Forest Department to ensure sharp objects do not pierce elephant legs during night rehearsal
Mysore/Mysuru: After rigorous training for the Dasara elephants on the Jumboo Savari route with one of the elephants — most of the times Abhimanyu — carrying the Wooden Howdah, the elephant team will face one more test today: Walking under illuminated roads, amidst people, traffic and the usual sounds.
The Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) obliged the Forest Department’s request on illuminating the Jumboo Savari route to acclimatise the elephants to the bright lights on roadsides, overhead, poles and also trees. The idea is to make the elephants feel at home despite the dazzling lights all the way from the Palace to Bannimantap.
Accordingly, the CESC has completed the illumination of the route and today evening, the elephants will be taken on the routine walk. The responsibility of the Department in accomplishing the task is huge as the staff has to ensure nothing goes wrong during the walk.
This time, the Vijayadashami procession will begin at 5.40 pm and it will be dark by the time the procession reaches even the halfway mark. The procession, to be witnessed by lakhs of people will pass through K.R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Ayurveda College Circle, New Sayyaji Rao Road, Bamboo Bazaar and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Circle (Highway Circle) to reach Bannimantap.
Sharp objects to be removed
On its part, the Forest Department must ensure that nails, pins and sharp objects do not pierce the jumbo legs during the walk. The usual practice of a high-powered magnetic device that is fitted into a jeep to move in front of Dasara elephants as they rehearse will have to be followed with diligence. The magnetic device clears the paths of sharp objects like nails, pins and metal pieces that may cause injury.
As the illumination begins at 7 pm every day and goes on till 10.30 pm, the elephant walk rehearsal too will begin at 7 pm for acclimatisation. “The rehearsals will go on till a day before the Ayudha Puja and we have enough time for the jumbos to prepare for the big day. From today, we will have Abhaya teams from Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and personnel from CESC ahead of the elephant team,” Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Dr. V. Karikalan told Star of Mysore.
While the MCC Abhaya team will ensure that the rehearsal route is clean for the elephants to walk, the CESC team will ensure that the height of the illuminated poles overhead is more than the height of the elephant carrying the Wooden Ambari, he added.