Carries a combined weight of 500-kg today
Mysore/Mysuru: Abhimanyu, who will carry the Golden Howdah (Ambari) on Jumboo Savari day, began his weight training by carrying 300-kg sand bags on the Jumboo Savari route this morning.
In total, he carried a combined weight of 500-kg, which included 300-kg sand bags and 200-kg Gaadhi Namdha, ropes and the cradle like structure in which the sand bags were placed.
Before the commencement of weight training, puja was performed at Kodi Someshwara Temple in Palace premises to Abhimanyu, Kumki elephants Chaitra and Kaveri, Gaadhi Namdha (a cushion-bed-like material) and the cradle at 7.45 am and the Gaadhi Namdha was fastened on the back of Abhimanyu with a leather strip and ropes and then a cradle-like structure was tied on top of it.
Pada Puja was performed by sprinkling of ‘Arishina-Kumkuma’ at the feet of the elephants and they were fed with ‘Pancha Phala’ (five fruits).
Later, sand bags weighing 300-kg were placed inside the cradle and Abhimanyu, followed by other elephants — Bheema, Gopalaswamy, Mahendra, Arjuna, Dhananjaya, Kaveri, Chaitra and Lakshmi — were taken in a procession as part of the drill.
The Dasara elephants were led to the Torchlight Parade Grounds in Bannimantap via K.R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Government Ayurveda Hospital Circle, Bamboo Bazar, Old RMC Circle, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Circle (Highway Circle) and Nelson Mandela Road to reach the Torchlight Parade Grounds.
A jeep, dragging a magnetic rod on the Jumboo Savari route went before the elephants to remove any sharp metal objects such as nails, screws etc. which could hurt the Darasa elephants and cause wounds.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Dr. V. Karikalan, speaking on the occasion, said that weight training for Abhimanyu began from today and other eight Dasara elephants also took part in the training session. Abhimanyu carried 300-kg sand bags on the first day and the weight will be gradually increased, he added.
Continuing, Dr. Karikalan said that all male elephants except Arjuna will undergo weight training on rotation basis till Aug. 30. From the first week of September, wooden howdah, weighing 350-kg will be placed on Abhimanyu and sand bags will be placed inside it which will be gradually increased till the weight equals 750-kg, the weight of the Golden Howdah and training will be held on the Jumboo Savari route, the DCF added.
Pointing out that the first batch of nine Dasara elephants were healthy and are put on nutritional diet, Dr. Karikalan said that the elephants are responding well to the training and are getting used to the sound of crowd on the Jumboo Savari route. The second batch of five Dasara elephants will arrive in Mysuru in the second week of September, the DCF said.
Mahouts and Kavadis of all nine Dasara elephants, DCF Dr. Karikalan, Range Forest Officer (RFO) Santosh Kumar, Veterinarian Dr. Mujeeb, elephants’ caretakers Rangaraju, Akram and others accompanied the elephants during the training today.
It may be recalled that due to COVID-19 pandemic, familiarising the Dasara elephants on Jumboo Savari route was stopped since last two years and the training was held inside the Palace premises only with limited elephants.