Iconic Hampi monument, birthplace of Dasara, faces neglect

Local residents have long been complaining that the original site in Hampi where Naada Habba, popularly known as Mysuru Dasara began, is being neglected.

Published: 27th September 2022 05:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2022 05:33 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: Local residents have long been complaining that the original site in Hampi where Naada Habba, popularly known as Mysuru Dasara began, is being neglected. Their demand is that the iconic Mahanavami Dibba monument should be lit up and awareness boards about its glorious past must be displayed.

Built in 16th century by kings of the Vijayanagara empire, the Mahanavami Dibba was the centre of attraction from where the king and his family used to watch the Dasara parade. The king used to alight from his elephant on the mighty structure to join other members of the royal family. The Dasara parade of Hampi was similar to the present-day Dasara, but had an additional attraction of military might of the Vijayanagara kingdom.

Mahanavami Dibba, from where the king used to watch the Dasara | Express

After the fall of Vijayanagara empire in 1565, the Wadiyars of Mysuru who were earlier part of the Vijayanagara kingdom, carried forward the tradition in Mysuru which has come to be known as the state festival of Karnataka. Annually, lakhs of people visit Mysuru where Dasara is celebrated for 10 days. Activists in Hampi say the government must take up program­mes during Navaratri to keep the ancient tradition alive.

“We have been demanding for years that the government must recognise and celebrate the story of Mahanavami Dibba of Hampi as it is the original site of Dasara. Historical records show that the Mysuru kings carried forward the tradition of Vijayanagara kings,” said a social activist.

An official of the Hampi Management Authority points out there were plans earlier to organise celebrations at the monument during Dasara. “But a certain section of historians had opposed the idea due to the sensitive structure of the monument that was built in 1513 AD. However, there should be programmes involving various government agencies, including the tourism department, to popularise the monument which gave birth to Dasara in the state,” the official said.


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