Howdah elephant Arjuna weighs 5,800 kilograms
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Howdah elephant Arjuna weighs 5,800 kilograms

August 27, 2019

The six Dasara elephants taken on a practise walk after their weights were checked.

Mysore: The first batch of six Dasara elephants, which arrived in Mysuru on Aug. 22 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 Dhanvantri Road here at about 8 am, where they underwent weight checking. Sri Sairam and Co. has been checking the weights of Dasara elephants since about 26 years.

The weight of the six Dasara elephants which were weighed this morning are: Arjuna -5,800 kgs, Varalakshmi-3,510, Eshwara-3,995, Dhananjaya-4,460, Vijaya-2,825 and Abhimanyu- 5,145 kgs.

Last year (2018), Arjuna weighed 5,650 kgs, Varalakshmi 3,120 and Dhananjaya weighed 4,045 kgs when they arrived. Eshwara is participating for the first time in Dasara this year.

After the weight of all the six Dasara elephants were checked, the elephants were taken up to Old RMC Circle on the Jumboo Savari route, where flower and fruits vendors offered the elephants flowers and fruits. 

The weight of an elephant is said to be very important to decide on the quality and quantity of its diet, ensuring that they gain enough strength to undergo the arduous journey on the Jumboo Savari day.

Veterinarian Dr. D.N. Nagaraju, speaking to Star of Mysore said that the six Dasara elephants which arrived in the first batch to Mysuru underwent weight checking this morning and added that the elephants will be put on special diet from today. 

Training on Jumboo Savari route from tomorrow

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The training to familiarise them on the Jumboo Savari route will begin from tomorrow morning, Dr, Nagaraju said and added that after three days, they would be 

made to carry weight by placing sand bags in a cradle-like structure tied on their backs which would be gradually increased. He further said that later, a wooden howdah would be tied on the back of Golden Howdah carrying elephant Arjuna and sand bags equivalent to the weight of the Golden Howdah would be placed inside the wooden howdah and would be taken on the Jumboo Savari route so that Arjuna gets accustomed to the weight and crowd.

Elephants above 60 years cannot carry weight 

Stating that Arjuna is 59 years of age and as per High Court order, elephants that are 60 years and above should not be made to carry weight, Dr. Nagaraju said that the next in line is Abhimanyu, who is 53 years and he can carry weight for another seven years. Hence, we have to get the next batch of elephants ready, which include Gopi, Gopalaswamy, Eshwara and Dhananjaya as they are young. 

These young elephants would be trained for five years so that they get accustomed to the crowd, he said and added that we cannot force the elephants to carry weight all of a sudden as it would be very difficult for them and it is not right to do so. Gopalaswamy is avoided this year, as he is in Musth, Dr. Nagaraju added.

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