Covid shadow over Dasara

There will be no large gathering this year; festivities will be streamed live

Published: 27th June 2020 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2020 12:20 PM   |  A+A-

Crowd milling around the Jambu Savari near Mysore Palace. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka may soon do what Odisha did during the Rath Yatra. The festival of Dasara or Nada Habba, which is celebrated with pomp and gaiety every year especially in Mysuru, will be a low-key affair this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. To cater to domestic and international crowds, and to prevent hurting religious sentiments, it will go online. 

“In the current scenario, we are seeing what needs to be done to ensure that the festivities do not stop. With the increase in the number of cases, it will be difficult to hold a grand festival. So, it will be a low-key affair on the lines of the Puri Rath Yatra,” Minister of Tourism, Kannada & Culture C T Ravi told The New Indian Express. He said that based on inputs from all stakeholders and the number of cases in the coming days, a final decision will be taken. However, there will be no large scale gathering and the event will be streamed live.

The stakeholders will also decide on which traditional festivals and sports can be held. The forest department is yet to decide on the elephants which will participate in the Dasara festivities. Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar said that this year Dasara falls in the last week of October. “There is time to look into all aspects of the event. So far, the focus has been on Covid-19. The final decision rests with the government on how to hold it, but looking at the increasing number of cases and keeping people’s safety in mind, it will be difficult as people’s sentiments play a crucial role.”

The tourism and Kannada and culture departments are working towards creating virtual 360 degree visual tours of all archaeologically significant sites and popular destinations in Karnataka for tourists. Mysuru Dasara will be the flagship event of this exercise. The tourism minister held a meeting with all stakeholders on Thursday on creating virtual tour videos of Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal and the Western Ghats. A detailed project report is being prepared, he added. 


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