Elephants offered puja at Dubare camp before transporting them to Veeranahosalli today
Hunsur: Gajapayana, the traditional march of elephants from the jungle camps to Mysore Palace to participate in the Dasara celebrations, will commence tomorrow morning at Veeranahosalli Gate in Nagarahole Reserve Forest.
District Minister S.T. Somashekar will flag off the elephant march in the presence of Forest Minister Umesh Katti. MPs Pratap Simha, V. Sreenivasa Prasad and Sumalatha Ambarish and Mayor Sunanda Palanetra will be present at chief guests. Hunsur MLA H.P. Manjunath will preside. MLAs, MLCs, Chairmen of Boards and Corporations and Forest Department officials will be present as guests.
Prior to the commencement of Gajapayana, a traditional puja will be performed to the elephants by the District Administration and then the elephants would be brought to Mysuru. The puja will be performed by Priest S.V. Prahallad Rao between 9.01 am and 9.35 am in the auspicious Kanya Lagna.
The elephants will march to a distance and will be loaded into trucks and brought to Mysuru.
Meanwhile, preparations have begun at Veeranahosalli Gate for Gajapayana. A large shamiyana is being erected at Veeranahosalli for the function in which various folk troupes will participate. As the Goverment has decided to celebrate this year’s Nada Habba in a grand manner, about 5,000 to 7,000 people are expected to participate in Gajapayana function.
Of the total 17 elephants, which are given permission to participate in this year’s Dasara, nine elephants will arrive in the first batch and the remaining nine elephants will arrive later. Three elephants have been kept as standby elephants and will be brought to Mysuru only if necessary.
The nine Dasara elephants, which will arrive in the first batch are: Golden Howdah carrying elephant 57-year-old Abhimanyu, 22-year-old Bheema and 39-year-old Mahendra from Mathigodu Elephant Camp, 63-year-old Arjuna from Balle Elephant Camp, 59-year-old Vikrama, 44-year-old Dhananjaya and 45-year-old Kaveri from Dubare Elephant Camp, 49-year-old Chaitra and 21-year-old Lakshmi from Rampura Elephant Camp.
These nine elephants will arrive at Aranya Bhavan in Ashokapuram, Mysuru, at about 4 pm tomorrow and will be housed in Aranya Bhavan till Aug. 10. On Aug. 10, puja will be performed to these nine elephants between 7.30 am and 6 am and will be sent to Mysore Palace, where they will be accorded a grand welcome. The Dasara elephants will enter Mysore Palace through Jayamarthanda Gate between 9.20 am and 10 am in the auspicious Kanya Lagna.
Second batch of five Dasara elephants will arrive in Mysuru 30 days before Jumboo Savari, the grand finale of Dasara celebrations.
The second batch of Dasara elephants consists of 39-year-old Gopalaswamy from Mathigodu Elephant Camp, 41-year-old Gopi, 40-year-old Sriram and 63-year-old Vijaya from Dubare Elephant Camp and 18-year-old Parthasarathy from Rampura Elephant Camp.
40-year-old Sugreeva from Dubare, 36-year-old Kunthi and 39-year-old Ganesh from Rampura Elephant Camp are the stand-by elephants. These elephants will stay in their respective camps and will be brought to Mysuru only if necessary.
On Aug. 11, the first batch of nine Dasara elephants will undergo weight checking and training to familiarise them on the Jumboo Savari route; weight lifting will begin besides putting them on special diet.
All the 14 elephants will be sheltered in Mysore Palace till Oct. 6 and will return to their respective camps on Oct. 7. The Dasara elephants will be given a warm send-off between 6.30 am and 6.45 am from Mysore Palace.