Sunday, August 31, 2008

City Dasara loses ground

City Dasara loses ground

: While the Mysore Dasara is the more famous one, Bengaluru also has its own Dasara.

For the last nine decades people of Jayachamarajendra Nagar and surrounding areas have been holding a Dasara festival in their locality, which culminates in the congregation of 72 gods and goddesses on the 10th day on Army land, the chosen venue for a long time .

The procession with the chariot carrying the statue of Mysore king Jayacham arajendra Wodeyar followed by the idols from the Munishwara temple in JC Nagar, Ganga Bhavani temple in Ganga Nagar, Shani Mahatma in Sulthan Palya and the Ganesha Temple in Vyalikaval, begins at 6 pm and ends early morning next day. The entire locality celebrates Dasara with relatives from other parts of the city arriving in JC Nagar to participate in it.

“During the 10 days of the Dasara the entire locality wears a festive look. Even Muslims, who are in large numbers here, participate in the festival. Cultural programmes and games are held for the children,” says Mr Raghavendra Rao, member of the Anjaneya Sangha in JC Nagar.

This year too similar programmes have been chalked out. But the people are taken aback as for the first time in nine decades, the venue of the Bengaluru Dasara is being changed with the defence land being no longer available.

The Bengaluru Dasara Festival Committee is now looking for alternative grounds. The defence land belonged to the Parachute Regiment and will now be occupied by accommodation for married couples in the Army, which has already started the civil work on the site.

“We have got a court order in the favour of Army and so the construction has begun. The structures are nearing completion,” Army officers said. The locals are however not ready to shift the festival out of JC Nagar and Muniredyy Palya.

Secretary of the Ganesha Temple on JC Nagar Main Road R. Prakash Rao says minister Katta Subramanya Naidu had assured them that the festival could be held at the Palace Grounds facing JC Nagar. But people were not ready to shift the venue to the grounds, he said.

“The other alternative is holding the festival in the school grounds near the Army land,” Mr Rao added.

While the hunt for the right venue is on, people of the area are keeping their fingers crossed that nothing should dampen the festivities this year.

Some feel that enthusiasm for the festival has fallen over the decades. “Every year, there is less and less interest among people to celebrate Dasara here. We must do something different so that the tradition continues for the years to come,” says 85-year-old Gajendra of JC Nagar.


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