Mysuru: All arrangements are almost complete to receive the Dasara elephants as the first batch led by Arjuna arrives as part of Gajapayana at the Mysore Palace on Sept.2. In all, 22 sheds have been installed.
Every year, tenders are floated to house the Dasara elephants, Mahouts, Kavadis and their families, sheds, tent school, library and Ayurveda clinic. In this year’s tender, four had participated and the lowest bidder was National Enterprises who bagged the contract. As the elephants were to arrive on Aug.23, the tender process was completed 15 days back. Due to the floods and rain in Kodagu, Gajapayana was postponed to Aug.29.
However, at the High-Power Committee meeting chaired by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Aug.28, Gajapayana was fixed for Sept.2 and in the first batch, six elephants are being brought.
The elephants will be accorded a traditional welcome at Mysore Palace on Sept.3.
In the meantime, the work on installing the sheds in the Palace has been completed.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Siddramappa Chalkapure speaking to Star of Mysore said that due to rains in the past couple of days, the sheds have been kept ready for mahouts and Kavadis coming from different elephant camps along with the elephants.
A separate enclosure for Ambari elephant Arjuna has been put up. Just like every year, this year too separate kitchen, place for haystack, tent school, Ayurveda clinic and library unit has been set up, he said.
National Enterprises chief Tafajulla speaking to SOM said that an 80ft x 40 ft has been set up for Arjuna while the remaining 22 sheds for other elephants, mahouts, Kavadis and their families of 20ft x10ft size has been set up.
In the light of rains and strong winds, the sheds have been strengthened with wooden poles and all precautions taken to see that rain water does not enter the sheds, he said.
Elephant sheds cleaned: The dung of Palace elephants is being removed and the weed that has grown around the Someshwara Temple near where Ambari elephant Arjuna will be housed is being cleared. Since the elephants are going to be brought in lorries into the Palace premises, temporary ramp filled with mud to unload the elephants has also been arranged.
The whole place has been barricaded to prevent hordes of tourists during Dasara to come near the sheds to see the elephants.