Mysore, April 22: As the countdown begins for Dasara and the organisers scramble to get their act together, the wrestlers are all set to fine-tune their skills. For, it is the season of Nada Kusti, the traditional form of wrestling, which is on the verge of sliding into extinction, but makes a come back during festivities.
As part of the inauguration, wrestling enthusiasts can look forward to quite a few bouts of Nada Kusti along with Marpeet, which is reckoned to be a crowd-puller during the festivities. And the organisers have increased the allowances given to the participants. This is expected to give a fillip to the number of participants this year.
Nada Kusti was popularised by the royal family of Mysore and was a favourite sport among the people. But over the years, it has lost sheen, but for the sudden resurgence in interest during Dasara when the tradition holds sway.
Hence, along with Nada Kusti, the people also get a chance to witness another form of wrestling, Vajra Musthi.
Meanwhile, the wrestlers in Mysore are warming up for the grand event and the Garadis or gymnasium where the wrestlers practice, are packed with budding wrestlers, learning the trick of the trade from their teachers.
The city is home to dozens of such Garadis of which at least a few are more than 150 years old.
Though the public reaction to Nada Kusti in the run up to the festivities is muted, it is a sight to behold as the crowd lustily cheers and supports their favourite garadi, akin to supporting the favourite team in the Indian Premier League matches. For, at stake will be the silver mace and the title of Dasara Kesari and similar high sounding titles.