Mysuru: The first batch of eight Dasara elephants, which arrived in Mysuru on Aug. 12 and were welcomed into Mysore Palace yesterday, underwent weight checking this morning as they would undergo rigorous training for Jumboo Savari from tomorrow.
The elephants were brought from the Mysore Palace to Sri Sairam and Co., Electronic Weighing Centre on Dhanavantri Road here at about 7.15 am, where they underwent weight checking.
The weight of an elephant is said to be a crucial figure to decide on the quality and quantity of its diet, ensuring that they gain enough strength to undergo the arduous journey of 10 kms on the Jumboo Savari day, that too after waiting for hours before the procession begins.
The weights of the elephants in kgs were — Arjuna – 5,250; Vijaya – 2,770; Abhimanyu – 4,870; Varalakshmi – 4,970; Balarama- 4,990; Bheema – 3,410; Kaveri- 2,820 and Gajendra – 4,600.
During last Dasara, Arjuna had weighed 5,615 kg on arrival and weighed 5,870 kg while leaving Mysuru. Similarly, Vijaya weighed 2,635 kg on arrival last year and weighed 2,855 kg while leaving; Abhimanyu had weighed 4,855 kg on arrival and 5,290 kg while leaving; Balarama weighed 4,920 kg on arrival and 5,570 kg while leaving; Kaveri weighed 3,005 kg on arrival and 3,220 kg while leaving and Gajendra had weighed 4,620 kg on his arrival to Mysuru last year and weighed 5,220 kg while leaving to the forest camp.
Out of the first batch of eight Dasara elephants, Bheema is making his first appearance while Varalakshmi is participating after a gap of three years due to pregnancy and delivery.
The Dasara elephants get special treatment while in Mysuru to take part in the Jumboo Savari. They will be kept on special diet which is being practiced for decades.
DCF V. Yedukundalu, speaking to SOM, said that weight checking is a usual procedure which is being done from decades before putting the jumbos for training and added that special diet would be provided for the elephants to gain stamina for the Dasara procession as we have the responsibility of keeping them safe and healthy and also sending them back safely.
He said that training on the Jumboo Savari route would begin from tomorrow so that the elephants would get acclimatised to the sound of vehicles and added that Bheema, which is making his first appearance showed calmness today when he was brought to check his weight. Veterinarian Dr. D.N. Nagaraj, elephants in-charge Rangaraju, Supervisor Akram and mahouts and kavadis of all the eight elephants accompanied them for weight checking.
Devaraja Police provided security on the route.