Mysore Dasara 2007

Trip Start Jul 18, 2007
1
16
26
Trip End Dec 23, 2007


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of India  ,
Sunday, October 21, 2007

So I heard about Dasara my first full day in Mysore.  Its a really big deal, and millions of people show up for the big parade finalizing the 10 day celebration.  The big draw is that a huge gold chair is placed on elephants, and royalty of Mysore are paraded around the streets.  I had seen the chair inside of the palace, and it was pretty impressive, which is why I dropped all other plans for the weekend and stuck around for the Mysore festival.  It didn't turn out to be the best idea...

Sarah and I went into town around 11AM, but the parade didn't start until 2.  We didn't know this until we were almost out of the Infosys campus, but figured there would be things going on around town.  When we got to the parade route it was evident that we would just be waiting... for a long time.   This was the edge of the parade route, and when we were planning on waiting there, we were told we had to sit down.  We figured we could find something better and moved on.  About two blocks down we found a platform with a bunch of lawn chairs on it.  This seemed like a better place to be waiting out the three hours we had ahead of us, so we paid our 50 rupees and sat down.  As the day wore on there were fewer and fewer places with a good view of the road, and people were all over the place!   I'm sure that this structure was a safe seat!  There was also a balcony next to our platform that people kept jumping on.  They would jump onto the platform and then proceed onto the balcony.  

Then, around 1PM the parade seemed to be starting.  There were just a bunch of older cars driving down the street, but there was a rush for the front.  The cars weren't very exciting, but I found it humorous that two of the maybe 15 cars broke down and had to be pushed while in front of us!  That part of the parade didn't last long, but when we tried to sit back down, someone was half sitting on Sarah's chair, so Sarah was half on mine.  That was when I started to realize that our platform idea might not be much better than just standing in the crowd.  The people standing along the edge of the street were scaring me though.  When they started getting too rowdy, police took out sticks and beat the people.  The worst part about it was that the people in the front had no way to hide because they were so packed in.  I didn't get any of that on video, but there was a cop on the balcony next to us attempting to stop people from jumping up.

Once it seemed that the parade was about to start, more and more people were jumping up onto our platform for a better look.  Then all the sudden I look to my left, and see that the platform was falling!!  I actually saw it collapse before I fell, but in the end there was nothing I could do about it.  We fell about 5 feet, and my leg somehow got smashed under my chair, leaving a nice big bruise. Other than that I was fine, a little shaken up but fine.  I guess the one thing the fall did was make me scared of the mob.  There were three men in front of us on the platform, and they were really watching over us.  They told us to put our cameras in our bags and made sure that we weren't hurt.  It made me feel better about the situation, but there was no way we could watch the parade without being in the middle of all of the people.  So we left... In the end we waited a little over 2 hours to see absolutely nothing.

As it turned out, we weren't the only ones with a bad experience with Dasara.  Luckily Sarah and I didn't have this problem, but I guess many of the other girls were getting grabbed wherever they went, and other people got so smashed up in the crowd that they were actually worried about broken ribs for awhile.  Plus, there was one American guy who was just walking down the street when he got pushed into the middle of a group of men who wouldn't let him pass until they stole his wallet, with him knowing and nothing he could do about it.  So all in all, I think I may have lucked out.  I am definitely going to stay away from festivals in India from now on though!  And, to anyone considering coming to Infosys, watch the parade on TV!  Its better that way!

http://www.mysoredasara.com/gallery.htm  Here is a link to the official Mysore Dasara pictures.  The gallery from the 21st shows some good pictures of the painted elephants, and there are other good pictures of Mysore in the others.  Check it out!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: