The Dasara festival in Karnataka has started amidst the pandemic. The popular 10-day long Dasara festivities commenced in this palace city of Mysuru on Saturday with religious enthusiasm, amid the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidentally, a notification on the conclusion of tourist places in Mysuru from October 17 to November 1 issued by Mysuru Deputy Commissioner was canceled by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. This withdrawal of notification was announced by Mysuru-district-in-charge Minister ST Somasekhar.
Celebrated as 'Nada Habba' (state festival), the festivities started with Dr. CN Manjunath, Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Bengaluru and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa showering flowers on the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru royals, atop Chamundi Hill. Dr. Manjunath, who is also the nodal officer for COVID-19 testing was chosen for Dasara inauguration, in recognition of the service of doctors and front line COVID-19 warriors. Six coronavirus warriors were also honored at the inaugural to recognize their service in the fight against the pandemic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic casting a shadow, the government had decided to organize the 410th Dasara festivities in a "simple" way, by and large restricting it to keep up with the traditions. The 10-day event that every year showcases Karnataka's cultural heritage resplendent with folk art forms, and attracts large crowds and tourists, has been scaled down this time due to COVID-19. The Mysuru administration has restricted people at most of the events and has made arrangements for live telecasts. With Mysuru reporting a large number of cases, the focus is on strict enforcement of SOPs for controlling the spread of the virus and to mark safe Dasara.