38 horses of Mounted Police too take part
Mysore/Mysuru: With just a few days left for the commencement of Dasara festivities, the first round of cannon firing practice to familiarise the Dasara jumbos and horses to the booming sound cannons was held this noon at the parking lot near Varaha Gate of Mysore Palace.
All 14 Dasara elephants, led by Howdah Elephant Abhimanyu, were taken to the parking lot by their Mahouts and Kavadis, so also 38 horses from the Mounted Police force. These 38 horses will be taking part in the Jumboo Savari on Oct. 5.
The elephants and the horses were made to stand in a line and seven cannons were used to fire 21 rounds by 38 staff of the Pirangi Dal. Three rounds were fired from each cannon using 1.2 kg gunpowder for each round per cannon. These seven cannons are used to fire 21 rounds (three each at a time) and the practice is held for three days for the grand finale where the 21 cannon salute is accorded soon after the inauguration of Jumboo Savari on Vijayadashami Day.
Except for a couple of body jerks by first-timers Sugreeva, Srirama and Parthasarathy, none of the pachyderms displayed fear or anxiety during the first 21-round cannon firing practice today. Three minutes gap was given between each round so that the animals could relax and also to observe their behaviour. Cannon firing was witnessed by a large crowd including tourists, who had come to see the Mysore Palace and other tourist spots. Apart from tourists, many Mysureans too came to the venue to have a glimpse.
City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, Deputy Conservator of Forests Dr. V. Karikalan and others were present.
The second round of cannon firing exercise will be held on Sept. 16 and the third round will be held on Sept. 23.