It is Dasara time. Mysore is all glitter for the next one week. The royal city is at its best during this time. The Palace is gloriously lit. There is a festive atmosphere all around. The city is decked up. If you don't mind the crowd, this is the best time to be in Mysore.
There are many things happening in the city during this week. The classical music concerts in the palace, the dasara exhibition and stage performances, sports meet, celebrations inside the palace and the grand finale on Vijaya dashami day when Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken in procession through the streets of Mysore.
One thing that has caught the fancy of people of late is the Dasara Wrestling competition. Started by Wodeyars during their reign of Mysore, it is one of the biggest championships of Indian-style wrestling (“Nada Kushti”) in the country, it attracts wrestlers from the entire State. Wrestlers from other States also come here to participate. Every year it evokes tremendous response from spectators to watch muscle-flexing wrestlers from across the State fight for supremacy in traditional bouts. On an average, 26 traditional bouts will take place every day and 400 wrestlers compete for the coveted prize.
Not many visitors make a trip to Devaraj Urs stadium where the wrestling bouts happen. But it is worth every second to feel the intense atmosphere of local community and be part of them.
The traditional wrestling in Mysore is a dying art. There are very few passionate wrestlers trying to keep tradition alive. One can visit the "Garadi" or "Akhada" (wrestling school) in the city. Royal Mysore Walks organise visits to these places. You can look at this link in this blog for more details.
Heritage Walks in Mysore
This time when you are in Mysore don't miss watching a bout on muddy floors of Devaraj Urs stadium. We found two interesting photo feature on Mysore Wrestlers by Nitin Vishwas and Raghuram Ashok. Here is the link for it.
Wrestlers of Mysore by Nitin Vishwas
Muscle Men of Mysore by Raghuram Ashok
Photo courtesy - Muralidharan Alagar. You can visit his photostream for some brilliant pictures and his photography blog here.
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