Grand reception awaits Dasara jumbos at Mysuru palace on September 5

The first batch of nine elephants led by Abhimanyu arrived in Mysuru on September 1 and were camping on the premises of Aranya Bhavan; their training may start once they settle down at the palace 

September 04, 2023 08:08 pm | Updated 08:08 pm IST - MYSURU

A Dasara jumbo relaxing on the premises of Aranya Bhavan in Mysuru. All nine elephants that arrived in Mysuru on September 1 will be accorded a grand welcome at the palace on Tuesday.

A Dasara jumbo relaxing on the premises of Aranya Bhavan in Mysuru. All nine elephants that arrived in Mysuru on September 1 will be accorded a grand welcome at the palace on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Nine Dasara elephants that arrived in Mysuru from their respective jungle camps as part of Gajapayana will be accorded a grand reception at the Mysuru Palace on Tuesday, September 5.

The elephants led by Abhimanyu, which carries the 750-kg golden howdah, were camping on the premises of Aranya Bhavan on their arrival in trucks from Veeranahosahalli Gate in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve from where the Gajapayana was flagged off in an impressive event held amidst a large number of people.

Now that all arrangements are in place at the palace where the elephants would be camping till the culmination of the festivities which commences in October, the Dasara Festival Committee has arranged the grand reception for the jumbos on Tuesday. The mahouts, kavadis and their family members who have accompanied the jumbos too will camp in the temporary accommodation provided in the palace surroundings.

The elephants will be welcomed into the palace between 12:01 p.m. to 12:51 p.m. at the Jayamarthanada Gate of the Mysuru Palace.

Minister in charge of Mysuru district H.C. Mahadevappa will greet the elephants at the palace in the presence of Minister for Animal Husbandry and Sericulture K. Venkatesh. T.S. Srivatsa, MLA, will preside.

The first batch of jumbos includes Abhimanyu, Bheema, Gopi, Arjuna, Dhananjaya, Varalakshmi, Vijaya, Mahendra and Kanjan.

Jumbo squad

Among the nine jumbos, Kanjan, a 24-year-old male from Dubare camp, is the new entrant to the Dasara jumbo squad. Abhimanyu, a 57-year-old tusker from Mattigodu camp, is the lead elephant. Vijaya and Varalakshmi are the kumki elephants (companions) for Abhimanyu.

Arjuna, who was carrying the howdah in the past and his successor in Abhimanyu was found in view of its age, lends experience to the squad being a veteran. It is the heaviest of all the Dasara elephants as it weighs around 5,800 kg to 6,000 kg and also one of the tallest in the team standing at 2.88 metres.

This year, a pregnancy test was done on all female elephants that had been shortlisted for the festivities. A female elephant that was part of the squad last year delivered a calf ahead of Dasara, in the surroundings of the palace. The forest department, therefore, took the decision on conducting a pregnancy test this time.

In total, four elephants will be participating in this year’s Dasara for the first time. They are Lakshmi, 52, from Doddaharave, Hiranya, 46, from Ramapura, Rohit, 21, from Ramapura besides Kanjan, 24, from Dubare.

The remaining five jumbos selected for the squad will directly join the first batch later in Mysuru.

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