Commonly known as Durga, Goddess Chamundeshwari the is personal deity of the Mysuru royal family, protector of Mysuru City. Chamundi rides a lion and in her powerful hands she holds a trident. She’s mother goddess and a fierce protector.
Mysuru takes its name from Mahishasura, a demon with the head of a buffalo and the body of a human, a powerful monster meddling with cosmic powers and causing havoc in the universe. The celestial gods appealed to Lord Shiva to intervene. Shiva had granted a wish to Mahishasura not to die at the hands of a man. Heavens and the world beyond were shaken with Mahishasura's army of demons. Supreme gods approached Paravati, Shiva’s wife who assumed the form of Durga or Chamundi a goddess powerful enough to rid the world of Mahishasura and his evil forces.
Festivities were initiated by the Vijaynagara Kings and kept alive by the Wodeyars – the royal family of Mysuru. Dasara falls on the first day of Ashwiyja that’s the seventh month of the Hindu lunar calendar and it occurs annually around September / October. There are also wrestling matches, acrobats and fireworks. Tenth day demon was destroyed and magnificent procession through Mysuru. The conch shells blow and the trumpets announce the beginning of the Parade. In the days of the monarchy, uniformed soldiers and marching bands would lead a retinue of courtiers, honored guests and a host of attendants. Royal sword smeared with vermilion would ride in its own palanquin. People would crowd the streets to see their king. Now it is Chamundi who rides on the golden howdah with decorated horses, jeweled elephants, adorned camels and cows remain an integral part of the procession and it takes the same route that it took before independence. Streets are decorated in Mysuru with garlands of flowers and the palace is illuminated with 97,000 lights bulbs. Musicians infront of main building perform in the grand durbar hall. Its an annual festival which attracts visitors from around the world and showcases the rich heritage of Karnataka.