Mysore Dasara is the Nadahabba (state-festival) of the state of Karnataka in India. It is also called Navaratri (Nava-ratri = nine-nights) and is a 10-day called as Durga pooja, festival with the last day being Vijayadashami, the most auspicious day of Dasara.
Dasara usually falls in the month of September or October. According to a legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is the demon whose slaying by the Goddess gave the name Mysore. The city of Mysore has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with utter grandeur and pomp to mark this day and the festivities there are an elaborate affair, attracting a large audience including foreigners. The Dasara festival completed 400th anniversary in year 2010.
The Wodeyars of Mysore continued the Dasara Festival, initially by Raja Wodeyar I (1578-1617 CE) in the year 1610 at Srirangapatna. The Mysore Palace is illuminated on all the 10 days of Dasara. Chamundi Hill at Mysore. This would be followed by a special durbar (royal assembly). It was during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in the year 1805, when the king started the tradition of having a special durbar in the Mysore Palace during Dasara; which was attended by members of the royal family, special invitees, officials and the masses. After the death of Srikanta Wadiyar in December 2013, this tradition has been continued by placing the “Pattada Katti” (royal sword) on the golden throne. Yaduveer was adopted by Maharani Pramoda Devi Wadiyar as her son and the ceremony took place on the 23rd of February 2015. Consequent to his adoption, he became the natural son of "Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar" and "Smt Pramoda Devi Wadiyar" and he was formally renamed "Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar"and his coronation ceremony took place on May 28, 2015. The ninth day of Dasara called as Mahanavami is also an auspicious day on which the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession involving elephants, camels and horses.
The main attraction of the ten-day Mysore Dasara festival is the Mysore Palace which is illuminated daily with nearly 100,000 light bulbs from 7 pm to 10 pm on all days of the festival. Nearly ₹10 million is spent towards maintenance of its illumination alone every year. Various cultural and religious programs highlighting the dance, music and culture of the State of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Palace.
On Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as Jumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed on a golden mantapa (which is around 750 kilograms of gold) on the top of a decorated elephant. This idol is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession. Colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped
In Mysore, India, the Vijayadashami Elephant procession during Mysore Dasara is called Jumbo Savari (from the British during their control of Mysore State). The original name to this procession is Jumbi Savari ("going to the Shami (Banni) tree"). Now Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken in procession on an Elephant. But the "Jumbo" name is still intact.
After the Jamboo Savari, a torchlight parade takes place in the evening at the Bannimantap Parade Grounds.
Major attraction during Dasara is the Art & cultural programs and Dasara exhibition which is held in the exhibition grounds opposite to the Mysore Palace.