Mysuru: The unprecedented floods and the changed political scenario coming with a change in the government, has cast a shadow on ‘Gajapayana,’ the march of Dasara elephants from their respective camps to the city.
The ten-day Dasara festival will take place from Sept.29 to Oct.8 and there are hardly 45 days left for the grand celebrations.
In the past, Dasara elephants were being brought to the city from their respective camps 60 days before the commencement of Dasara.
The elephants after their arrival in the city will be offered a stable diet supplemented with nutritious food to keep them healthy and fit for the Dasara Jumboo Savari, the grand finale of the 10-day festival. These elephants will be also taken out for rehearsals on the procession route twice a day before the grand finale.
However, the Forest Department has started its own preparations for Dasara, with the Department officials visiting various elephant camps and finalising the best 12 elephants for the event. The Department has sent the list to ‘Aranya Bhavan,’ in Bengaluru for approval.
In the past, six elephants, four male and two female, used to arrive in the city in the first batch, following which the elephants were trained for acclimatisation. The second batch of elephants used to arrive later.
After the arrival of all the 12 Dasara elephants, the pachyderms were being taken on the procession route to make them familiar with the route and also to get used to the sound. The Howdah carrying elephant was being trained to carry the 750 kg Golden Howdah by placing sand bags on it.
Meanwhile, DCF (Wildlife) Alexander said that the Forest Department has selected the elephants for Dasara and the list has been sent to Bengaluru for approval. The list is expected to be approved at the Dasara High Power Committee scheduled to take place at Bengaluru today (Aug.14), following which the date of ‘Gajapayana’ will be fixed.
The Dasara elephants will be appropriately trained for the grand event after their arrival to the city, he said.