Cannon firing drill held for Abhimanyu and team
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Cannon firing drill held for Abhimanyu and team

October 16, 2020

21 rounds from seven cannons were fired at the parking lot while Dasara elephants stayed inside

Mysore/Mysuru: To acclimatised five Dasara elephants to the booming sound of cannons, a firing drill was held  at the parking lot near Varaha Gate of Mysore Palace yesterday evening. This is the first phase of the cannon drill to the elephants.

Unlike previous years, this year,  -Howdah elephant Abhimanyu, Pattada Aane Vikram, Nishane Aane Gopi and Kumki elephants Kaveri and Vijaya – along with 26 horses from the Mounted Police force were brought close to the Varaha Gate inside the Palace, while the cannons were fired outside.  City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta was present. 

The elephants were not brought to the parking lot to prevent people from crowding in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

The seven cannons were fired by the Cannon Unit personnel led by ARSI Siddaraju and five personnel for each cannon was deployed, who fired 21 rounds using 1.80 kg gunpowder for each cannon in five minutes.

While the five Dasara elephants stood firm when the cannons were fired, a few horses panicked to the booming sound. Another round of cannon firing would be conducted after three days.  

As Dasara is being celebrated in a simple manner and the Jumboo Savari limited inside the Mysore Palace premises, only five elephants have been brought from various Elephant Camps to participate in Dasara.

These Dasara elephants, led by Abhimanyu, who is carrying the Golden Howdah for the first time, have been housed in the Palace premises and are put on nutritional diet. 

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They are undergoing training for the Jumboo Savari and Abhimanyu is undergoing weight lifting training so that he can carry the whooping 750 kg Golden Howdah with ease at the grand finale. 

Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) M.J. Alexander, Veterinarian Dr. D.N. Nagaraj, Range Forest Officer (RFO) Surendra, City Armed Reserve (CAR) Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Shivaraju, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sudarshan and others were present.

What started as a military honour to the then rulers, high ranking officers and guests in the 18th century by the East India Company, the 21-gun salute is still in practice to pay respect to the presiding deity of Mysuru during Jumboo Savari. 

The 21-gun salute, the highest, is given only to rulers or top rank officers.

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