Mysore/Mysuru: With just 15 days left for Dasara, which is being celebrated in a simple manner, a total of five Dasara elephants led by Golden Howdah-bearer Abhimanyu, were accorded a traditional welcome at the Mysore Palace this afternoon. District Minister S.T. Somashekar and a host of dignitaries formally welcomed the Dasara Jumbo team by showering flower petals on them.
In the background of Naadaswara, the caparisoned pachyderms majestically walked into the Palace from the Jayamarthanda Gate, marking the beginning of Dasara celebrations.
The Nada Habba will be formally inaugurated atop Chamundi Hill on Oct. 17.
Captain and Howdah Elephant Abhimanyu, Vijaya, Kaveri, Vikram and Gopi will stay in the Palace till the end of Dasara festival. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the mahouts and kavadis are not allowed to bring their family members with them.
The rituals began in the Dhanur Lagna at 12.18 pm and the ceremonies were conducted by priest S.V. Prahallad Rao, who has been tasked with performing pujas to the Dasara elephants. Chamundeshwari Temple Chief Priest Dr. Shashishekar Dixit was present.
A team of officials including Forest officials, Palace staff and the Police Band waited for the jumbos to arrive through the Jayamarthanda Gate to the main Palace complex and they welcomed these gentle giants with a traditional Aarati. Police Band gave a musical salute to the Dasara guests.
These five Dasara elephants had arrived in city from their respective jungle camps yesterday (Oct. 1) and were housed at Aranya Bhavan in Ashokapuram here. Then they were brought to the Palace in trucks at around 11 am and after a brief rest, the decorated elephants were brought to the Jayamarthanda Gate for the formal welcome.
Mysore Palace Board led by its Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya distributed welcome kits to the mahouts and kavadis that contain all the daily essentials and toiletries.
Mayor Tasneem, Deputy Mayor C. Sridhar, MLAs S.A. Ramdas, G.T. Devegowda and L. Nagendra, Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri Dasari, MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde, Zilla Panchayat (ZP) President Parimala Shyam, Vice-President Gowramma, ZP CEO D. Bharathi, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, DCP Dr. A.N. Prakash Gowda, DCFs M.G. Alexander and Dr. K.C. Prashanth Kumar, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev and others were present.
Thermal screening for all
As precautionary, thermal screening was done for all dignitaries including the Minister. Health personnel in PPE kit, deployed at Jayamarthanda Gate, screened everyone before allowing them inside. The District Administration has taken preventive steps in the wake of spike in Corona positive cases in the city and district.