitality sectors, as Covid-induced curbs will keep outside people away," said Mysuru Hotel Owners Association president C. Narayana Gowda here.