[“Mysuru Dasara has all the attributes to be recognised as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO, and experts from various fields should come together to document it and make a presentation to the Government of India for submission before the UNESCO,” said N.S. Rangaraju, retired Professor of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore.]
By R. Krishna Kumar
|Mysuru Dasara is well-documented among medieval travellers and artists.A painting at the palace depicting the procession. Picture courtesy: M. A. Sriram|
Concerted efforts are yet to be made to get Mysuru Dasara recognised under UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage, despite its history and unbroken tradition of nearly 700 years.
Though the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums tried to make a case for Mysuru Dasara a few years ago, there were no sustained efforts to give a fresh push to the request.
“Mysuru Dasara has all the attributes to be recognised as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO, and experts from various fields should come together to document it and make a presentation to the Government of India for submission before the UNESCO,” said N.S. Rangaraju, retired Professor of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore.
“Mysuru Dasara is a platform for showcasing the art and culture of the people of Karnataka and has evolved over centuries. Today, it is among the most important cultural events with public participation and is known across the country. It is truly a reflection of the customs and traditions of the State,” he added.
Prof. Rangaraju was part of a team which undertook excavations at Hampi in the early 1970s to discover the Mahanavami Dibba which has come to be associated with Dasara, underlying the historicity and continuity of the festival. “The Mahanavami Dibba is akin to a stage and was used by the kings of Vijayanagara to watch the procession, and the Navaratri festival which establishes the historicity of the events,” said Prof. Rangaraju.
After the fall of Vijayanagara empire, it shifted to Srirangapatana in 1610 A.D. when Raja Wadiyar ascended the throne and decreed that Dasara be celebrated on a grand scale.
“It was held even during the regime of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatana. But, after the fall of Tipu Sultan in the battle against the British in 1799, the capital was shifted to the present Mysuru, and since then Dasara is being held in the city,” said Prof. Rangaraju, who said no efforts should be spared to get UNESCO’s
ICH tag for Mysuru Dasara.
[The solemn observance of Vijaya Dasami is also the spiritual commemoration of a mythical hero King Rama’s victory over Ravana, another ‘demonized’ king of Lanka, nowadays -
Sri Lanka. The people in Nepal and India are observing Dashain, Dasara or Dasahara - a
fifteen day long Hindu festival these days. We found an article below of some interest to share here also but the claim so far made in it has been termed as
‘specious’ by the western scholars. – The Blogger]
An Ancient Ram-Chapel In
One of the major triumphs of modern archaeology was the hair-raising discoveries of Sir Leonard Woolley at
Amidst the ruins of Ur , he unearthed a Ram-chapel but totally
missed its relevance in world history. This crucial finding not only bridges
the wide gaps between Indian tradition and archaeology but also unfolds the
historic bonds that once united ancient Ur , India and Iran . Ram-Sin of (Larsa) to whose memory this
chapel was dedicated must have been Rama of Valmiki. The name Ararama of Larsa
may be an echo of Rama. This Ram-Chapel of Sumer is the earliest known memorial to the great
Rama and may have been erected by Dilmun merchants who resided nearby. Dilmun
was always mentioned in the Sumerian texts together with Magan and Melukkha and
it is possible that these three states were somehow allied to each other. Ur
Rama, Bharata & Lakshmana In
The Cambridge Ancient History[xvi][iii] which is usually not considered as a sourcebook for Indian history by writers like Romila Thapar contains priceless information relevant to Indian ancient history. In the highly authentic Sumerian king list appears such hallowed names as Bharat (Warad) Sin and Ram Sin. As Sin was the Moon god Chandra Ram Sin can be seen to be same as Rama Chandra. Bharat Sin ruled for 12 years (1834-1822 BC), exactly as stated in the Dasaratha Jataka. The Jataka statement, “Years sixty times hundred, and ten thousand more, all told, / Reigned strong-armed Rama”, only means that Rama reigned for sixty years which agrees exactly with the data of Assyriologists. Ram Sin was the longest reigning monarch of
Mesopotamia who ruled for 60 years. The mention of the
father in the inscriptions of both Warad Sin and Ram Sin is noteworthy and may
point to a palace intrigue. Joan Oates is not aware of the Ramayana but writes
with great insight (p. 61) that Warad sin was manoeuvred to the throne by his
father. In Mesopotamia, a prince normally became king only after
the death of his father. Lakshmana, mentioned the Bible as Lakhamar, ruled as a