I know this is coming late.
Jumbo savari (Elephant Procession), its has been in my childhood checklist to make myself there to view this attraction.
Although I keep visiting Mysuru for varied reasons at-least once a month I never made it to the hugely famous Dussehera celebration at Mysuru
Well all that I meant was as a viewer, however I was a part of the celebration itself, as I had performed in a group dance in the year 2009, thanks to my friend for filling my ears about such a event. I was a college student then, all I knew is to get exited about travelling.
Now let me get back to 2018 experience. My other friend 'Gowri Shankar' called me late evening if we can just chill around with a night long drive, I suggested if we can drive to Mysuru instead, he was more than welcoming as it was his first time too for Mysuru dussehera. The Jumbo Savari is the last event of the 10 day celebration of Dussehera, and we were dumb enough to no prepare ourselves to the crowd that will squeeze us
I drove slow with multiple breaks through the way in the calm highway, it was around 1.00 AM if I can remember we reached Mysuru (More visuals in the Video), the Mysuru Place seemed floating with the waves of lights, the entire city was lit as if there was a thunder strikes everywhere. I was crazy and proud to be a frequent visitor and felt bad for having missed such a visual during this celebration
It was our sleep time, as expected there was no rooms available or the available ones weren't keeping up our pockets, as imagined we moved ahead to "Nanjangudu" 20-25 kms ahead of Mysuru, this is the place I mostly visit at least once a month (you can google out the significance of this place), we stayed in a community hall that night
THE NEXT DAY
Woke up, bathed, visited to "Srikanteshwara Temple" in Nanjangudu (This is why this place is famous for), we were quick with our breakfast and rushed back to Mysuru, here another friend who lives near the community hall as mentioned above joined us for Mysuru
As we got closer all that we saw is people. People and people everywhere, every inch of Mysuru was crowded with people. Just that streets that we saw last night were replaced with crowd. Oh my we took an hour or more to find a apt place to park our vehicle, all that we had to do now is push ourselves (without getting lost) and move in the crowd. We lately realized that this wouldn't be a right way to keep ourselves motivated to view the Jumbo savari, after a lot of struggle and late planning, we decided to move to "Banni Mantap" (a open field where outdoor dussehera events takes place-More on google). Again parking trouble, as we got exited that finally reached and cozy ourselves and watch the show, a troublesome surprise was just waiting for us ahead
For our bad, the entry tickets were sold out, most of them had brought online, as ours was a unplanned event, we had no idea if there exist a online booking for this!
The only option left was, stay on the streets and experience what comes our way, and the first, second and final was all but the crowed that we squeezed us, we were just about to make ourselves a lemonade drink (just kidding), there was no space to breathe fresh air, just imagine the crowd!. We were stamped, squashed, bumped and what not, well that was one hell of an experience, but I could see everyone out there were just like me, all of me were just for a glimpse of the Jumbo savari, there were old people, kids, women, I felt my struggle was nothing, and I took it as a pinch of salt and diverted my mind to cherish the moment I was there for
The set of horses followed by the group of police and the security came the mighty gang of well built and trained Elephants, each carrying significant dussehera vibes. Finally came 'Arjuna' (Lead elephant) carrying the Chamundeshwari shrine.
I Just saw around me the waves of crowd were chanting mantras as Arjuna arrived. It was a beautiful moment amid all the struggle we came across. As the crowd disappeared in minutes after the visual treat, we headed back to our vehicle and maneuvered through 2 hour traffic in Mysuru and reached Bengaluru late night
It is all the experience that matters. I had a great one!
I wish, will plan it well in advance and I recommend you too to plan to such events beforehand
See you all in the next blog.