54-year-old Abhimanyu to carry golden howdah this Dasara

The Forest Department has identified Abhimanyu as the lead elephant for Dasara in Mysuru this year.  

It’s official. The 54-year-old Abhimanyu, one of the longest serving members of the elite Dasara jumbo squad, has been identified by the Forest Department as the potential successor to take on the mantle of carrying the 750 kg golden howdah in this year’s Jamboo Savari from the incumbent lead elephant Arjuna, which has turned 60 and may be retired from the big task.

Following the Dasara High Power Committee’s decision to scale down the Jamboo Savari and restrict the Vijayadashami procession within the premises of Mysuru Palace, the Forest Department has identified five elephants as advised for the finale and the same has been communicated to the government, which is expected to give its nod soon and thereafter the shortlisted jumbos will be brought to Mysuru for training.

Bar in place

Arjuna’s name is not on the list as there is a bar on using elephants above 60 years of age for any rigorous work. In its place,

Abhimanyu’s name had been recommended for the role of lead elephant. Others in the list include, two ‘Kumkhi’ elephants for the lead elephant – Cauvery and Vijaya; ‘Pattada Ane’ Gopi and ‘Nishane Ane’ Vikrama.

The government, in all likelihood, is expected to formalise the list of jumbos recommended by the department which went through various factors before finalizing the list.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Alexander confirmed to The Hindu that the list of five elephants had been sent to the government for its consent. “On getting its approval, we shall proceed further and bring the elephants from their respective camps for training within the palace premises,” he added.

The two elephants – Pattada Ane and Nishane Ane – would be given for the rituals at the palace by the royal family and the same would also be used in procession with the lead elephant and its companions, he added.

25 days

Mr. Alexander said 20-25 days were enough for the training since the tasks were limited to the palace.

None of the elephants will be taken out of the palace. All activities will remain within the palace precincts.

He said Arjuna’s name was dropped over the government order on retiring elephants above 60 years of age and services of such jumbos could be used in any rigorous activities.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 7:36:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/54-year-old-abhimanyu-to-carry-golden-howdah-this-dasara/article32585510.ece

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