Jamboo Savari confined to palace for third time in 25 years

Elephant Abhimanyu flanked by Kaveri and Vijaya carrying the golden howdah during the Jamboo Savari on Monday.  

This is not the first time Jamboo Savari in Mysuru has been limited to the Mysuru palace premises. The Vijayadashami procession was confined within Amba Vilas Palace in the past instead of the usual itinerary on the streets of Mysuru.

The pneumonic plague had struck parts of Surat in Gujarat in 1994 and the Government of Karnataka led by then Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily decided to scale down the procession, confining the grand spectacle to the palace premises. The decision was taken as a preventive measure to contain the spread of plague since the Dasara finale used to attract tens of thousands of people from various parts of the country.

In 2002, eight years later, the Jamboo Savari was again restricted to the palace in the wake of severe drought besides former Minister H. Nagappa’s kidnap by forest brigand Veerappan. Then Chief Minister S.M. Krishna decided to keep Dasara procession simple since his government was facing many issues with the State in the grip of successive droughts.

This is the third time in a span of two and half decades that the procession was limited to the palace with the grand spectacle that usually accompanies the celebrations missing.

The erstwhile Mysuru royal family too had kept the celebrations simple and by and large it was a family affair with no visitors and invitees to witness the family’s centuries’-old Dasara rituals. The number of elephants too was less this year with only five jumbos led by Abhimanyu.

This year, the challenge faced by all those associated with the Dasara festivities was keeping the key staff at the venue COVID-19 free as the pandemic was posing a serious health risk even as Mysuru was reporting second highest cases in the State after Bengaluru and was also a COVID-19 hotspot. Keeping the elephants, mahouts and the staff safe from COVID-19 was a test which the forest officials successfully handled, taking all precautions like not allowing the key staff venture out of the palace fort, providing them with all essentials, and screening them periodically along with COVID-19 tests so that they remained fit and healthy for the occasion.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 12:06:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jamboo-savari-confined-to-palace-for-third-time-in-25-years/article32948277.ece

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