How traditional Indian sports take centre stage during the Mysore Dusshera celebration
The Dusshera celebration in Mysore is one of the oldest and biggest in India, and this too has involved sports in a small way
Mysore Dasara is a not just known for its unique celebration in India. Over the past few years, the event has attracted people from all across the world who have been in awe of the large scale celebrations that take place. Prior to Covid, the 10 day event was a spectacle in itself with Mysore being transformed into a city unlike any other. The famous Mysore Palace and the adjoining areas were always lit up with different lights which made for a spectacular sight. The event has been going on for over 400 years reportedly from the 14th century onwards. Around 10,000 bulbs are used to light up the palace and the Maharaja himself goes around on an Elephant.
One might wonder about traditional sports and events that take place during Dusshera. In Mysore, there are minor sports events that take place around the city specifically for children. These are not particularly historical but have been developed over time into fun events for all age groups.
Age group 10-16
The events are mostly children's games that are popular otherwise as well. They include Hide and Seek, Snakes and Ladders, three leg race, Chowkabara,(game of chance and strategy) Goli(throwing balls into holes) and Kunta Bille(hopscotch).
Age group 17-25
These games encompass a mix of children's games and games for relatively older people. Tug of war, sack race, tiger sheep, three legged race, archery/bow and arrow, goli, chinni dandu(gilli danda), and Top(Buguri).
Age group 25+
These games are for an open category where different teams of people can compete for higher odds and prizes. Pagade(Indian ludo), tug of war, Ali Guli Mane(strategy game), Bow and Arrow and Chowkabara are a few of the main games that are played across several events.
Other rules are that one person can participate in a maximum of three games at a time. There is a 25 participant cap on players and selections for each are made on a first come first serve basis. Men and women compete separately and there are prizes for those who come in top three positions in their game.