Dasara Jumbos going back home
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Dasara Jumbos going back home

October 26, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: The elephants, an integral part of the Dasara celebrations, were given an emotional farewell from Mysore Palace today. Departing from Jayamarthanda Gate in trucks, the 14 jumbos started their journey back to their respective camps where they will resume their designated duties as directed by Forest Department, though their special festive diet will no longer be part of their daily routine.

The Forest Department, along with a crowd of onlookers, assembled outside the palace to bid farewell to these magnificent creatures. Cheers and calls of “Come back, next year” resonated as the elephants departed.

As part of the farewell, traditional pujas, including Ganapathi Puja, Chamundeshwari Puja, and Paada Puja, were conducted for the elephants by priest S.V. Prahallad Rao at an open ground near the Trineshwara Swamy Temple within the Palace premises under the auspices of the Forest Department.

The event was attended by Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra, Conservator of Forests Dr. Malathi Priya, DCFs K.N. Basavaraju and Saurabh Kumar, among others. In recognition of their dedicated service, all 55 Mahouts, Kavadis, cooks and other caretakers were honoured with Rs. 15,000 each by the Forest Department. For the first time, certificates of appreciation were presented to all Mahouts, Kavadis and their assistants, signed by the District Minister, the DC and the DCF.

After a thanks-giving address, the process of loading the elephants onto trucks commenced, and at approximately 1.10 pm, the trucks set off, escorted by the District Police. All the elephants climbed the truck without throwing tantrums.

Crowds had gathered along the roadside, waving to the elephants, their mahouts and kavadis. Many onlookers were emotional as the elephants raised their trunks in a gesture that appeared to be a farewell wave.

The first batch of nine elephants arrived on Sept. 1, followed by the second batch of five elephants, including three newcomers, on Sept. 25. In total, 14 elephants were brought to Mysuru, while only nine elephants participated in the procession, the others were involved in regular rehearsals.

The remaining elephants were gradually acclimatised to the Dasara atmosphere through road walks. In the coming years, they will be integrated into the procession team after thorough behavioural assessments and further acclimatisation.


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