Dasara in Mysore is a special event for whole Karnataka. Bengali populations who are considerably well settled in Mysore have been celebrating Durga Puja since 32 years. Bangiya Samithi (Bengali Association) Mysore is celebrating 33rd Durga Puja in 2011 from 2 October 2011 to 6 October 2011.
One of the founders of the Samithi writes for Star of Mysore:
Bangiya Samithi (Bengali Association) Mysore, is celebrating Sri Durga Puja for the last 32 years. Durga puja has special significance in Mysore since Goddess Chamundeswari, another form of Durga, is the presiding deity of Mysore. Durga Puja will be celebrated in city this year at Shivamma P.V. Mahadevappa Choultry on KRS Road from October 2 to October 6 in 2011. The programmes comprise puja, aniali, arathi and prasad distribution. Evenings are earmarked for cul-tural programmes, showcasing culture and traditions of Bengal.
The significance of Durga Puja is well documented in our scriptures. Devi Mahima, a part of Markandeyapurana and Srichandi recounts how devatas, after protracted war, were defeated by demons headed by Mahisasura and were driven away from heaven. The devatas approached Brahma, who took them to Vishnu and Shiva for protection. Vishnu, the supreme Lord, through his cosmic energy, created Devi Durga who was Shakti the repository of infinite energy and power. Devi Durga undertook the task of ridding the world of oppression.
Devi Durga was empowered and armed by all gods. Lord Shiva gave his trident, Lord Vishnu gave his Sudarshan Chakra, Kubera (the god of wealth) gave his club. With Lion as her mount, the Divine Mother challenged the demons. In a fierce battle, she killed the demons and ultimately faced Mahishasura their chief. Despite deceptive tricks adopted by the buffalo-headed demon, Devi Durga overpowered him cutting off his head with the sword and thus came to be known as ‘Mahishasuramardini. This is the day when Vijay Utsav or Vijayadashami (victory) is celebrated.
This aspect of Durga Puja is celebrated in Bengal and the whole of Eastern India. The other aspect of Durga Puja is based on ‘Ramayan’ victory of Supreme Lord Rama over demon Ravana in Lanka. Rama prayed and worshipped the Divine Mother Durga for nine days for blessing to fight Ravana. On the ninth day, Durga appeared and handed over the empowered weapons to kill Ravana and blessed him for success. Rama killed Ravana and liberated the earth from the demon. Thus, Vijaydashami or Dushera is celebrated on the tenth day. This celebration is primarily held in entire North India as Ramleela.